Hubris, engineering prowess and lack of information lead humans to believe things will always be as they are now. Nature is teaching a different lesson that governments should heed.

In Rodanthe, North Carolina, once solid beachfront homes have been falling into the ocean. Eroding sand and rising tides inexorably wash away what owners once believed was permanence.

The myth of permanence is reinforced by ancient ruins that still speak of Roman glory and Greek intellect. What is not obvious, or even imaginable, is what else was there that didn’t survive. Only Pompeii’s ghostly representations of people scrambling to survive a volcanic eruption give a glimpse in stone of how fast changes could happen in the benign Italian environment.

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