Why do Natural Disasters happen?

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kollision
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Why do Natural Disasters happen?

#1 Postby kollision » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:33 am

I have been pondering it, and lets put all the science aside for the moment. Do some of you think that the earth itself does such things because it is mad at mankind? I personally wouldn't be surprised if that was the case, seeing how much we "contribute" to the earth, through pollution, burning forests (like McDonalds does in the Amazon), etc. Is this just me?

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#2 Postby Jay » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:43 am

I think we've been extremely lucky. There have been far worse natural disasters before humans were around. Supervolcanoes which have thrown the planet into ice ages and incinerated everything within thousands of miles. Actually there was one in Toba 73,000 years ago that bottlenecked the genetics of homo sapiens to just a few thousand individuals and probably killed off tons of intelligent variants. Yellowstone park is a supervolcano which goes off roughly every 200 million years and hasn't erupted in 200 million years and the ground there is swelling....

Asteriods of course like the one that killed off the dinosaurs, etc. Then just the natural ebb and flow of the glaciers as we go through ice ages, etc.

If the earth is sentient, it's been extremely nice to humans the last 70,000 years. But as the temp increases due to the greenhouse effect there will be more hurricanes. It's been calculated that if the temp were 50C at the ocean along the equator hurricanes would be continous.

ETA: sorry I totally forgot about putting the science aside.

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#3 Postby kollision » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:52 am

Jay wrote:I think we've been extremely lucky. There have been far worse natural disasters before humans were around. Supervolcanoes which have thrown the planet into ice ages and incinerated everything within thousands of miles. Actually there was one in Toba 73,000 years ago that bottlenecked the genetics of homo sapiens to just a few thousand individuals and probably killed off tons of intelligent variants. Yellowstone park is a supervolcano which goes off roughly every 200 million years and hasn't erupted in 200 million years and the ground there is swelling....

Asteriods of course like the one that killed off the dinosaurs, etc. Then just the natural ebb and flow of the glaciers as we go through ice ages, etc.

If the earth is sentient, it's been extremely nice to humans the last 70,000 years. But as the temp increases due to the greenhouse effect there will be more hurricanes. It's been calculated that if the temp were 50C at the ocean along the equator hurricanes would be continous.

ETA: sorry I totally forgot about putting the science aside.


Hrmm that makes a lot of sense too. Perhaps then we are just the cause for our own demise? (such as the greenhouse you mentioned)

As for the rest, those are theories and not necessarily accepted facts. There are disputes for all of those that you mentioned.

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#4 Postby Jay » Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:12 am

Yes of course, what exactly happened tens of thousands of years ago or more will always only be a theory and never a fact. Seeing as it's science this should be understood and not necessary to point out. Still they are the most accepted theories by far.

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#5 Postby jonathan » Tue Sep 06, 2005 11:18 am

natural disasters happen due to climatilogical and geological reasons. if the earth was sentient it would have recognised us as the most dangerous species ever to walked the earth and wiped us out hundreds of years ago.

its pretty simple. hurricanes are becoming more frequent due to global warming. it only takes 1degree of difference in surface water temp to have a hurricane or not. seeing as the ocean is consistantly warmer now, hurricanes are more common and more powerful. until countries commit to tackling climate change, its something they will have to live with. if New Orleanians want to point fingers, bush could be blamed for his rampant defiance of sciencific fact, and sucking up to his oil mogul friends.

the boxing day tsumani was simply the result of a tectonic plate subverting under another (i forget the specific term for that particular type of quake). if a sentient earth was trying to punish us im not sure that it would choose relative innocents like those who were affected there.

whilst some are accentuated by human activity, natural disasters are part of the earth processes. we just have to live with them.

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#6 Postby sirdle » Tue Sep 06, 2005 6:40 pm

jonathan wrote:if the earth was sentient it would have recognised us as the most dangerous species ever to walked the earth and wiped us out hundreds of years ago.

:lol: :lol: :lol: good point
As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love --- Leonardo Da Vinci

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#7 Postby willpeavy » Tue Sep 06, 2005 9:11 pm

I live in Florida and we got lots of hurricanes here. They've happened since long before humans ever developed the land here, and they're actually good for the ecosystem here because all the rain and the winds cleans out the wetlands and make the land fresh and green. I really don't think its that bad when the rains come in and push people out of their homes for a short time, you just have to make sure you prepare and have some canned goods and water ahead of time, and then you get the chance to live close to nature while the power is out. I think most Americans are just spoiled - if we don't have air conditioning, fast food, and TV sets for a few days, we act like its the end of the world.

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#8 Postby kollision » Tue Sep 06, 2005 10:14 pm

willpeavy wrote:I live in Florida and we got lots of hurricanes here. They've happened since long before humans ever developed the land here, and they're actually good for the ecosystem here because all the rain and the winds cleans out the wetlands and make the land fresh and green. I really don't think its that bad when the rains come in and push people out of their homes for a short time, you just have to make sure you prepare and have some canned goods and water ahead of time, and then you get the chance to live close to nature while the power is out. I think most Americans are just spoiled - if we don't have air conditioning, fast food, and TV sets for a few days, we act like its the end of the world.


Was going to say the same thing. I was also pondering on whether to actually name it disaster, then again I just put it so everyone would know what I am talking about.

And ya, we are too freakin spoiled. I dislike the new generation of children, didn't think it could get any worse.

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#9 Postby V VII Hero » Wed Sep 07, 2005 12:18 am

I respect and fear the ocean. I am beginning to totally believe in the Gaia Hypothesis.

for lack of better analogies:
we, humans, are like fleas on a dogs back.


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