John Mutter, Author at State of the Planet

From Copenhagen to Paris: Holding onto Hope

I don’t believe for a second that we are on the brink of global destruction. We are on the brink of a global re-distribution and whole scale re-balancing of global goods and bads. But we have been there before and survived.

by |November 25, 2015

The Confounding Economics of Natural Disaster Shocks

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.

by |May 18, 2011

Disasters, and the Traps of Poverty and Wealth

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… read more

by |January 7, 2011

Bamboo Bikes Nearing Production

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… read more

by |April 7, 2010

Needed in Haiti: Reinforced Buildings—and Economy

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… read more

by |January 21, 2010

Port-au-Prince and New Orleans

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,… read more

by |January 20, 2010