So do democratic institutions, effective government and progress-prone behaviors.
The real thought provoking thesis of this Christopher Hitchens article is thusly stated:
Seismology in this decade is already emerging as the most important new department of socioeconomics and politics.
The effects of upheavals of the earth can now be quite expertly studied, and even predicted, along a series of intersecting graphs that measure them against demography, income level, and—this is a prediction on my part—the vitality of democratic institutions.
Seismic sociology? Of course, I will want to hear a learned opinion from Maitri on this, but it all appears to feed into a broader, emerging field that focuses on catastrophic social science.