Mother Nature – The Biggest Challenge of the Year 2010?

Volcano Eruption

‘Pacific Submarine Volcano Issues ‘Big Burp” (CNN)

According to CNN, the volcano lying under the sea merely exhaled. ‘The vent, lying 1,000 feet under the surface, issued a cloud 40,000 reaching feet in the air’ (CNN).  If  ash cloud reaching only 40,000 feet in the air (and mind the volcano was in sea) was a burp then what would an active eruption be?!

Mother Nature is definitely not smiling this year.  The year 2010 is witnessing the worst disasters ever and one is only taken aback by the magnitude of these disasters.  First, the Haiti earthquake that literally devastated the country claiming 200,000 lives. Then, the Chile earthquake of the same magnitude occurred but with lower loss of human lives. As if this was not enough,the Icelandic volcano erupted causing global chaos. Flights were cancelled, airports throughout Europe were closed due to the ash cloud, passengers were stranded all around the world not knowing when they will return home and airlines suffered the losses estimated to be at billions.  The impact didn’t stop here for it added to the woes of the European economies that are now tackling the debt and fearing the contagion of the Greece crisis could spillover to other euro countries.

But it did not end here.  The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in US claimed 11 lives and is continuously leaking oil which has caused havoc on the Louisiana coastline. Another report by CNN claims that a 6.1 magnitude earthquake hit Costa Rica Monday night but no damages have been reported. In addition to his, the man-made disasters are not far behind. The raid on Freedom Flotilla by Israel forces claimed 9 lives (although there are conflicting reports that the numbers are higher) leading to worldwide condemnation of the strike.

With such scenarios being on the TVs continuously,the question is

Where in 2010 is the world heading?

In the present times, such kind of natural disasters are wreaking havoc not only on the environment, but also, on the societies and economies.

The global economic recovery is weak and policy-makers definitely are facing challenging times ahead of them. With debt crisis looming in the developed world, natural disasters do have the capacity to pressurize the economies and prolong the crisis. The European economies not only face challenges in terms of their debt, but,  a strain is now being felt in the unity of the Euro zone.  Many believe that the handling of the Greece crisis has displayed the conflicts within the Euro members and therefore, the Euro will not last long as a bloc.

On the other hand, US which is facing a tight situation with regards to its fiscal situation after the bailout of its financial sector cannot afford any other disasters.  The oil spill of the Deepwater Horizon has placed an immense pressure on the state due to loss of jobs in the fishing industry of Louisiana. The effect on one industry will multiply through various channels and consumer spending power will get affected.

Loss of jobs because of globalization, the financial meltdown and now because of oil spill will have its own effects on the society. Consumer spending power is hit and with people losing jobs, finding another job is difficult. These difficulties end up affecting relations and the moral fabric of the society.  And in such times, to stay positive and keep on fighting becomes extremely difficult.

One hopes that Mother Nature will have mercy and will be forgiving in the year ahead. But till then, it is also time for us to rethink our ways and actions and try to build a better world for the upcoming generation.