Even to the casual observer, this world has withstood a series of profound crises in the last few years. At the end of 2004, just seven years ago, a devastating earthquake rocked the Indian Ocean, triggering a massive tsunami that wiped out 230,000 lives in Indonesia. Nearly a quarter of a million people were swept out to sea.
In July 2005, radical Islamists bombed the London underground rail system, killing 56 people; injuring 700. A month later, Hurricane Katrina plowed into the Gulf Coast, killing more than 1,800 people. It was the deadliest hurricane to strike America in more than 75 years.