How do you go against nature

Orderly retreat Researcher: Put an end to the war on nature!

Strategy: Choose challenges that can be won

The fact that the authorities in England have decided to give up a village in the long term is exactly the strategy that three US researchers from Harvard University (Cambridge) are calling for in a recently published article in the journal "Science": They plead for an orderly withdrawal of the People from areas with a high risk factor for natural disasters and a general change of perspective in the relationship between people and nature.

We have to stop calling our relationship with nature war. We're not winners or winners, we adapt to changes in nature. When water levels rise and storms flood floodplains, we have to pull back.

Study author A. R. Siders, geologist and specialist in climate and disaster research

In the face of a catastrophe: act before or react after?

Orderly retreat - that generally hurts people who try, on both a large and small scale, to subjugate nature: Be it the house builders with their stone "gardens of horror" who want to control their land by all means. Every herb, every stalk, every offshoot is considered an annoying "weed" and must be defeated, there are fierce wars against groundweed and dandelions, boxwood moths and white grubs are put to an end, or the lice in the apple tree, the roses or the sage.

The war against nature is in thought and language

We encounter the same warlike element on a large scale when it comes to disasters such as floods or floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions.

We read and hear about the "fight against the masses of water", about dikes "that have to be held" or "abandoned", about cyclones that claim victims. The idea behind this is not to "bow to nature", because that would mean no longer being master of nature.

A change of view and posture would simplify a lot, both on a small and large scale, whether in the allotment garden or after the storm surge: You can understand unloved herbs and stalks as pointer plants that tell what the soil is missing. Or with the bark beetle epidemics, which are rethinking decades of forestry and timber management.

But why does the withdrawal always take place too late, involuntarily and uncoordinated, as the researchers write, "as if a retreat was defeatist", that is, detrimental, shameful and cowardly? In the same way, the disaster aftermath would then be handled haphazardly and inefficiently. Often well meant, but rarely promising in the long term.

Therefore, R.A. Siders, Miyuki Hino and Katharine J. that we are rethinking towards planned, strategic and controlled withdrawals.

We can choose: coordinated retreat or hectic and chaotic

According to the researchers, organized retreats even had positive social side effects, and indeed for the less wealthy. Namely when, for example, everyone starts over during an accompanied, planned village move and not just the wealthy. Then that could provide more social stability in the long term.