An Age of Earth-Shaking Changes

Midsummer has arrived in Japan. Abnormal weather conditions are occurring around the world, and the scale is anything but normal too. They are all becoming huge. I get up early every morning and without fail listen to the NHK world news at five or six o’clock. Somewhere in the world there will have been dreadful flooding, and frightened victims talk about the “unprecedented” scale. There is no doubt that these phenomena are the result of global warming. Countermeasures are presumably being taken. But at this lackadaisical speed, it is going to be difficult to prevent further deterioration.

Not long ago I received an e-mail from a friend in my hometown saying that “There are so many earthquakes. Is it safe up there in Tokyo?” My reply was that “I am aware the planet has entered a period of change and am taking precautions and making preparations.” After that e-mail exchange, a series of volcanic eruptions occurred. First there was Mount Ontake, and then since the beginning of this year there have been eruptions on Mount Hakone, Kuchinoerabu island, Mount Asama, Nishinoshima island, and the Zhupanovsky compound volcano in Kamchatka. There were also eruptions on Mount Raung in Bali, Indonesia, and the Colima volcano in Mexico, and the big earthquake in Nepal is still fresh in the memory.

These are all clear signs that the planet has entered a period of activity, and such phenomena are likely to continue for a while. As well as the fact that tectonic plates release energy, in the Himalayas large-scale earthquakes are occurring in the vicinity of the high mountain range formed by a collision of plates and elevation of the ocean. I don’t think they are unrelated to the volcanic eruptions.

Are these convulsions of nature going to change the face of the world? In human society, the earth-shaking changes began in 1995 with the appearance of Windows 95. In just a couple of decades since then the world has changed dramatically. It is weird that these changes have overlapped with the convulsions of nature and various other abnormalities.

The emergence of Islamic State is symbolic. A terrorist organization all of a sudden created something like a state and is using the Internet to attract jihadists from around the world in an attempt to destroy the existing nation-state order. Islamic State has completely ignored existing states and alliances between countries and has become a huge threat. If these moves spread to Africa and other regions, even if other countries display their modern power and attempt to crush them, the situation is only going to get worse.

In the distant past the world consisted of a single landmass. In the process of colonialism during the age of discovery, the great powers elbowed their way into territories without any concern for the indigenous peoples. Religious wars took place, and the powers seized territories in the name of God. In historical terms, Islam was always on the losing side.

Despite the fact that, in this era of social media, geography and human beings have become borderless, ancient history has been revived in the present day, and humankind is being led into a dangerous world. I sense the same thing in the roots of the Greek problem too. Without Greek civilization, Europe would not exist. The Latin, English, German, and French languages have their roots in the Greek language. I am told that 80% of terms in science and technology have their origins in ancient Greece. Philosophy was born in Greece as well. Regarding the present Greek problem, however, after the additional bailout its outstanding debt amounts to a whopping \43.4 trillion. Whatever happens, the only path forward seems to be for the eurozone to bite the bullet.