Facing disaster fatigue
“The Might Niush!” says that recessions, bombardment in the news about people actually being bombarded in other parts of the world, he is feeling totally exhausted and having existential angst, with no reprieve in sight. Add to this troubled cauldron, one natural disaster after another and we have yet another a new term for our millennial malaise: disaster fatigue. He agrees that these destructive events are often followed by equally destructive man-made disasters, as has been in Japan with the high-level radiation leaks from its nuclear reactors and teetering on the precipice of a possible meltdown.
We remember our Christadelphian brothers and sisters who had to face the problems of the 2001: Gujarat earthquake, India-19,700 deaths. The number of deaths, injuries and displaced people, not to mention economic and structural damage seems vastly disproportionate in developing countries.
Humans are a special breed. They want to have an oar in everyman’s boat, but they cut a lot dead and do nt look beyond their own nose. Fukushima, Mon Amour is about the love to be the superior race. Hominum mankind having the idea that he is the strongest, the smartest and untouchable. they often do not want to see that the casualty and damages sustained could have been minimized had appropriate infrastructures (i.e. roads, digs, damns, river banks, bridges) been maintained and upgraded regularly, and had emergency supplies and relief management been effectively delegated.
Lots of disasters are also quickly muffled away in the non-remember storeroom of the brains. Yes they have a amnesia prone collective memory and are not liking to be reminded to previous disasters of their own fault, like in 1287, December 14, The Zuider Zee seawall collapsing with the loss of 50,000 lives. In 1190 we could find already a disaster in the history of human attitude. On March 17, crusaders completed the massacre of Jews of York, England. What was the hand of the people themselve not listening to hygienic rules in 1630 causing 16,000 inhabitants of Venice died of plague. sometimes even one person stood at the cause of the disaster, an in 1648 when on July 22, some 10,000 Jews of Polannoe were murdered in a massacre led by Cossack Bogdan Chmielnicki (55). At other times it was just because people want to play with fire. 1769 Aug 18, Gunpowder in Brescia, Italy, church exploded and some 3,000 were killed. and they did not want to learn from previous disasters, 1881-1919 Some 59 laborers, mostly Chinese immigrants, were killed in explosions at the California Powder Works in Hercules. 1917, February 20, Ammunitions ship exploded in Archangel harbor, Russia, and about 1,500 died. The Imo, a Norwegian freighter ship, had collided on December the 6th, 1917, in Nova Scotia with the French munitions ship Mont Blanc and a fire soon caused a massive explosion. Some 2000 people were killed and thousands wounded following an explosion in Halifax harbor. 1918, May 18, a TNT explosion in chemical factory in Oakdale, PA, killed 200. 1956, July 7, seven Army trucks loaded with dynamite exploded in middle of Cali, Columbia, killing 1,100-1,200. 2000 buildings were destroyed.
Other disasters came over other human because men wanted to conquer and rule over others, like in 1804 in Haiti when on March 29, thousands of whites were massacred. In 1972 the Tutsi-led government in Burundi killed some 100,000 Hutus.
Even when people thought they could make something un-destroyable they had to face the consequences of their pretensions. The “New Era”, an emigrant ship of 1328 tons, built in Bath, Maine, on her first voyage. She sailed on September 28 1854 and was nearly two months on the way. There were 425 on board, nearly all German. 40 were lost on the trip from cholera. There were 385 passengers and crew when the ship struck. 163 were saved. In the 19° Century masses of ship sank. The luxury liner RMS Titanic, the largest passenger ship at that time being its Dimensions: Length (L) 839 Feet Beam (width) 85 feet, Draught (b / water) 46 Ft, which never could sink, sank 1912, April 15, in the North Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland with the loss of about 1,522 lives. Some claim there was wealth discrimination as the lifeboats were loaded, which shows again the human nature of selfishness and causing extra suffering. (In Denver, the anarchist Emma Goldman wrote “Suffrage Dealt a Blow by Women of the Titanic”. If women wanted to be treated as equals they must, she argued, take their chances like men.)
1915 May 7, In the 2nd year of WWI, the British Cunard ocean liner Lusitania, on a voyage from New York to Liverpool, sank off the coast of Ireland in only 18-21 minutes after being struck by a torpedo fired by the German U-boat U-20. Of 1,959 [1,978] passengers and crew, 1,195 died.
Often people also forget the casual accidents which bring suffering to many. The 20,000 children who died in the 1920s in auto accidents are nothing to the amount which find their death today, or are injured for life.
People could also not bare to have respect for the animals, which they considered inferior. 1872-1874 More than 4 million buffalo were killed by white hunters. And for the profit gaining industry they are not concerned about neither people having to do the dirty work, nor about the the outcome os their productioproces. 1984 December 3, more than 4,000 people died and 200,000 were injured after a gas escaped from a pesticide plant operated by a Union Carbide subsidiary in Bhopal, India. 40 tons of vaporous methyl isocyanate, hydrogen cyanide, monomethyl amine, carbon monoxide and possibly 20 other chemicals were released after an explosion. Over the years, according to the Indian government, some 15,000 people have died from effects of the gas.
It is not only the Islam that says as Earth Day and Islam(socyberty.com) that the the safe keeping of nature has long been the duty of human. Several holy books of many religions admonish their people to take proper care of their environment. That we read in the Holy Quran ” Corruption has appeared throughout the land and sea by [reason of] what the hands of people have earned so He may let them taste part of [the consequence of] what they have done that perhaps they will return [to righteousness]” (30:41) lets us remind of several situations of the Old Testament where disasters like the one which came over Moab. The people of Moab had enjoyed prosperity and security. Their land was fertile and they received more rain. They were at ease. Nebo got ruined, Kiriathaim, the stronghold, disgraced and captured. (Jeremiah 48)
The Scriptures portray suffering as a consequence of sin: not necessarily the sin of the individual who suffers, but sin in the history of man and in human society. It are we who have been destroying every natural resources that God created. Problem with man is that he is so cocksure that he can do whatever he wants and that he is stronger then nature. They assume that they are allowed to use all the resources but they forget that the Creator allowed it to be used with good management and never to enrich our greed. In Islam, as in Judaism and in Christianity, the destruction of natural resources is a sin. The problem has always been that man thought he could pleases and was never afraid of sins. Therefore for the destruction we have caused, we are now receiving the consequence which we call natural disaster or in the worst case several believers call an act of God. But it is not God who interferes with the ‘besognes’ or affairs of men. The Bible teaching is that men are left to their own ways and the working of natural law, though there may be times when natural disaster is divinely directed as a judgement upon man and for the cleansing of the earth. The outstanding example is the flood in the days of Noah.
In many verse of Holy Scriptures (Torah, Bible, Quran) we can find that humans are allowed to use the resources that Allah has created. But human never can save himself from greed and because of this human destroyed every creation that God created on earth. “And He gave you from all you asked of Him. And if you should count the favour of Allah , you could not enumerate them. Indeed, mankind is [generally] most unjust and ungrateful.” (14:34) In this verse it shows Allah as the All Knowing proclaim that human are most unjust and ungrateful of what he has been given.
As people who honour God we have to make sure that also the other inhabitants of the world shal get to see the importance of protecting the Earth. As humans and creations of God we should be thankful and should proceed with caution, proving that we love not for a day but for as long as there’s sun and moon and that we can keep our duty as caretaker of God’s creation. Though we know that often warnings are to no avail we have to keep continuing to give signs and reminders. “Climate change advocates have long warned us of the acceleration of natural disasters on our planet. Sadly this has, by and large, been ignored. They have been dismissed by a slew of political, religious and special interest groups with “megaphonic” media ties to convince the general public otherwise. As per usual, profit, facilitated by the ignorance of the masses, is the root of it. Oil, nuclear, arms and unscrupulous development investors have too much at stake to loose out to floods, hurricanes, earthquakes or tsunamis. But it’s kind of hard to ignore Mother Nature; even harder in an era of instant communication.” says “The Might Niush!”
As bad as it may sound, all those disasters can also bring something good. The working of God with man must in its nature be individual: only the man who suffers can gain this as a personal experience. By facing the many problems he can become stronger by conquering them and defeat his fear.
Sometimes the world has to be shaken awake so that it can think about the way it is going. The Japan nuclear disaster, with Chernobyl in the remembrance brought hope for those who warned the world already for years to look for a safe provision of energy. The ‘environmental’ issue can be tackled now. Ergo, nuclear power is bad for ‘the environment’ and should be replaced with ‘clean, renewable power’ like windmills and solar panels. but strangely enough, nature being stronger than men, the sum effect for the flora and fauna in the highly radioactive, restricted zone of Chernobyl has been overwhelmingly positive in favor of biodiversity and abundance of individuals.
Of course, this is not to say that radiation in and of itself somehow benefits wildlife. What brings the big boon to biodiversity is the removal of humans from the equation. Baker and Chesser reported frequent sightings of moose, deer, foxes, wild boar and river otters inside the 30-kilometre Chernobyl exclusion zone – whereas in the still-cultivated area outside the zone, the only wildlife they saw was a single rabbit. The researchers concluded: “the benefit of excluding humans from this highly contaminated ecosystem appears to outweigh significantly any negative cost associated with Chornobyl radiation” and that “… typical human activity (industrialization, farming, cattle raising, collection of firewood, hunting, etc.) is more devastating to biodiversity and abundance of local flora and fauna than is the worst nuclear power plant disaster.” (How a nuclear disaster can be good for ecology) The zones humans consider dead are often not as dead as they think. Gods creation is wonderful and goes above our imagination. We even do not yet know all the animals, plants and stars that exist today. But we may not make the mistake that those animals going in those regions would not have any problems. The radiation continues and destroys. The new habitants cannot escape the problem, several animals would die earlier than their normal lifespan.
After a disaster people can find themselves united. Often they grow closer and they feel the bond much more. Several people can also do a lot of good work and give others a revived spirit to continue living. After a near-death experience a lot of those people start living their ‘new’ life in a total different way.
Even economist look bright when the see how when a stricken country as Japan begins the long, arduous process of rebuilding homes, factories and shops, demand for construction goods such as lumber could soar. This shall give some countries the possibility to export more goods to Japan and bring the import of it into balance. Also Tourism operators could take a big hit in the short term, because you’ll find always the disaster-tourists, and people who sincerely found more interest in this for them otherwise not known country.
Certain disasters make it that new products are created, like for example the HTI HydroPack. (It is like an empty Capri Sun pouch with powdered nutrients inside. But it’s really a filter you can drop in any water source—a swimming pool, a mud puddle, a contaminated aquifer—and eight to twelve hours later the pack has filled itself with potable, fortified water.) It can give reason to people to think harder and to find other solutions. In case of Japan e.g. looking for other alternatives then nuclear power.
Having looked at the recent natural disasters around the world we can say that those who ponder whether these occurrences could be judgements from God that we may reassure that it is no punishment from God coming down upon them. God shall judge humanity in a later phase because of its increasing immorality. we may calm them down and ensure them that God is not sending these calamities as punishment for our rebellion against Him.
Because men choose to go his own way and God allowed him to, because He the Creator, to whom full authority belongs, did not want to be a dictator. The standard, for living a complete life, God has given us is also not liked by many men. Lots of people refuse to keep to those simple standard rules which would make life much more easier.
The Satan prowling the earth is the evil around us, which we can encounter every day.
We should be stronger then all the temptations around us. As Job who shunned evil and even was blameless we should fear God not for what happens today, but for what is going to come at the End Times and at Judgement Day. We should try to find out what our knows our weaknesses and our strengths are and should work on it so that we can become like Christ Jesus.
We also should point out to the world that Planet Earth has to face attacks from Civilisations who do not want to recognise Jehovah God as their creator. In case we can convince others also to live according to the Law of God a lot of problems who have been dismissed.
There does not exist some creatures who would be Fallen Angels and can be called responsible for the problems of this earth. We ourselves are the ones to blame.
- Thanks to Timeline of Disasters and Tragedies for the ease of presenting the historical events on handy timetables.
- The Bible answer on terrorist attacks, wars, political unrest and instability, famine, social discontent and ecological chaos
- Can Belfast’s Titanic Celebrations Ease the City’s Shame? (time.com) Though the ship made be build by the highest standards of safety it was the human pride who lost the battle. Often with disasters is that at first they attract a lot of attention and later the subject becomes avoided. The fact that the Titanic was a feat of engineering is often overshadowed by the ship’s terrible end. For many years after the sinking, the fate of the Titanicwas a taboo subject in the city where she was built. (See new images of the Titanic‘s wreckage.) The centenary of the launch of this incredible ship is an opportunity to place it in the history but also to recognise the tremendous realizations. To say it was that one simple oversight, having 2,201 people on board, the Titanic had only enough lifeboat capacity for 1,178, that ultimately turned the Titanicfrom the greatest ship in the world to a byword for disaster is over simplifying it.
- Japan/Disasters : Over 90,000 people remain displaced as a result of the twin disasters in March. (theboldcorsicanflame.wordpress.com) as in Haiti and with the Indonesian tsunami of 2004 we can see that after some time not much was solved and a lot of people let in the cold. Though many countries in the Indian Ocean like India, Thailand and Sri Lanka were affected the consequence of tsunami on Indonesia was incredibly high. Certain groups were happy then that the only silver lining of this event was that the oil and gas sector was not damaged severely which is the main base of Indonesian economy. This shows were the heart of many people is.
All the debris that needs to be cleared in the disaster-hit areas can stay there for many years, as we see in the hit areas.
Not only the Fukushima disaster should be forcing a lot more people in Japan and the rest of the world to think a lot more deeply about the way their society operates.
- Facing disaster fatigue (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Answers in Times of Great Disaster (pttyann2.wordpress.com)
- Facing disaster fatigue (christadelphians.wordpress.com)
- Answers in Times of Great Disaster (pttyann2.wordpress.com)
A look at the the biblical truths we do know with absolute certainty which allow us to trust the Lord even in times of great suffering.
Self inflicted misery #1 The root by man starts a series in which we look how man causes a lot of pain to himself and others, but how God has offered a solution to the problem.