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Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016

Mankind's greatest threat isn't nature

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

As if the unfolding events of the world were not enough to push your stress a bit higher, a group of scientists report that "mankind's gravest threat" is none other than Mother Nature. Volcanoes, earthquakes, giant tsunamis and the like pose the most potential danger for mankind because of our lack of preparation. Given the circumstances in Florida today, you might tend to agree.

The scientific group said mankind needs to "raise awareness, identify threats and improve surveillance" of the countless potential dangers from Mother Nature. Well, honestly it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand we lack ample preparation for the ravages of nature. But I'm not sure how willing mankind is to take the needed precautions even if they do make good sense.

Part of the problem is obvious. Just take our region. Southeast Missouri stands on top of a major earthquake fault. We pay additional insurance premiums for the privilege of living here. And we make preparations in the form of additional structural modifications for which we pay a handsome price. But experts still tell us that should that fateful day arrive, our preparations may be helpful but they won't spare us a disaster. Given these facts, it's easier to understand why preparation sometimes take a back seat.

But I believe the scientists are all wet. I believe they are simply promoting their field of expertise. I believe the most grave threat for mankind is mankind itself. We are without a doubt our own worst enemy. No threat from Mother Nature can approach the threat we pose to ourselves.

Mankind is a highly imperfect creature. We kill one another, we damage one another and, unlike natural disasters, there is little preparation we can mount to face the dangers of our fellow man.

Hurricane Charley may have brought $15 billion in damage this past week but that pales by comparison to the damage rendered from mankind upon itself in virtually any time period. Until we figure out how to live peacefully with one another, Mother Nature will just be a headline. The real culprits stare back at us in the mirror. The scientists need to understand - this is the way it is, the way it always has been and the way it will always be.

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