Friday, March 4, 2016

The New Pompeii

I digress...

Let's consider that we live in the new Pompeii.  Regardless of how you view the origin of climate change, or any other environmental or geo-political event, much time has passed since the volcanic event at Pompeii.
1908 Messina earthquake
Messina Earthquake is one of the deadliest earthquakes in the western world which took the lives of nearly about 123,000 on December 28, 1908. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake jolted the city of Messina with a powerful 39 foot Tsunami destroying nearly 91% of the structures.
That city today is as vacant as the moon of it's native inhabitants.  The millions of people who visit (I as one) experience it as, what? an historic site?, a silent message?, an object lesson?

What is the Vesuvius on our near horizon?  Whether this was an existential question for Pompeiians of two thousand years ago or not, it is for us.  With knowledge of world events, we perceive mountains of looming catastrophes.

On the other hand, we are protected from the myriad of disease, crop failure, and economic fallout that Pompeiians had to deal with.  Did they feel invulnerable?  Did their metropolis seem eternal?

A book I sometimes return to because it is densely packed with thought-provoking history, is Fingerprints of the Gods, by Graham Hancock.  Hancock hypothesizes a lost civilization that existed some 12 thousand years ago (at least) and vanished except for markers left in all of the world's cultures.

The book is intricately researched yet proposes something we may intuit: that our present dominance of the Earth may be temporary; that geological, atmospheric, and astronomical events, unforeseen today may bring about drastic change to our planet.

Strangely, I find this refreshing.  I, like many, don't like to consider that we have built our own Vesuvius.  I prefer to see the natural world as more powerful than what humans are capable of.  Whether this relates to brick ovens or fresh bread, is questionable.  I do something everyday that helps, hurts, or is neutral to a balanced life.  What am I doing while Vesuvius smokes?

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