The Really Big One

The New Yorker carries a fascinating article by Kathryn Schulz explaining that an earthquake will destroy a huge swath of the United States’ northwest coast. The only question is when.

How should a society respond to a looming crisis of uncertain timing but of catastrophic proportions? How can it begin to right itself when its entire infrastructure and culture developed in a way that leaves it profoundly vulnerable to natural disaster?

As the piece mentions, this has implications far beyond an earthquake along the Cascadia subduction zone. Climate, food, natural resources, pandemics…. Does preparedness demand more than we are prepared to  give up?