Indonesia Volcano Cloud
What is wrong with you people; can’t you read the signs?
The final countdown | by: Michel Ouellette JMD
Climate change and poor planning are worsening the toll in lives and money that natural disasters wreak worldwide.
Natural disasters and climatic changes around the world are claiming more and more lives and costing billions of dollars in damage; not because their intrinsic nature, but only because of our poor judgment and planning.
Natural disasters, cataclysmic events and poor weather always have been and always will be. When there were only a few thousand or million people on earth, there were no highways, no high-rises, no infrastructures, no power plants, very few to kill and almost nothing to destroy. There were no medias.
Today, according to the United Nations experts, the direct economic cost of all disasters that happened since 2000 is estimated to roughly $1.4 trillion; the total price tag on people’s livelihoods and the wider economy having never fully been counted. Japan’s earthquake and tsunami of 2011 was probably the most costly natural disaster in history. Superstorm Sandy cost the United States more than $50 billion. , Following the unprecedented Russian summer of 2010 when heat waves claimed 55,000 lives, record wildfires burned through millions of acres of forest. The same thing happened both in The United States and Australia.
The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported last year that droughts and heat waves are growing harsher and longer in many regions, causing deaths, fires and crop failure. When rain does come, it is often more intense, causing flooding and landslides. Meanwhile, rising sea levels increase the height and damage potential of storm surges in coastal areas.
If we can predict and forecast all of this, why don’t we act accordingly?
In 2005, the Hyogo Framework for Action was adopted to encourage countries to become more resilient in the face of natural disasters. But the Global Assessment Report reveals that efforts have had limited success so far. 121 countries have passed legislation for reducing disaster risks since 2005, and more than half of the governments have made substantial progress in assessing and monitoring the risks their people face. But this has had no discernible effect on disaster losses, which continue to stack up around the world.
Don’t blame any God, blame yourself
So far, each step towards a global framework for addressing disasters has been framed by massive natural events. The Hyogo Framework was established in Kobe, Japan, as bodies were still being recovered from the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. The recent disasters casting shadows on this year’s event brought greater attention to the likelihood that climate change is worsening the intensity of weather events. Other than climate change, reckless urban development, the exploitation of groundwater, and deforestation are increasing the likelihood of disasters large and small, and weaken the resilience of communities to withstand them. The Global Assessment Report highlighted that many people suffering the worst effects of climate disasters are not the ones contributing to them.
Dumber and Dumber
Keep on building and living in the path of volcanoes, tsunamis and super storms. Yes, this view on the ocean, on the lake, on the river, on the mountain is beautiful. What the heck, I have insurances.
To be continued…
Michel Ouellette JMD is a talented keynote and motivational speaker, public affairs & communications Strategist. For more about “Making It” in the years to come and coming soon: “Standing Out” by JMD.
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