The epic struggle between Mother Nature and human nature

With current goings on, and the fact that I’m British (so it’s intrinsically part of my makeup), I’ve been thinking about the weather. Not just the weather, but the planet that we find ourselves on and how we’ve evolved to cope with our surroundings.

Once upon a time, Mount Everest was a mystery; inhospitable, insurmountable, even alien. Then technology enabled us to have a shot at exploring it. More than just having a go, we reached the summit, several times over, thanks to adapted clothing, shrink wrapped food and climbing gear. So evolved are we now, that mountaineers can even take recording apparatus with them to preserve in posterity the achievements of man. And thanks again to technology, this equipment need be no bigger than the size of a smartphone.

But, as this video shows, technology can only take us so far. Thousands have tried and failed to reach the summit of Mount Everest, due to dangerous weather conditions. Planet Earth is constantly reminding us that there are limits to our success. We pretend that we are her master, by building sprawling cities, harnessing her energy to create electricity and endeavouring to put a human foot on her each and every coordinate, but ultimately Mother Nature will have her way. If she so wishes.

At no time is this clearer than now, in the wake of Sandy, the largest Atlantic hurricane on record, with winds spanning 1,100 miles.  The devastation, including in terms of business disruption, exceeds $50 billion; a hefty blow to the wealthiest nation in the world. But you can bet your bottom dollar that recuperation will follow; rebuilding, regaining strength and re-establishing a position from which to push the extent to which we are rulers of our own universe once more. The New York Marathon, it is reported, will still go ahead. This is what we do and we’ll continue to do it. No doubt, Mother Nature will continue to do her bit too.

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