When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 A.D., it buried the city of
Time and again we are reminded of our fragility in this connected world when Nature breaks out of her bounds (as we imagine them to be) and clarifies who is really in charge. A shift in the plates here, a buildup of pressure inside the earth there, and suddenly business as usual comes to a halt. All our technology and ingenuity and scientific advances become irrelevant. We are mere spectators gazing at something terrifying and indescribable. Sure, we can pick up the pieces after the fact to study and investigate and add to our knowledge but then suddenly there’s another cataclysm of one sort or another and we are back to where we began.
The volcano in southern
Natural calamities, perhaps more than ecology, teach us in unforgettable ways that we live in an interconnected world.
What we need to nurture in a technology-driven world is a sense of humility. If we put all of humankind’s achievements on one side and nature’s occasional yawn on the other, guess which side will tilt over? Yet we keep acting like masters of the universe, doing as we please, waging war, threatening, killing, pumping carbon into the air, plundering and raping the earth as if there will be no consequence.