I particularly appreciated his account of reactions to San Francisco's 1906 earthquake. These days we commemorate that shaker with some civic enthusiasm. But not then.
In those days, Japanese scientists were, of necessity, leading the world in inventing modern seismology, the study of earthquakes. Hearing of the 1906 trembler, the most ambitious exponent of the new discipline, Fusakichi Omori, set sail for California.
At length, the study of seismology did take root in California, but only after decades of neglect and protest.
It's interesting to consider this history in the context of climate change denialism today. We humans just don't want to face the disruptive consequences of natural processes smashing up against and into populations. These days, it is possible to imagine that planning and engineering could much reduce the impacts of natural catastrophes on people; we know how to build in resilience that would mitigate the effects of storms and earthquakes. Societies that are rich enough even do a good deal of this. But, in general, we are not good at remembering and holding onto consciousness of threats that are sporadic and infrequent.
Experience suggests it is going to take frequent, fearsome consequences of global warming before we realize that mitigation and built resilience are essential. And that means things will get a lot worse before there's much chance of their getting better.