Forever Trembling on the Brink (Of Numbers)

The extent of the damage and loss of life due to the tsunami has now become clear. Soumen Chakrabarti emailed me and wrote:

You recently wrote:

That is why I claim that natural disasters like the recent tsunami cannot hold a candle to the destructive power of humans.

I did a little arithmetic that adds support to your statement from unexpected quarters. This sounds very insensitive but is not really so. Each and every person destroyed by the tsunami is irreplaceable. I was trying to comprehend the enormity of the destruction through comparative numbers, when I was struck by a yet more stupendous scale that boggled the mind.
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