Man or nature: who is more superior?

Hurricane Harvey persists
Hurricane Harvey persists

By Bamidele Oni

Nature in its entirety is so complex to contain, let alone understand.

Recent events have proven again how ambiguous nature could be with the best of our present knowledge and level of preparedness. This shows how vulnerable we are to the compelling power of nature. So, despite the acclamation that man has conquered nature, it is more the obvious that nature is still far more superior in complexity than we think we know.

There has always been the question of what man would do when nature fights back and most times the responses have always been vague. Often, we place our chances on a few emergency plans formulated by years of supposed preparedness.

However, this idea of preparedness would only work in certain parts of the world while the rest would rely on uncertain eventualities. That, on its own paints the big picture of global inequality, that is, the wide gap that exist between the global north and south. In a more simpler language, man would only prepare for as much as his knowledge could afford him and the level of preparedness varies from country to country.

This is a pointer to the lack of cohesion that still plagues our world and invariably our responses to issues relating to nature’s sustainability.

However, no matter how sophisticated the globally divided plans may be, there will always be the point when the problem becomes a shared responsibility and the geographical boundaries would make no difference with regards to impact.

Drawing a leaf from the way events are unfolding in recent times, man might not be able to stand in the way of nature. The magnitude of natural events is becoming more complex to predict accurately and even the rate of occurrence has multiplied, often with high devastating potential.

Both the global north and south are equally sharing in these natural ordeals, and that means no region will be left behind. It is also getting to the point when geographical boundaries will make no meaning again as the default mindset of many would be “safety first”. So, wherever safety is assured becomes home; the era of global displacement is looming!

The storm and consequent flood fueled by Hurricane Harvey in Texas has been labelled as the worst on record. The devastation it left in its wake has led to a total Evacuation Order with many people trapped in their homes and many more rendered homeless by the flood.

A lot of structures have been totally submerged in the flood while there are countless vehicles swimming around in the flood as fishes would in water bodies. This ominously points to the fact that when nature fights, it fights hard enough that nothing can possibly stand in its way.

As this is happening in the US, there are reports of several cases of flooding in parts of Lagos in Nigeria which has worsened to the point that canoes had to be adopted as means of transportation as the roads were submerged by flood waters. The similarity in occurrence however, shows that there is a common denominator when it comes to the devastating impact nature could throw our ways regardless of regions or location.

Even though there hasn’t been a concrete link between climate change and the recent flooding occurrences, it should be noted that the rapidly warming temperature would induce an unusually fast rate of evapotranspiration and, that alone would result into more rainfall, as in the case of Lagos, Nigeria. One other thing is that scientists believe that warming atmosphere would make storms wetter, as in the case of Texas. So, in one way or the other, climate change still comes to play.

However, whatever the level of preparedness and structures on ground all around the world, the turn of events shows that the world is under a common siege and our survival chances are low if we fail to recognize the fact that we need a collective action plan that will be inclusive and encompassing enough to accommodate a wholly ecological footprint reduction strategy and sustainable practices.

There will not be an advancement or a stable economy if the world natural ecosystem collapses!

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