There is so much that one could write about these days ranging from the good, to the bad, to the ugly. In case you don’t recognize that phrase it was the title of a Clint Eastwood movie ad back in the 1960s. It was a spaghetti western and they were called spaghetti westerns because they were filmed in Italy and he did several of them. The plot was relatively simple a lone bounty hunter, who seldom spoke, but was very good at his job. The way they were filmed, and the music made them memorable and they become cult classics. People tended to either loved them or hated them.

I liked the title because it was a good metaphor for life on this crazy planet. 

Today one of our problems is that through television, the internet and social media, people are connected to the world. If they fixate on the bad and the ugly, that can easily become all they will see or hear about. So, their view of the world can become very distorted.

Tales from the Dump

Here is an example. The other days I heard someone say that the world was in serious trouble because of all the natural disasters, floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes and plagues it was now experiencing. They went on to say the world certainly wasn’t like that when they were growing up.

They have this perception because they hear so much about these things on the news. The news certainly seems to be increasing its coverage of these things but that doesn’t mean they are happening more often or that they are any worse than they used to be.

Since I am interested in the earth sciences, I tend to try and keep up on earthquakes. I even have an app that is tied into the worlds seismic network and I get notifications of them shortly after they happen. We live on a geologically active planet and every hour of every day, there are earthquakes happening and volcanoes erupting. That is just the way the world is, and it has always been that way. Also, every once in a while, there is a major earthquake or volcanic eruption, that literally affects the entire world.

So, the world can be a scary place. If you chose to view it that way or it can be a wondrous place if you chose to view it that way. The choice is up to you. I find volcanic eruptions fascinating but I don’t particularly want to be on the volcano when it erupts. I don’t move as fast as I use to and truth be told I was never fast enough to outrun a major volcanic blast. I might have a chance if it was a volcanic flow on fairly level land but that is about it.

Now back to the good, the bad and the ugly. 

Lots of people live on volcanic islands. The Hawaiian Islands, most of the islands of the Caribbean, all of Iceland are all basically volcanic islands and many of them are active volcanoes. There are also lots of volcanoes on continents that people live on or near. The good is, you get a great view, free geothermal heat and the soil is often good for farming. The bad is if the volcano erupts you may have to move in a hurry. The ugly would be if you don’t move fast enough. Despite the risks lots of people happily live on or near volcanoes.

People happily live in areas that periodically get hurricanes. Just look at Florida. Warm temperatures and sandy beaches are the good. The bad is you risk getting hit by a hurricane.  And nowadays every time a hurricane comes ashore all sorts of reporters are out there telling you how wet and windy it is. It is like an annual news sports event. So, when you watch the news and they are reporting all the latest natural disasters remember it is a contest to them to make it seem as bad as possible. They don’t want to get scooped by another news channel.

Just remember nature is nature. It is what it is and it is not what you may want it to be.

It can be good, bad and even ugly at times.


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