Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Won't Miss #323 - talk of "the big one"

A cafe window in Tokyo which was cracked in the Great Tohoku Earthquake. The word spelled in tape is "danger".

People seem obsessed with talking about a huge earthquake leveling Tokyo like the great Kanto earthquake of 1923. You'd think that such talk might settle down in the face of the Tohoku earthquake on March 11, 2011, but that doesn't satisfy the need for people to see Tokyo shaken apart. Shortly after the big Tohoku quake, I was reading articles about how there was an 87% chance of Tokyo getting one in the next 30 years.  I will grant that another big earthquake is possible, maybe even probable, as Japan is on the Ring of Fire. The thing I'm not willing to accept is that the next "big one" can be predicted or is "overdue". It's not like earthquakes operate on a schedule and "the big one" is looking at its watch saying, "well, I can't put off leveling Tokyo any longer so I'd better stop procrastinating and get to it." If the big one hits 500 years from now, I'm sure people will be saying, "well, we knew it was going to happen again soon!"

I won't miss the obsession people have with talking about the imminent annihilation of Tokyo.