Eugene David
...The One-Minute Pundit

Thursday, August 25, 2011

I have no reason to pat myself on the back, but I recall in March typing this:

We now suppose most of the deaths from this calamity occurred along the coast; if as now appears evident Japan's interior escaped with just collapsed false ceilings that's a tribute to modern engineering. [Spelling error corrected]

So it was highly gratifying to read this:

The ensuing partial meltdown of the Fukushima reactor prompted international hysteria about nuclear power, but few seemed to realize that a far deadlier threat had been averted. As seismologist Roger Bilham has aptly put it, houses in seismically active zones are the world’s unrecognized weapons of mass destruction—and Japan’s WMDs didn’t go off. Its buildings—at least those that weren’t swept away by the accompanying tsunami, a force of nature against which we are still largely helpless—remained standing, and the people inside survived.

That so few buildings collapsed in the earthquake was a human triumph of the first order.

Let us forget the fake panic of the other day and realize the human race has unending work to do to keep itself safe from natural disasters -- but even in the midst of an epochal catastrophe this was progress.

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