"Six hundred thousand people died, and the total damage was more than a trillion dollars. But the loss to art, to history, to science - to the whole human race, for the rest of time - was beyond all computation. It was as if a great war had been fought and lost in a single morning; and few could draw much pleasure from the fact that, as the dust of destruction slowly settled, for months the whole world witnessed the most splendid dawns and sunsets since Krakatoa.
After the initial shock, mankind reacted with a determination and a unity that no earlier age could have shown. Such a disaster, it was realized, might not occur again for a thousand years - but it might occur tomorrow. And the next time, the consequences could be even worse.
Very well; there would be no next time. "
RendezVous With Rama by Arthur C. Clarke