Another Black Swan Lands — Super Storm In The South — How Much We Depend On Each Other

Farmer and sons walking in the face of a dust ...


The Black Swan has landed again, this time in the American South, a Super Storm that roared through Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, and South Carolina. The tornadoes that ran with this storm wrecked communities all along its path. The worst devastation appears to have been in Alabama.

When has America seen an inland storm of such magnitude? Our worst storms usually develop over water. In the East, the most powerful weather events are hurricanes. Other natural disasters in my memory are earthquakes, tsunamis, blizzards. Major flooding happens along inland rivers. But an inland storm like this? How often, if ever, has a storm system like this been seen in the history of North America?

The only comparison I can conjure is the Dust Bowl — famously “The Worst Hard Times” — of the 1930s. The worst coincidence of natural and manmade disasters in at least a  century, I would have to say, was the Dust Bowl, which coincided with the worst economic disaster, the Great Depression, which was immediately followed by World War II, the worst military-criminal disaster. I suppose it should be stipulated that the conditions for the Dust Bowl were created by human means.

To many people, it feels like disasters, both natural and manmade, are striking with increasing frequency and ferocity. In the past few years: Hurricane Katrina, earthquake in Haiti, the Gulf Coast oil spill, earthquake and nuclear crisis in Japan, multiple wars in the oil region of the Middle East, and now multiple uprisings and civil wars.

We Need Civilization and Cooperation

The first thing people do in natural disasters of such proportion is look around to see what remnants of organized civilization remain standing. Assistance is called for, and expected, from local police and fire agencies, National Guard, Red Cross, and FEMA. Disasters remind us not only how fragile is human life, but also how fragile are human institutions, and civilization itself.

It is more than troubling to realize that millions of American citizens, and their elected representatives, are at this very moment hoping and planning — you might say, “plotting” — to bring down the government of the United States of America, and with it, possibly, the worldwide economy. That would indeed create the worst catastrophe, and the greatest suffering, since the combination of Depression, Dust Bowl, and World War.

It’s almost beyond comprehension, but it’s true. Many Americans now hate government so much that they would prefer anarchy. As police and shocked bystanders say after an especially heinous crime: “This must be the work of insanity or Evil.”

Can you think of another explanation?

— John Hayden

8 thoughts on “Another Black Swan Lands — Super Storm In The South — How Much We Depend On Each Other

    • Hi John,

      I love it when you speak from your heart. You have a wonderful way of communicating and I don’t understand why you don’t have a hundred comments. I fear it is because many people do not want to see what is happening and the consequences of what will happen in the near future, particularly in regards to our country’s overall well-being.

      I personally know people (relatives) who believe that they will not be touched by changes, such as the poorer getting poorer, the sick being neglected or losing access to good healthcare and a complete head turn when it comes to the planet, but I believe they are very wrong. They think if they cut out all the programs to help poor, elderly and disabled people that we will all be better off. It is absurd.

      Evil is a word I’m starting to see more and more of. I thought only victims of narcissists were using it, but lately, I’m seeing it used in many different arenas.

      Thanks for this post. I wish I had something comforting to say.

      Peace and well wishes,


      • Thanks Michelle. You’re right. Most people seem totally self-focused. No conscience when it comes to the suffering of others. People are perfectly willing to benefit at the expense of their neighbor. The sick and the poor can fend for themselves, or better yet, go far away and die.

        Compassion and altruism are rare, or maybe I am simply naive to expect that compassion and altruism ought to be more widely felt.


  1. Hi John first let me say how terrible the storms were, they were reported here in the UK and my sympathies go out to all who lost their lives and homes and were injured. … The storms seem to get stronger and unfortunately I feel they will get bigger as climate changes are upon us..
    I said to you some time back that I thought Chaos would reign, and already its happening around our World.
    As for the Storms on the political front.. Yes the house of cards will come a tumbling down and when they do the repercussions will be tremendous world wide.. Unfortunately again….. This is what seems to be on some peoples agendas, and had been in the planning for a while.. This World is Going Crazy, And everyone are in for tough times ahead, both on the Material Front and Through Natural Disasters.. For both are coming to a head very soon.. and we will all wonder what hit us. I can only say we need to stay centred and not allow panic and fear enter our reality.. For when it happens we shall all of us be in the same boat ..


    • Sue, I think we both have the same concerns about the path that societies and nations are on.

      My thoughts on “we shall all of us be in the same boat” . . . I think the elite at the very top, where wealth has been increasingly concentrating for the past three decades . . . I think that elite believes they will NOT be in the same boat with the rest of us . . . do they believe they are so wealthy that they’re safe and self-sufficient? . . . do they believe the masses of workers are no longer needed, and therefore expendable when the economy and civil order break down?



      • You see John the problem is THEY do not believe there will be a civil breakdown.. you see it.. even I see it.. and once Card one falls the pack will follow..

        Seems though that other distractions are taking everyones attention… the recent events in Pakistan. hummmmm.. is all I am saying to that one..

        Just dropping in to wish you a great weekend .. Sue


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