Something seems to be amiss with the way standard economics views the outcomes of natural disasters. This post i placed in OECD Insights and in Earth Magazine discusses some of the puzzles posed by the interaction between extreme events and different societies.
We like to categorize disasters into two types – natural and man-made. 2011 has begun with massive flooding in agricultural regions of Northeast Australia causing shoppers to brace for the inevitable increase in food prices that will soon follow. Just one death so far though and no doubt the rugged Australian farmer will get through [...]
Imagine creating an affordable product and a sustainable industry tailored to both meet urgent demand and use native materials. This is what the Bamboo Bike Project (BBP) is doing in Kumasi, Ghana. We’ve honed our bamboo bike design to be suitable for road conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, and created a system by which these bikes [...]
The Jan. 12 Port-au-Prince earthquake is almost unique in modern history. It is about the worst natural extreme to affect some of the worst-off people on earth. What does disaster recovery mean when this happens? Poor countries suffer more from natural extremes like hurricanes, droughts and floods than do rich countries. Everything about richer countries [...]
Extremes of nature, like hurricanes and earthquakes, can occur almost anywhere. Their effect can be anything from a nuisance–the storm that ruins the seaside vacation–to the tsunami that takes more than a quarter of a million lives and ruins the livelihoods of countless more. Human losses are the most tragic of these disasters’ many consequences, [...]