We are starting to see some critical examinination in the Asian region of how degraded coastal ecosystems played a role in exacerbating the impacts of the tsunamis. Meanwhile, the growth machine's apologists continue to insist that more economic development of the Western sort would be the best means to protect humanity from such natural calamities. Here is the absolutely worst piece – condemning environmentalists for “shamefully exploiting tragedy”, taking their remarks out of context, while unabashedly promoting the growth machine agenda. And of course the fair and balanced Fox network can't wait to jump in and bash greenies.
While certainly much of the world does need more economic opportunity, the idea that more consumption, more use of resources and thus less natural ecosystems will make humanity more secure is preposterous and totally lacking in scientific basis.
Such a view is totally devoid of an ecological understanding that humanity is utterly dependent upon the Earth for food, air, waste disposal and just about every other necessity of life. The real source of wealth and security is healthy, functioning and non-diminishing ecosystems. New York city would have been devastated by a similar tsunami, despite its over-development. There are limits to economic growth – and if every household in the world consumes as desperately as the U.S., we shall soon see some “natural” disasters of previously undreamt of magnitude.
Are nature's protective safeguards being misused?
In the aftermath of the most severe quake to strike the planet in the last 40 years, it is time perhaps to assess where the environmental balance is being thrown of gear, how nature's protective safeguards are being misused and abused resulting in such calamities. It ranges from poorly planned coastal development and weakening of natural defences from swamps to coral reefs, to phenomena of global warming and the like. Nature has a way of paying back for mankind's atrocities on it. And it did.