Even in Noach’s time, the rabbis teach us, the Flood was caused by humans ruining life on earth. But, in any case, nowadays, that connection is as easy as it gets – on three levels.
1. Climate-Related Disasters
Almost all of the scientific world blames climate change on human waste. So does collective cow fluctuation heat up the planet dangerously because we consume insane amounts of beef.
More than ever, we suffer from floods, droughts, heat waves, hurricanes and so do the plant and animal world (which also harms us) because of climate change. The malaria mosquito enters areas where there never was malaria, like Northern Europe or Northern America.
However, don’t forget disasters to plants and animals directly by humans, like bees almost poisoned to extinction and chopping up the rainforest for more grassland for even more cows.
2. Geophysical Disasters
But, earthquakes and follow-up tsunamis really seem an act of G^d, no? Well, their deadliness is hardly so.
Most people die from these because of shoddy home and school constructions, lack of potent early warning systems and an increase in living closer to the sea. Nowadays, none of these can be blamed on the natural or supernatural.
3. Sickness, Aging and Death
Last but not least, there are natural and unnatural causes of death.
We’re on our way to conquer all illnesses. Even uproot them. Meanwhile, the lives of many people around the globe are not deemed important enough to be saved from disease, invalidity or death. That attitude makes these disasters largely man-made.
To stop and reverse aging will take some more time. Yet, what’s the use or value of reaching physical healthy immortality if we continually daily slaughter each other in angry or jealous outbursts, wars and robberies?
Maimonides wrote already 800 years ago that most people’s suffering is self-inflicted. He doesn’t mean their “deserved” retribution. Rather, he means more something like banging one’s head against the wall repeatedly and then complaining to G^d that one’s head hurts.
I’m not writing all this to let G^d off the hook. We could still ask for more heavenly mercy and time to mend our ways. But most of what I want to say is, let us stop ruining the planet, nature and each other’s lives, including our own. We’d all profit.
A golden motto to cut down on all evil could be from not just going for what a. feels good b. for me c. right now but to consider what a. would be best b. for everyone c. in the long run. Going by that, life for I, me and myself has still enough good to live for; and leaves space for others.