The Word of the Night: Cataclysm



 1. A violent upheaval that causes great destruction or brings about a fundamental change.

2. A violent and sudden change in the earth’s crust.

3. A devastating flood.

 Well, it’s almost 2012.  Did the Mayans call it right? Or will the ancient doomsday prophecy go by the boards like the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff changes.  At least the Mayans are dead and won’t have live down the humiliation of being wrong. Unlike Harold Camping.  Twice.

 If you listen to Fox News, the Occupy Wall Street movement is going end civilization as we know it.  You have to love a news organization that sees a bigger threat from a twenty year old in dirty blue jeans than it does from melting polar ice caps.

 If there is to be a game changing disaster in our near future, my money is on fracking.  I’m embarrassed to say I am behind the curve in finding out about hydraulic fracturing and the danger it represents.  Until recently I smiled every time I heard the term, remembering what it was supposed to mean in Battlestar Gallactica.

 But I’m catching up on my reading.  In the BBC News article I read today, “What is Fracking and Why Is It Controversial?” Parliament Member Tim Yeo is quoted as saying, “We can’t see any evidence that UK water supplies might be at risk from shale gas – if it is done properly.”

 And that’s the catch isn’t it.  If it is done properly.  Deep sea oil drilling is perfectly safe, if it is done properly.  Building a nuclear power plant is a great idea, as long as it’s done properly.  And even when it’s done properly, we can’t predict or prevent accidents, earthquakes or human frailty from mucking up technology’s best laid plans.  We try, but it’s probably easier to predict the end of the world.


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