After a fire, hurricane, flood, or earthquake we immediately declare that this was a natural disaster, an act of God. Then we ask if we have insurance, or how soon will the goverment or U.N. come to help? And these are repeated and echoed in the media around the globe over and over again. But these are not the right questions. The right question is why did our house burn, fall apart, or get swept away? And when we have the chance to re-build it, why should we build it the same way and in the same place? Ultimately “natural disasters” are human created disasters blamed on nature.
The human impact in nature and its effects: pollution, deforestation, land mismanagement, the green house effect, and more, will undoubtedly accelerate the rate of disasters in the future. Added to that are the man-made disasters: millions of displaced humans, wars and human aggression and act of terrorism with its incalculable damage to human life and property. There is a sense of urgency to educate ourselves and our children to act more in harmony with nature, rather than insisting on dominating and interrupting the environmental process. As well as urgency to awaken to a new set of questions where we, and not nature or God, are to be blamed.
We must also prepare ourselves for the inevitable disasters. One of the best ways to shield against fire, flood, and storm may as well be with earth, water, air and fire. Nature does that itself. The equilibrium of the natural elements are the natural balancing acts among these universal elements.
To build simple emergency and safe structures in our backyards, to give us maximum safety with minimum environmental impact, we must choose natural materials and, like nature itself, build with minimum materials to create maximum space, like a beehive or a sea shell. The strongest structures in nature which work in tune with gravity, friction, minimum exposure and maximum compression, are arches, domes and vault forms. And they can be easily learned and utilize the most available material on earth: Earth.” – Nader Khalili