Good variant, if you want a more chaotic experience. The original rules brings more info to the players, so this way they can be aware of, prepare or avoid the posible events or even use them to attack other non-adapted players.
Yes, exactly. Players can avoid an Ice Age or cause a Meteor. I understand it from a player strategy stand point but I perfer staying true to the theme. Suffering through and recovering after an event better than others is also skillful.