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|Download E-pub ⚸ The Big Ones: How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us and What We Can Do about Them õ By a veteran seismologist of the US Geological Survey, a lively and revealing history of the world s most disruptive natural disasters, their impact on our culture, and new ways of thinking about the ones to comeNatural disasters emerge from the same forces that give our planet life Earthquakes have provided us with natural springs Volcanoes have given us fertile soil A world without floods would be a world without rain It is only when these forces exceed our ability to withstand them that they become disasters Together, these colossal events have shaped our cities and their architecture elevated leaders and toppled governments influenced the way we reason, feel, fight, unite, and pray The history of natural disasters is a history of ourselves The Big Ones is a look at some of the most devastating disasters in human history, whose reverberations we continue to feel today It considers Pompeii, and how a volcanic eruption in the first century AD challenged and reinforced prevailing views of religion for centuries to come It explores the California floods of , examining the failures of our collective memory And it transports us to today, showing what Hurricane Katrina and theIndian Ocean tsunami can tell us about governance and globalization With global temperatures rising, natural disasters are striking with greater frequency More than just history, The Big Ones is a call to action Natural disasters are inevitable human catastrophes are not With this energizing and richly researched book, Jones offers a look at our past, readying us to face down the Big Ones in our future Fire and Ice by Robert FrostSome say the world will end in fire,Some say in ice.From what I ve tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire.But if it had to perish twice,I think I know enough of hateTo say that for destruction iceIs also greatAnd would suffice.Undoubtedly, The Voice of New England had the deeds of his fellow humans in mind, rather than so called Acts of God, when he penned the above rumination in rhyme about a possible apocalypse Nevertheless, his thought provoking short ve Fire and Ice by Robert FrostSome say the world will end in fire,Some say in ice.From what I ve tasted of desireI hold with those who favor fire.But if it had to perish twice,I think I know enough of hateTo say that for destruction iceIs also greatAnd would suffice.Undoubtedly, The Voice of New England had the deeds of his fellow humans in mind, rather than so called Acts of God, when he penned the above rumination in rhyme about a possible apocalypse Nevertheless, his thought provoking short verse seems particularly apt when we contemplate the effects of volcanoes, earthquakes, and floods on our species and the structures we have built, often in the least advisable locations In this equally thought provoking volume, Dr Lucy Stone, who spent three decades of her career as a seismologist with the United States Geological Survey, outlines the many ways our race has suffered by the hand of Mother Nature Part scientific treatise, part history lesson and part memoir, she lays out a series of case studies that examines such monumental events as the earthquake that struck Lisbon, Portugal in 1755 and the Mississippi River flood in 1927 Both heartbreaking and hopeful, Jones describes how humankind sets itself up for failure by congregating on floodplains and fissures in the earth, either through ignorance or folly On the other hand, knowledge is power, and with what we now know of plate tectonics and fluid mechanics, we can now avoid some of the mistakes of the past With a minimum of technical jargon, she explains the physical processes that move earth, air and water, often to our detriment Not only does she demystify some of the theories underlying the many ologies at work studying this ball of rock and brine that we inhabit, but she also sprinkles anecdotes and stories of those who seek and have sought to unlock nature s secrets Most of us are familiar with the name of Charles Richter, who developed the well known scale used to estimate the intensity of earthquakes More obscure, but no less important is John Milne, the English Victorian geologist that moved to Japan to study this phenomenon and is now considered one of the founding fathers of seismology His is just one of several fascinating vignettes presented within these pages.Clearly written and well illustrated with maps and diagrams, this engaging book will be of interest not only to the armchair geologist but to any curious reader who would like to knowabout living with our living planet Dr Lucy Jones covers a lot of ground in her quick and delightful The Big Ones How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us and What We Can Do About ThemIt s one of those rare books in which the author is not only a lead authority on the topic at hand, but also a gifted explainer and storyteller The Big Ones weaves the history of natural disasters, heroic individuals who helped survivors or pursued prevention, the physical forces involved, the science and pseudoscience of prediction, the psycholog Dr Lucy Jones covers a lot of ground in her quick and delightful The Big Ones How Natural Disasters Have Shaped Us and What We Can Do About ThemIt s one of those rare books in which the author is not only a lead authority on the topic at hand, but also a gifted explainer and storyteller The Big Ones weaves the history of natural disasters, heroic individuals who helped survivors or pursued prevention, the physical forces involved, the science and pseudoscience of prediction, the psychology of our responses, and what we can do to prepare for the future As a story of survival, it is a topic of interest to everyone we all live in the crosshairs of a potential natural disaster, be it a volcano, earthquake, flood, fire, tornado or tsunami While reading this, you will invariably look up every few minutes to ponder What if an earthquake happened NOW Each chapter pulls lessons from a particular calamity, working forward chronologically First up is the eruption of Vesuvius and destruction of Pomepei in 79 CE I was surprised to learn that 90 percent of the population survived the incident, and that Pliny the Elder was involved in rescue attempts and died as a result Here we learn much about the geology of volcanoes and the ancient tendency to blame destruction on the arbitrary whims of the gods Greek and Roman mythology or the anger of God at us Jewish and Christian mythology The Lisbon earthquake of 1755 shows those ideas colliding with the rise of secularism and the Enlightenment in a city where, on All Saints Day, churches crushed their parishioners while brothels remained standing Lisbon s story also highlights the mechanics of fault lines, subduction zones, and the ravages of P waves and S waves, as well what clear headed civic response can do to contain, manage, rebuild and prepare.Iceland sees a major volcanic event every 3 5 years, but the Laki explosion in 1783 coated much of the island in lava and obliterated a quarter of the population, throwing enough material in the upper atmosphere to spell the end for over a million around the world A little remembered massive flood in California in 1861 62 buried Sacramento and wiped out Agua Mansa, one of the largest communities at the time which I d never heard of If repeated today, such a deluge would provedisastrous than any earthquake we can imagine The 1923 Kanto earthquake in Japan also pit tradition against modernity, with earthquakes popularly perceived as imbalances of yin and yang reflecting the actions of emperors and shoguns Meanwhile, the science of seismology came into its own as early pioneers built detection devices and classification systems On the horrific, social side, racism and unreason arose as victims sought out scapegoats, producing new victims in turn 6,000 of the 20,000 Koreans living in the area were tortured and killed Massive flooding of the Mississippi in 1927 resulted in widespread death, property loss, andinjustice as African Americans were denied aid while being forced to labor on repairs at gunpoint.And on it goes Dr Jones talks about her own time in China as a researcher in the time of the 1976 Tangshan quake The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami Hurricane Katrina and the destruction of New Orleans in 2005 Earthquake predictions with legal consequences in Italy The monstrous 9.0 earthquake off the coast of Japan in 2011 resulting in the Fukushima reaction meltdown All along the way, Jones shares interesting anecdotes, important figures, insights into human psychology, the relevant science, the factors of destruction, the seeds of recovery, and lessons learned.There werethings Dr Jones could have covered, and it could have easily been a much longer book I would have gladly kept reading She debunked many bad ideas about disasters there is no earthquake weather , animals can t foretell quakes in advance, and small earthquakes do not relieve tension If anything, they drive up the statistical likelihood of a larger quake She doesn t spell out precisely what to do in an emergency, or what to pack, or debunk ideas like the triangles of life , opting instead to keep the focus at azoomed out level I was surprised that she didn t mention the 1857 Fort Tejon quake in California I d love to hear her talk about that one.For a book about mass death and destruction, it ends positively Jones shares her own efforts working with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti to enact preemptive measures and get buy in from all parties Despite our human failings when it comes to preparing for the unseen future not to mention the difficulty of understanding the probabilities involved , with enough skillful explanation, business owners and politicians and the public can be led to see that disaster preparedness is a wise investment in the long run As Dr Jones would say, Earthquakes are inevitable, but disasters are not I highly recommend this book to everyone, regardless of where you live and the disasters that might be most probable Dr Lucy Jones, the well known seismologist, has written a very important argument for planning ahead to handle the natural disasters that are bound to affect us By exploring the responses to disasters throughout history, she demonstrates how critical it is to be prepared and to think of the communities we are a part of and respond in the most effective and compassionate way pos I highly recommend this book to everyone, regardless of where you live and the disasters that might be most probable Dr Lucy Jones, the well known seismologist, has written a very important argument for planning ahead to handle the natural disasters that are bound to affect us By exploring the responses to disasters throughout history, she demonstrates how critical it is to be prepared and to think of the communities we are a part of and respond in the most effective and compassionate way possible Remember that disasters arethan the moment at which they happen Do yourself and your family a favor and read this book Natural hazards are inevitable the disaster is not 3.5 stars Review to comeNatural hazards are inevitable the disaster is not 3.5 stars Review to come