A landslide in Oso (this weekend, 8 confirmed dead, dozens more missing), an airliner missing and presumed down with all lives lost after two weeks, car- and suicide-bombers, slaughter of civilians and “enemy” prisoners… If I had all the money in the world, I could not fix the disasters that thousands of people are facing, whether caused by man or sad twists of natural events. What could we do to avert/avoid/amend some of these?

For the landslide (really a hill slide — half of the hill over the river looks like it gave way): have geologists look at topography before allowing construction, perhaps move people who are already in danger zones… a similar event happened a number of years ago in our county when an area that was (from topography) clearly prone to slides let go, destroying many homes. It wouldn’t avoid all such disasters, but perhaps we can at least side-step some of the worst ones.

For airliners, perhaps make it so that pilots and crew cannot disable tracking systems, and — we have the technology now at least — set it up so that the minute a plane deviates more than an amount (a mile? a degree of rotation) from the approved flight plan there is an automatic alert or secondary tracking via GPS? Planes would still have problems, crash or be diverted, but we might find them sooner and rescue survivors; at the least families would know sooner…

Bombings? Random mass murders by military, para-military and wannabes? Teach our children to love. Teach them to treat others with kindness. Teach them that the “other” is not automatically an enemy. But also teach them to stand up for themselves and for those who are not as strong. We won’t avoid all aggression, but we can make our communities and the world a little more safe.

What can we do when the world is broken? We can fix what we can, and we can be prudent about our choices in the future.

For those who have lost loved ones, homes, employment and the sense of security they used to have, I grieve with you.