Are they always bad?
We’ve just seen what a “perfect storm” can do in Florida: a whole lotta damage. Billions and billions of dollars worth of damage. If you look up the definition, a perfect storm occurs when there is an “unusually severe storm that results from a rare combination of meteorological phenomena.” This event, needless to say, has nothing to do with the current hot topic, climate change. A better way to understand the destruction caused by a perfect storm is that humans are getting in its way, and more often. We’re living in their dangerous paths, often because such locations are deemed highly desirable. You play, and often you have to pay.
For sure we humans are doing a lot of stuff that puts us at greater risk, sometimes evidently, other times not. For example, building your McMansion on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean is evidently risky. Cutting down vast rain forests in South America to raise cattle may be lucrative, but it’s also ecologically pretty dumb. New wind turbine technologies are in development because of all the bird deaths those huge blades cause (hundreds of thousands each year in the US alone). Losing vast numbers of birds puts the environment in danger of imbalance; who will munch all those gypsy moths?
So we seek the comfort of an environmentally safe (and saner) world, but often at the risk of other factors beyond our pitiful human control. Which brings me to my point, sophomoric as it is: I think it’s time we put some bodacious technologists to work figuring out how to control the weather. Oh, maybe not making the earth’s surface uniformly temperate, or even doing away with the seasons (OMG, that would so upset New Englanders!!), but at least figure out how to neutralize these vicious, rather pointless hurricanes and tornadoes and typhoons and tsunamis that produce nothing we humans value. Maybe Captain America could hold up his shield ro repel these storms before they wreak their damage? Well . . . maybe think of it this way: if there were vicious shooters predating our childrens’ schools, we’d put a stop to it. Like right now. Correct? So why not do the same with so-called perfect storms?