When Nature Attacks: Media Asks Whether Earthquakes Are Evidence of “Nature Out of Control”

In the wake of the Chilean earthquake, major media has speculated (as in this MSNBC story) where “Nature [is] out of control.” It is the type of drivel that drives scientists batty.

The suggestion that earthquakes are evidence of “nature out of control” is as bizarre as God sending earthquakes to punish people for sins, here.

For the story, click here.

17 thoughts on “When Nature Attacks: Media Asks Whether Earthquakes Are Evidence of “Nature Out of Control””

  1. Gyges said:

    “Don’t you think we’re being a little unkind here, I mean if you can’t give ascribe human characteristics to the blind, random, and unstoppable forces that govern our lives, what can you ascribe them too?”

    Very small rocks? Churches? …

    I know, A DUCK!

  2. Don’t you think we’re being a little unkind here, I mean if you can’t give ascribe human characteristics to the blind, random, and unstoppable forces that govern our lives, what can you ascribe them too?

  3. Whatever disaster strikes earth, it God’s punishment for Zhu Zhu Pets.

    Don’t believe me? Look at the two huge earthquakes, no Snow in Vancouver, and the “We Are The World II” disaster. They happened after Zhu Zhu Pets were released.

  4. Maybe it’s time for governments to negotiate with nature, I’m sure we can find a common ground and stop this bloodshed.

  5. A variant on Byron and Slart’s posting happened for me many years ago, when the western wildfires started getting large and unpredictable. A gazillion acres burned in a national park and touched off a debate over the controlled burning v let nature take its course schools of park management.

    At some point during the weeks of coverage and debate a TV talking head interviewed a panel of policy types and, by remote feed, a member of the forest service. The forest service service guy was way down the chain of command, dressed in a brown uniform and on the site of the fire.

    The debate was about fires place in nature. After endless blathering by the other interviewees the moderator cut to the guy at the fire and asked him what he thought and he said that they were all missing the point because FIRE IS NATURE. His emphasis; he seemed a little twitched anout the tone of the discussion. He went on to say people shouldn’t talk about control but how to get out of it’s way or not make conditions such as to invite disaster since nature would do as it wished.

    After the great flood of ’93 the floodplain between the Mississippi and Missouri rivers became an issue. It had been built upon and countless $’s worth of business, homes, farms had been lost during the flood. The linked map shows the inundation area and past and projected levees. Where the levees are- just cover them mentally with blue to get an idea of the scope of the inundation. Pretty impressive.

    Since we are smack in the middle of the North American Flyway for spring and fall bird migrations a whole lot of people signed petitions to just leave it un-rebuilt. Let it go back to being a wildlife area/seasonal wetland and make a fortune off the birders that would flock to the area to see the birds. It just seemed like the thing to do. No such luck. It’s now one of the hottest building sites in the area a Realtor friend told me.


  6. Mespo points to a very interesting and disheartening point. Are we headed back to pre-Enlightenment times?

    Thinking that nature is somehow rejecting human existence through earthquakes and hurricanes is reverting to a savage outlook on existence. In my mind it is far worse than people thinking a god or gods are in control. This type of thinking takes us back to the stone age, where brute force and fear controlled our lives.

    The people promulgating this nonsense are no better than Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell. Jerry and Pat though at least acknowledge humans have free will. This type of thinking puts us at the level of animals, defenseless and buffeted by the vagaries of nature.

    People that think like this have the level of thinking of less than a witch doctor. And they are in positions of authority? It is ridiculous.

    This type of thinking is evil and reduces men to savages.

  7. Mespo “burning of a few people alive by a slow fire, and with great ceremony, is an infallible preventive of earthquakes”.

    I don’t know about that, but the burning alive of Pat Robertson by slow fire, with great ceremony, would prevent a lot of stupid commentary. 🙂

  8. eniobob,
    ROFL!!! Thank-you so much for a Sunday morning ;augh that may last all day!!! Too funny!

  9. Obama Signs Extension of Patriot Act – on a Saturday Night Of Course

    With no debate – or media attention – President Barack Obama has signed an extension for what many considered the most controversial aspects of the USA PATRIOT Act. The provisions, set to expire Sunday without the signature of Obama, include extensions to allow:

    -1) “roving” wiretaps, permitting surveillance on multiple phones and e-mail addresses.

    -2) court-approved seizures of records and property in anti-terrorism operations.

    -3) surveillance on “lone-wolf” foreign nationals, who may not be part of a recognized terrorist group.

  10. enoibob:

    “Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.”


    That’s hilarious. Remind your wife that “All cruelty springs from weakness” (Lucius Annaeus Seneca). She won’t care and you’ll be erudite enough for her to make dinner. It’s my technique.

  11. Actually earthquakes are as important social and political events as they are geological. It is said that the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 (and the Lima quake of 1747) inspired men such as Voltaire to question religion’s stranglehold on the culture of the day, and led to the Enlightenment.

    ““After the earthquake, which had destroyed three-fourths of the city of Lisbon, the sages of that country could think of no means more effectual to preserve the kingdom from utter ruin than to entertain the people with an auto-da-fé,1 it having been decided by the University of Coimbra, that the burning of a few people alive by a slow fire, and with great ceremony, is an infallible preventive of earthquakes.”

    ~Voltaire (Candide)

  12. I think this would be called responding when nature is out of control:


    December 8 – 6:00 PM
    It started to snow.. The first snow of the season and the wife and I took our cocktails and sat for hours by the window watching the huge soft flakes drift down from heaven. It looked like a Grandma Moses Print. So romantic we felt like newlyweds again. I love snow!

    December 9
    We woke to a beautiful blanket of crystal white snow covering every inch of the landscape. What a fantastic sight! Can there be a more lovely place in the whole world? Moving here was the best idea I’ve ever had! Shovelled for the first time in years and felt like a boy again. I did both our driveway and the sidewalks. This afternoon the snowplough came along and covered up the sidewalks and closed in the driveway, so I got to shovel again. What a perfect life!

    December 12
    The sun has melted all our lovely snow… Such a disappointment! My neighbour tells me not to worry- we’ll definitely have a white Christmas. No snow on Christmas would be awful! Bob says we’ll have so much snow by the end of winter, that I’ll never want to see snow again. I don’t think that’s possible. Bob is such a nice man, I’m glad he’s our neighbour.

    December 14
    Snow, lovely snow! 8 inches last night. The temperature dropped to -20. The cold makes everything sparkle so. The wind took my breath away, but I warmed up by shovelling the driveway and sidewalks. This is the life! The snowplough came back this afternoon and buried everything again.. I didn’t realize I would have to do quite this much shovelling, but I’ll certainly get back in shape this way. I wish I wouldn’t huff and puff so.

    December 15
    20 inches forecast. Sold my van and bought a 4×4 Blazer. Bought snow tires for the wife’s car and 2 extra shovels. Stocked the freezer. The wife wants a wood stove in case the electricity goes out. I think that’s silly. We aren’t in Alaska , after all.

    December 16
    Ice storm this morning. Fell on my ass on the ice in the driveway putting down salt. Hurt like hell. The wife laughed for an hour, which I think was very cruel.

    December 17
    Still way below freezing. Roads are too icy to go anywhere. Electricity was off for 5 hours. I had to pile the blankets on to stay warm. Nothing to do but stare at the wife and try not to irritate her. Guess I should’ve bought a wood stove, but won’t admit it to her. God I hate it when she’s right. I can’t believe I’m freezing to death in my own living room.

    December 20
    Electricity’s back on, but had another 14 inches of the damn stuff last night. More shovelling! Took all day. The damn snowplough came by twice. Tried to find a neighbour kid to shovel, but they said they’re too busy playing hockey. I think they’re lying. Called the only hardware store around to see about buying a snow blower and they’re out. Might have another shipment in March. I think they’re lying. Bob says I have to shovel or the city will have it done and bill me. I think he’s lying.

    December 22
    Bob was right about a white Christmas because 13 more inches of the white shit fell today, and it’s so cold, it probably won’t melt till August. Took me 45 minutes to get all dressed up to go out to shovel and then I had to piss. By the time I got undressed, pissed and dressed again, I was too tired to shovel. Tried to hire Bob who has a plough on his truck for the rest of the winter, but he says he’s too busy. I think the asshole is lying.

    December 23
    Only 2 inches of snow today. And it warmed up to 0. The wife wanted me to decorate the front of the house this morning. What is she, nuts?!! Why didn’t she tell me to do that a month ago? She says she did but I think she’s lying.

    December 24
    6 inches – Snow packed so hard by snowplough, I broke the shovel. Thought I was having a heart attack. If I ever catch the son of a bitch who drives that snow plough, I’ll drag him through the snow by his balls and beat him to death with my broken shovel. I know he hides around the corner and waits for me to finish shovelling and then he comes down the street at a 100 miles an hour and throws snow all over where I’ve just been! Tonight the wife wanted me to sing Christmas carols with her and open our presents, but I was too busy watching for the damn snowplough.

    December 25
    Merry f—ing Christmas! 20 more inches of the damn slop tonight – Snowed in. The idea of shovelling makes my blood boil… God, I hate the snow! Then the snowplough driver came by asking for a donation and I hit him over the head with my shovel. The wife says I have a bad attitude. I think she’s a fricking idiot. If I have to watch “It’s A Wonderful Life” one more time, I’m going to stuff her into the microwave.

    December 26
    Still snowed in. Why the hell did I ever move here? It was all HER idea. She’s really getting on my nerves.

    December 27
    Temperature dropped to -30 and the pipes froze; plumber came after 14 hours of waiting for him, he only charged me $1,400 to replace all my pipes.

    December 28
    Warmed up to above -20. Still snowed in. The BITCH is driving me crazy!!!

    December 29
    10 more inches. Bob says I have to shovel the roof or it could cave in. That’s the silliest thing I ever heard. How dumb does he think I am?

    December 30
    Roof caved in. I beat up the snow plough driver, and now he is suing me for a million dollars, not only the beating I gave him, but also for trying to shove the broken snow shovel up his ass. The wife went home to her mother. Nine more inches predicted.

    December 31
    I set fire to what’s left of the house. No more shovelling.

    January 8
    Feel so good. I just love those little white pills they keep giving me. Why am I tied to the bed?”

  13. Exactly who is supposed to be in control of nature? You’re right Professor Turley, I’m a scientist and this type of drivel drives me batty…

  14. Hey JT where’s our nature posting. Enough tales of catastrophe already. It’s Sunday!

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