Social and Political Commentary

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This angry Earth

… and nowhere to hide

by Jerry Norton

The recent catastrophic earthquakes in Haiti and Chile with all the attendant human suffering - not to mention the howling blizzards of New Hampshire -  calls into question the nature of planet Earth and the atmosphere which surrounds it. Readers may recall that I have previously railed on this subject, but only to the extent that it affects our own corner of the world.

Since the dawn of creation it appears that there are few areas of this globe which have not suffered from geological or atmospheric outbursts. I suppose that many theologians would ascribe this ongoing condition to the "wrath of God." For most of us, however, it is stoically accepted simply as “mother nature” in control.

I am not a student of the Bible but I hold to the former theory that we are beset with this condition by a God that has us doing penance for certain activities which occurred in the Garden of Eden long before our time (something about an apple).

Billions of humans have crawled on this planet since events in the above-mentioned garden, none of whom was involved in any of those indiscretions. However, since we are of Adam’s breed it might be a case of guilt by association.   

The world is continually harassed and bedeviled by a catalogue of events: earthquakes, tornadoes, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, tsunamis, mud slides, floods, droughts, searing heat and numbing cold. The only favorable outcome to any of these events, of which I am aware, was the Kansas tornado which transported Dorothy to the Land of Oz.

Living in the Great Northwest poses additional hazards as we are located on the “Ring of Fire.” This is part of an area surrounding the entire Pacific basin with its subterranean tectonic plates, one trying to override another. The results can be calamitous. To further compound my angst lurks volcanic Mt. Rainier, whose base is only twenty-two miles distant. However we are comforted by the many posted evacuation route signs which point out the best escape roads in the event of a Lehar (check that in your Funk and Wagnall).

My final indignity relates to the fact that Washington is known for its overabundance of apples.

March 5, 2010

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