Witnessing the devastation that hit Japan following the 8.9 magnitude Earthquake and subsequent tsunami is a stark reminder of the power of the liquid core of Earths centre, the awesome energy the planet holds. It is disturbing to witness a population who – just like Sumatra in 2004 – have been literally washed away by a force so powerful it carried cars, trucks, ships and even houses to devastation. Some were lucky enough to escape to higher ground. Reports of 10,000 people feared dead in coastal regions have been reported with whole families wiped out. Those who have survived will be facing a nightmare of epic proportions.
While we can offer our support and sincerest sympathies to those in Japan we should also learn from this event. It may seem somewhat foolish to draw any such sort of ’cause and effect’ to earthquakes and tsunami’s – in actual fact, it is quite the opposite.
James Lovelock, scientist and environmentalist, proposed ‘Gaia hypothesis’ in the 1960’s. Gaia hypothesis was that the world is a living planet and self-regulates temperature and its biosphere through a complex exchange of energies. There have been a number of scientists who disputed some of the proposed elements of Gaia theory (notably Dawkins who found the use of a Greek Goddesses name in ‘Gaia’ amongst other things ‘unscientific’) but on the whole the theory was accepted and has contributed to our understanding and current model of climate change. One aspect of the Earth being sympathetic to environmental changes in its biosphere and this being resolved through shifting tectonic plates is particularly plausible. An exchange of thermal energy is needed to resolve imbalances in the biosphere.
Making steps to prepare for such a catastrophe is impossible. Those living on or near fault lines must do all they can to ensure their homes are afforded enough protection from future earthquakes – tsunami-proof buildings are merely those vast enough and with deep enough foundations to withstand the impact of ocean waves consisting of trillions of gallons of water.
We may wish to start considering the impact of our collective environmental negligence and how this may well have contributed to Japan’s recent devastation. If the theory of Gaia hypothesis is indeed true, there will be more frequent earthquakes, more deadly and with greater consequences than this in the future. Our response should be one of collective introduction of renewable energies, a shift from oil in all industries including transport and a more intuitive symbiosis to occur between humans and our living planet.