King Canute (Cnut) ruled the Anglo-Scandinavian or North Sea Empire (England, Norway, Denmark, and parts of Sweden), until his death in 1035. He was reputed to have set a throne at the sea shore and commanded the incoming tide to halt and not wet his feet and robes, and though it is also said that his goal was to to rebuke the flattery of his courtiers by demonstrating the vanity of secular power, this incident has become proverbial as an example of human arrogance in attempting to stop the tide of events.
We believe that engineers and mankind today are practicing arrogance in approaching natural disaster prevention by trying to oppose or halt the mighty forces of nature instead of working with them. When this form of engineering inevitably collapses, they blame anything and everything but their own arrogance. We call this folly "Cnut [or NUT] Engineering."
Category: Climate/natural disasters: Climate change, Disaster risk, Earthquakes, Floods/storms, Pollution, Resilience