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Nature’s lessons

April 18th, 2010

“More than 1,000km from the event itself, Iceland’s second volcanic eruption in the space of a month has caused flights in the UK to be grounded.” BBC News - Iceland volcano: Why a cloud of ash has grounded flights.

Just like I said in the ‘We’re Not Know It Alls’ post, nature also has a way of showing us just how fragile our societies are. If you are unaware, the volcano’s effects are not just on flights but other areas of life like the supply of flowers, fruit and even more worryingly medicines. So what will happen if this volcano keeps erupting for 2 years, like it did the last time it erupted? This volcano has a bigger brother which has a habit of copying the younger sibling’s puking a few months later with an eight fold show of strength. Sometimes, like in 1918, big brother volcano throws it own wobbler and it is due a new one soon. In fact, Iceland has no less than 22 of these active babies.

I read once that the trucker’s fuel protest a few years ago left Britain within hours of total breakdown. Had it gone on for a few more days, supermarkets would have been empty and chaos would have ensured in this ‘me’ society of ours. That is how fragile our systems are. Can another eruption from Iceland cause this to happen? Probably but a lot of times, a calculated risk is taken that it will not. Scary for those of us who have no say in what risks we collectively should all take. Maybe we should be better prepared.

If we are to believe the climate change warnings, then it is possible that the planet is occasionally giving us a wake up call to rethink some of the things we do. If she gets a serious case of fever and starts shaking (earthquakes) and puking (volcanoes) all over the place, we will have some serious problems on our hands and it will take only a few days for our societies to descend to the level of Somalia and worse.

Let’s hope some lessons are being learnt right now.

[First published on my NotTheNews blog on specified date]