Film Review #2
Natural Disasters vs. Man-Made Disasters
The world has experienced numerous disasters in the past. There have always been ecological disasters like Earthquakes, tsunamis, floods, landslides, hurricanes, wildfires, droughts, and volcanic eruptions. Since the birth of humans, there has been an entirely new class of disasters, including hazardous material spills, explosions, chemical or biological attacks, nuclear blasts, and traffic collisions such as train accidents and plane crashes. In addition, these things have changed a lot, because technology has put many disasters firmly in control of man. Even natural disasters are not something that dooms us, instead we are able to stop or mitigate the effects of a lot of them. This has a lot involved with existential threats, and for the first time we can do something about them, or even causes them ourselves.
There are many natural disasters. These normally are weather based such as hurricanes, flooding, mudslides, and things like that. These are not really things that can be avoided with our level of technology, and they can kill many people, but we also are very good at recovery efforts and keeping people safe. For example, Hurricane Katrina. Not only was Hurricane Katrina by far the most lethal and most destructive storm of the 2005 hurricane season, as well as the costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, but it’s also one of the top five deadliest hurricanes ever. This impacted New Orleans’ music, livelihood, health and safety, religion, food security, and housing (Fazzino 2018, 9). Although natural disasters are caused by nature, and not by humans, the activities of humans can have an influence on them. For instance, actions of men like cutting down trees and destroying the sources of water in an area can lead to droughts and wildfires.
Human made disasters though, those we are things we could stop, but we are not having much luck. Currently we are in the middle of what has been termed another mass extinction, which is killing many animal species in the world. Humans are causing global warming, we are using up natural resources, and Earth’s oil reserves are being depleted. This does not bode well, but these are all things that are thankfully preventable with research into alternate technologies. There are also many cultural and economic changes we could make to mitigate the damage.
Anyway, a greater concern is the possibility of disasters brought about by future technologies. For example, robots could be very problematic. Self-replicating nanobots can literally eat the entire world if left unchecked, destroying all life on earth. This is called a Grey goo scenario. A nuclear war would be an unprecedented disaster, killing most (though not all) life. These are disasters that will not happen yet, and if we take preventative measures, we could perhaps avoid the worst future scenarios.