The implicit and explicit question is: What can and should we do about these potentially catastrophic disasters? The author suggests not much. Some of the comments on his blog suggest that we must make a choice between a communitarian sense that these are risks to us all and a libertarian sense (promoted by Ron Paul, among others) that it is every man for himself.
So, should we be communitarians or libertarians? My answer is: YES!
Some risks are unavoidable, and the only issue is which of us will be harmed if and when it happens. For example, solar flares that could knock out the electric grid are unavoidable and could happen anywhere. For these types of unavoidable risks, we should be communitarian in our approach. Punishing those who are unlucky will not promote any effective change in behavior.
On the other hand, we should be libertarian in our approach to avoidable risks. Individuals whose homes are destroyed by floods should not expect the rest of us to bail them out if they decide to re-build on the same flood plain. Ditto with those who want the view of the ocean from a cliff that is balanced on a fault line. The cost of catastrophic risk should be built into the price of those homes. And if you suffer because you chose to take that risk, you should not come crying the the rest of us to bail you out.
Woodbridge, New Jersey