Studying hurricanes, etc.

Ronald Kephart (rkephart@OSPREY.UNF.EDU)
Sun, 14 Jul 1996 10:01:21 -0400

In message <> writes:

> Anyone get hurt by Bertha? Any anthropologists out there studying the
> effects of hurricanes and tornados, and earthquakes on world views?
> For instance, how many times do you have to live through a cyclone before
> you move inland?

I don't think I can elevate it to the level of "studying" yet, but living as I
do in Florida, not too far from the Atlantic, I find it at least
amusing/bemusing/interesting that people build houses, hotels, etc. right on the
beach and then talk about the "problem" of beach erosion during storms. A
natural process of tearing down and rebuilding is redefined culturally as a
"problem" for humans, precisely because they don't have enough sense to build in
an appropriate place. In this case, it's not a question of economics (except
maybe for tourist hotels) because Florida's chock full of nice, flat, stable
land and these folks can afford to build their homes anywhere they want, but, of
course, the most prestigious place is right smack on the beach; or better yet,
on the leveled off top of a sand dune right on the beach.

Ronald Kephart
Department of Language & Literature
University of North Florida
Jacksonville, FL 32224