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There is no way for the world to avoid the consequences of such “environmental surprises.” As long as there are people alive in the world and the world has weather and seismic activity, there will be environmental surprises.
It is true that we could avoid some of the surprises by building safer buildings and towns. If the Fukushima plant had been better designed and built, it might not have been so badly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami. If the towns had not been so close to the sea, they would not have been destroyed by the tsunami either. But this is unrealistic. We can’t put all our towns in areas that are completely safe. We can’t build buildings that are impervious to every possible natural disaster that could happen.
We can try to mitigate the dangers by being smarter and more cautious in our building practices. We have already seen that earthquakes in developed countries with strict building codes are much less lethal than those in poorer countries. We can try to continue to build more safely. But we can never completely avoid the consequences of natural disasters or other “environmental surprises.”
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