Does Mother Nature Hate Us?

by Emily Holbrook on April 28, 2011 · 3 comments

After hearing about yesterday’s massive tornado that demolished sections of the Southeast and waking up today to see the towns from Alabama, to Georgia and Virginia flattened, I can only watch in horror and wonder why storm after storm has wreaked havoc throughout the United States recently.

164 tornadoes were reported, spanning from Mississippi to New york, the worst outbreak since 1974. So far, the death toll stands at 230 and is likely to climb.

In risk management, we always say to prepare for the unexpected. But from looking at the video and pictures from yesterday’s storm, it seems almost impossible to prepare for something of that magnitude.

Emily Holbrook is the executive managing editor for National Underwriter Life & Health and the former editor of the Risk Management Monitor and Risk Management magazine. You can read more of her writings at EmilyHolbrook.com.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Dan Williams April 28, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Strangely enough, when actuaries were “forecasting” predicted claims expenses a year ago…I laughed at the foolishness. Unfortunately for the families that suffered losses, this year is off to a terrible start.

David Reiter April 28, 2011 at 3:34 pm

I can only imagine that Emily Holbrook is writing for dramatic affect when she poses the question “Does Mother Nature Hate Us?” and similarly when she states “I can only watch in horror and wonder why storm after storm has wreaked havoc throughout the United States recently”.
Because Risk Managers are meant to be sane, rational adults that don’t have to anthropomorphise things like the weather and the natural world to try to make sense of it (or are there such things as the Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas and a God?).
There is no ‘thing’ out there that ‘hates us”, there only is what there is. It takes no account of we insignificant creatures because long after man has become extinct, the world will carry on an not even notice our passing.
Part of the answer lays in Man’s burning of fossil fuels, releasing huge amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, re-routing rivers or damming them, all help to change the weather. So the question should be “Why are some of us so selfish and greedy that we screw-up our only habitable place in the Solar System?” Rational humans take note of facts and study events and either move away from the hazard or prepare to minimize the disruptive impact upon themselves or their businesses. The only thing that we have learned from nature (or should have done by now) is that we cannot make a dent on its power. How we protect ourselves and recover is what sets us apart and gives us a competitive (or evolutionary survival) advantage.
Apart from stating the obvious “It’s not fare!” I can’t see the point of this “article”.

Emily Holbrook May 2, 2011 at 12:10 pm

It’s “fair,” not “fare,” David. And thank you for your comment.

Leave a Comment