June 23, 2011

Disasters = imbalance in nature?

Disasters signal imbalance in the natural world

By Alastair Lee BitsoiTraditional Navajo medicine people view the world's most recent natural disasters, including the human-caused Wallow Fire and other raging wildland fires throughout the U.S., as Mother Nature's warnings of the imbalanced state of the natural world.

"One of the things that are important to life is being in balance with nature," said Avery Denny, a traditional Navajo practitioner and faculty member at Diné College, who also identified the exploitation of natural resources as one of the main reasons for the natural world's imbalance.

"In the natural world, we have the Holy People," Denny said. "The four elements of life--fire, air, water and earth are the Diyin Dine'é. We have to learn to respect them or else a natural disaster occurs."
Comment:  Only problem with this belief is that there's been a steady stream of natural disasters since the beginning of time. Including several mass extinctions, meteor strikes, ice ages, and so forth. I'm pretty sure those weren't caused by humans starting fires, chopping down trees, or digging up the earth.

I think scientists believe global warming has increased the volatility of hurricanes and other storms. On the other hand, I think we've had a quiet couple of decades in terms of volcanic eruptions. And we're overdo for a big earthquake in California.

Remember Krakatoa in 1883? If you count the number of natural disasters, I'm not sure things are any worse than than they were 10, 50, or 100 years ago. I'm guessing they're about the same.

For more on the subject, see Inuit Knowledge and Climate Change and Review of Koyaanisqatsi.

Below:  "A mule deer looks for forage to eat as flames light up the night June 9 in Greer, Ariz." (Donovan Quintero/Special to the Times)

1 comment:

Jaine said...

I know that regarding earthquakes, there hasn't been an increase - just an increase in population density and information sharing which increases the fatality rate and awareness of them.