When I had suggested this topic for the weekly Friday LBC post, a major earthquake was all in the news and I suggested this off the cuff. Since then there have been other earthquakes in Japan, in South America, in Afghanistan and so on so forth. There have also been floods and wildfires and the latest are in Canada and India.

Calamities like the fires that are now raging in a part of our country have been traced back to man made problems just as many other natural calamities now are being blamed on things like climate change which many blame on human beings. The floods that hit parts of South India a few months ago were again blamed squarely on problems created by human beings, in not releasing water from dams on time, using up land meant to prevent flooding for construction of homes and offices and so on.

Calamities therefore can now come in not only due to natural causes like earth quakes, but fires, drought and floods can and do come from careless human beings. Climate change for instance needs the urgent attention of all of us and somehow, I don’t see enough being done to address this issue on a war footing. Here is a case to buttress my argument. We also now have drought in India which too needs a long term solution by sustainable means of water conservation many models of which are available within the country.

Other developments that go under the classification of calamities like train derailing, mass automobile accidents etc by and large are man made and they too need attention towards prevention.

35 thoughts on “Calamities.”

  1. Yesterday evening I managed to burn dry the bottom of one of my favourite pans. Nigger is not the word to describe how black it was.

    Not an earth shattering “calamity” but did set off the fire alarm. On the upside, on my way down to dispose of the pan I thought beyond salvation, I ran into one of the chefs in the restaurant. Without ado he took it off me to return it later restored to its former stainless steel beauty. I blame my charms.

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    1. Those kind of calamities are man made, or, as in this case, woman made and man solved. It is often the other way around in homes!

      Anyway, you have set off a debate which I think should now cease as the topic of the blog post has got lost in it.

  2. i’m one of those who believe that mankind is definitely escalating the climate changes.
    those poor people in the solomon islands.
    and the drought in your own country. oh my.
    you know well sean… the constant line of drought we live with in my own state.
    and california in more recent history. it just goes on and on! life on this planet.
    it’s certainly no picnic for so many.
    you would think with all that serious calamity going on… we could try to get along better with each other!!!
    kind of like sword fighting while the tent’s burning down around you!

    1. There is the school that says that the problem will simply go away but somehow I knew that your view will be like mine that we need to address these issues on a war footing before it is too late. And getting along better with each other will certainly be a good place to start.

  3. Yes there is climate change. Yes we humans contribute to it. But climate change was happening long before humans began contributing. Has no one heard of the Ice Age? Or the story of Creation where God separated the water from the land? Or the flood-that-destroyed-everything story that exists in nearly all cultures existing today? Yes we think climate change is happening faster now but how we measure how fast it happened before recorded history is a puzzle to me. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to reduce our own carbon footprints but I do not think we need to panic. The Earth was here long before us and I think it will be long after us. And who knows on what planet any remaining humans will live then?

  4. Very good post Ramana, & you are right, not enough is being done. Our family has done & is continuing to do as much as we can, not only to limit our carbon imprint but also to reduce that made by others. I would like to see our totally corrupt government doing the same thing, but that is not going to happen. Money, wealth & power is the name of the game, not the safety & well being of the people.
    Regards, Keith.

  5. As the population of the planet rises, like rats in a cage in lab experiments, the number of incidents of violence and destruction also rises. Statistically. And proportionately?
    From what we hear from science lately, this may be solved, or at least helped, soon by moving colonies to the moon, or one of the newly discovered planets, with a humanly constructed atmospheric shield, apparently.
    Secondly, with television and radio being reduced from a means of educating and entertaining, to the constant following of all the details of horror and destruction on twenty-four hour news stations, linked to the number of people who wish to become reporters, and a belief that the general populace can report just as well as the trained, and being allowed to post “close up” films of death and destruction,
    Added to a constant interaction with machines instead of people,
    You easily get our modern view of the world.
    I have often wondered how a modern reporter would have handled the great flood.
    With live report,
    and constant blend in to the mooing and bellowing endangered animals.
    Forgotten the next day.
    And yet, I think what we have, written, is not forgotten, and makes the imagination wonder.
    ps. U, just so you don’t get in trouble somewhere else, there is no place on this planet where the N word is acceptable. Just saying.
    Dunnasead recently posted..When Calamity Rears Its Head: Don’t Look At De Feet

    1. Let’s leave humour aside, Dunnasead. I do appreciate that living in Germany does take its toll.

      The N word IS acceptable in a post modern ironic way. As it happens – and I hope your artistic leanings and their imaginations will stretch as far – I wrote my comment in the wake of having watched the so very watchable Sidney Poitier in “In the Heat of the Night”. On a side note, Rod Steiger (in his role) couldn’t be more annoying than when chewing his endless gum.

      If you are so “politically correct” inclined how about gollywogs? Once upon a time my father brought home a gollywog and gave it to me. It was blow up plastic. It was very black and had very white eyes (that’s by way of contrast). By golly, I loved my Golly. Fast forward into the age of PC (political correctness). A few years ago I mentioned my Gollywog and an attempt (not successfully) was made to verbally slaughter me.

      To ram it home, one more anecdote, Lin. Many years ago I found myself in the departure lounge of one of Heathrow’s terminals. My then tiny son pointed his finger at a lady sitting close to us, turned to his mother (that’s me) and stated, in wonderment: “Mama, she is black.” And she was. Facts are facts. Still, you can’t warp a child’s mind too early (particularly one of the blond lock, blue eyed and white skin variety) so I whispered to him: “You don’t say BLACK.” The retort of which was “BUT MAMA. SHE IS BLACK.” And she was. You can’t dispute facts. As it was, the lady in question winked at him and smiled at me.

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        1. Hate? What hate, Lin? I don’t understand you at all. Why would you pray for me? Please don’t waste your time on my behalf.

          Before I forget and I don’t want you to think I didn’t notice, recently you made me smile. Yes, it was on occasion of you “liking” my post -0 the one which never was.

          Ursula recently posted..Cost benefit analysis

      1. I agree with Dunnasead. To casually use a word whose history has been so freighted puzzles me. Perhaps you didn’t grow up in America’s South or in India, or perhaps you didn’t live in a family with racist parents. Perhaps you don’t feel the visceral import of such a word choice, the real kick in the gut, the consciousness of a willingness to shock when our language is so rich. Rummuser, I’m sorry to have joined in hijacking your post. Feel free to delete my comment if you want or ask me not to contribute in the future, but we each have to decide whether to stand by and watch something slide by or not.

        1. You are right, Linda. I didn’t grow up in America or India. Neither have I ever lived in either country. Most my adult life I have spent in the UK – a multi cultural society if ever there was one.

          You are also right that my parents weren’t racist. To that extent I was very lucky – and yes, age eleven I did cry over “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”. As I did at Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech.

          Apropos of nothing, and I hope this little gem isn’t lost on you, a couple of days ago my son showed me a clip of a musician. The musician was black, the music was the Blues. His [the musician’s] face and smile were lovely. “If my grandfather had been black” I said to the Angel, “that’s what he would have looked like. The same lines, the same humanity, the same happiness.”

          I don’t know what either yours or Dunnasead’s beef is. A gollywog is a gollywog. And if I liken the colour of my fried-to-a-cinder pan to a “nigger” and YOU can’t see past political correctness then, I am afraid, that is your loss. We can’t sanitize history by pretending that it didn’t happen.

          And, before I forget, my sister – she was only little – once burst into tears when a friend of my parents (unbeknown to us) came for dinner. She had never seen a black man before.


          PS Don’t worry about flooding Raman’s comment box. He has the patience (and wisdom) of a saint.
          Ursula recently posted..Cost benefit analysis

      1. Do you really think I don’t know that, Looney?
        we went to the same high school, remember.
        And the use of buzz words and negative history to link social groups is certainly not foreign to someone raised with regular Irish-American family and clan meetings.
        To use a word full of such hate and ugliness, no matter who has the patent, is wrong.
        How about a little respect instead of stupid inclusion-exclusion discussions that are only meant to keep us fighting.
        You want to use such words, U. Use them. In private.
        I will pray for you.
        Dunnasead recently posted..When Calamity Rears Its Head: Don’t Look At De Feet

        1. Oh, btw, the N word is a frontal vowel. Production front of mouth, resonance totally in the head. It is pure head voice ie loud, shrill, nasty sounding, especially when hooked to an n and with an e, a half frontal. the southern US variation is pronounced naygra, both produced in the body and resonated there. A soft, lovely sound. Does that make the word soft or lovely? Or the meaning? Not in my opinion.
          Dunnasead recently posted..When Calamity Rears Its Head: Don’t Look At De Feet

        2. Dunnasead, I am a high school dropout.

          Anyway, the word police in the US have gone completely mad, so I am going to defend U on this one. I can’t even call a man a man if he is wearing a skirt, whether or not it is a kilt. Every week there is a new set of vocabulary that we are not permitted to use, lest we prove our true inner soul through micro-aggressions.

          I think attitude matters much more, but I would not have any regard for the judgments of attitude coming out of the word police.
          Looney recently posted..How do you say “racism” in French?

    2. Exotic ideas like colonising other planets apart, the point is that we can address issues like pollution, carbon footprints, water conservancy etc on a war footing. And, you have now started another debate within this post which is indicative of the kind of things that we need to address apart from natural and manmade calamities!

  6. all over the world – all kinds of disaster daily – and with the flick of a switch you can watch it unfold. as one of the commentators argued – world has been changing forever…

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