Ways that mankind has done something about “Mother Nature” -
1. We live in homes – not out under the trees. If we did only what Mother Nature gave us, there wouldn’t have ever been one house built for anyone, not a building, not a business, not one structure to protect us.
2. Cars are a defiance of Mother Nature having made mankind to be able to only cover short distances at a time on foot. We fixed that.
3. Water is brought into homes and communities despite there being no clear, clean water source nearby.
4. Nature didn’t give us wings and yet we fly having created and engineered mechanized wonders in order to do that.
5. Dams, levees and canals have been built to alter areas typically overcome with flooding, to water crops where they could never have been grown otherwise and to provide water to populations far from their sources.
6. Our ability to communicate across many communities, regions and neighborhoods simultaneously is extremely limited by Mother Nature. That didn’t stop us – we created telecasting, broadcasting, radio wave manipulation, phones, telegraphs, use of microwave transmissions, internet, television, cable, radio, wifi, optical transmission cables and satellite systems enabling communication to far exceed what Mother Nature gave us.
7. Food personally grown, managed, harvested and made safe by each and every individual which Mother Nature would have required to be done or else starve – didn’t stop our civilization. We simply developed ways to go around that limitation and produce food safely where it could be available to many whether they ever grew a plant or kept a cow or a chicken or ever harvested one fruit or vegetable ever.
8. By nature, our food would spoil in a short period of time unless all of us lived in the Arctic regions where it is actually difficult to live because of those refrigerating temperatures. Mankind developed ways together that give refrigeration to foods as well as to spaces that would otherwise be hot to even entertain the idea of living successfully.
9, The winters in many places bring cold that by Mother Nature’s given – would not be survivable for any human being nor families. And, yet – from the very beginning of civilization, mankind made every effort to mitigate that limitation and to reduce the dangerous hardships fraught by Mother Nature and winter extremes of cold, wind and storm. No one today would consider that there is nothing to be done about that and have no heating of any kind during the winter.
10. Information, education and knowledge used to be available to only a few, much to the detriment of massive numbers of people throughout the population. Mother Nature assigned to our species little of the knowledge that came in the generations before us as an on-board set of instincts and base of known facts of what will work, what is known, what will not work or anything else. Neither did that stop us from going around what Mother Nature had given to us to work with as a limitation – from the writing of books to communicate information to the passing of spoken knowledge one to another to today’s broadcast of news and information nearly everywhere – we simply went around that limitation and found ways to do something beyond it.
11. In many places around the world, there is no waiting for tsunami, hurricane, or earthquake to come unabated with the approach that there is nothing to be done about Mother Nature. There are earthquake resistant buildings being retrofitted and built across areas known to be subjected to earthquakes from Japan to Chile. There are tsunami abating walls and gates to keep out strong storm surges and giant waves that endanger lives and to keep them from inundating coastal areas and from wiping out areas up rivers where cities are located.
12. Mother Nature has zones of volcanoes throughout the earth that today, we monitor and get people out of harm’s way rather than doing nothing about it all. There are areas where it makes sense to simply not build a town or homes and where it is necessary – that is an answer that has been intelligently applied rather than allowing Mother Nature to simply have her way and destroy every life that has been put there.
There are a multitude of other examples that defy the idea that where Mother Nature is concerned, there is simply nothing any of us can do about that. Anyone who is insisting that there is nothing we can do to save lives from extreme weather events, landslides, avalanches, hurricanes, wildfires, drought, dangerous thunderstorms, winter blizzards, storm surges, flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, or any of the vast number of limitations that Mother Nature has given us – is simply not looking at the facts.
The very fact that we are here today as societies of human beings who have survived millions of generations to come to this point – means that we went beyond Mother Nature in stunning ways at every point and in every manner possible (and often, far beyond what was possible.) That is absolutely a fact.
And for one last example although there are many others -
Where Mother Nature gave us only our two hands to collect water and take a drink – how many things over the centuries have been created by mankind to exceed that very limitation – from cisterns to buckets to the very pretty glassware and even the plastics of today.
I wouldn’t even want to imagine a world in which we had done nothing about Mother Nature and never created any solutions to exceed those limitations given to us by nature. It is unlikely that any of us would even be here today or that any society of human beings would have survived to this generation if nothing had been done to supersede Mother Nature in the ways mentioned and a vast number of other ways that ensured our survival.
If it were up to me, every house, every building, every school and government building – and every business would look at rebuilding from these extreme events with the safe room or basement first – or above the flooding and storm surge likelihood in those areas – and then outwards from there both in budgeting and costs as well as in choices for the structures.
And these structures as well as existing structures throughout the nation would be considered as having the goal to be genuinely realistic safe harbor for their precious human lives during any of the most severe extreme weather events regardless of what those might be.
That would be my choice for them. And, it is a right choice and a good and respectful way of thinking about it. It shows value for human life while honoring personal differences. It accepts the potential dangers of extreme events.
And, this thinking about the goals of what structures including homes and buildings must provide is practical because if it cannot defend and protect human lives, it is of no use at all – often doing more damage and harm than even the extreme events themselves do. There is no sense in letting that continue in the same way.