There is a Hurricane impact card I can give you. It has a few million dying annual, but they are in developing countries, so you could also do a critical impact. Controlling disasters key to save millions of livesSID-AHMED 05 Managing Editor for Al-Ahali [Mohamed Sid-Ahmed, “The post-earthquake world”, Issue #724, http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2005/724/op3.htm]
The year 2005 began with a calamity, resulting not from conflicts between people but from an unprecedented natural disaster that has so far claimed over 155,000 lives, a figure that is expected to rise still more over the coming period. Is this Nature's reaction to the abuse it is suffering at the hands of the human race, its revenge on us for challenging its laws beyond acceptable limits?
The earthquake that struck deep under the Indian Ocean was the strongest in over a century. What is still more critical is that what we have witnessed so far is only the beginning of the catastrophe. According to a spokesman from the World Health organisation, "there is certainly a chance that we could have as many dying from communicable diseases as from the tsunamis". The logistics of providing the survivors with clean water, vaccines and medicines are formidable, and, with many thousands of bodies lying unburied, epidemics spread by waterborne diseases are expected to claim many thousands of victims. There is also the possibility of seismic activity elsewhere in the world because disturbances in the inner structure of the earth's crust have occurred and there are no means to foresee how they will unfold. Will they build up into still broader disarray and eventually move our planet out of its orbit around the sun? Moreover, even if we can avoid the worse possible scenario, how can we contain the earthquake's effects ecologically, meteorologically, economically and socially?
The contradiction between Man and Nature has reached unprecedented heights, forcing us to re-examine our understanding of the existing world system. US President George W Bush has announced the creation of an international alliance between the US, Japan, India, Australia and any other nation wishing to join that will work to help the stricken region overcome the huge problems it is facing in the wake of the tsunamis. Actually, the implications of the disaster are not only regional but global, not to say cosmic. Is it possible to mobilise all the inhabitants of our planet to the extent and at the speed necessary to avert similar disasters in future? How to engender the required state of emergency, that is, a different type of inter-human relations which rise to the level of the challenge before contradictions between the various sections of the world community make that collective effort unrealisable?
The human species has never been exposed to a natural upheaval of this magnitude within living memory. What happened in South Asia is the ecological equivalent of 9/11. Ecological problems like global warming and climatic disturbances in general threaten to make our natural habitat unfit for human life. The extinction of the species has become a very real possibility, whether by our own hand or as a result of natural disasters of a much greater magnitude than the Indian Ocean earthquake and the killer waves it spawned. Human civilisation has developed in the hope that Man will be able to reach welfare and prosperity on earth for everybody. But now things seem to be moving in the opposite direction, exposing planet Earth to the end of its role as a nurturing place for human life.
Today, human conflicts have become less of a threat than the confrontation between Man and Nature. At least they are less likely to bring about the end of the human species. The reactions of Nature as a result of its exposure to the onslaughts of human societies have become more important in determining the fate of the human species than any harm it can inflict on itself.
Until recently, the threat Nature represented was perceived as likely to arise only in the long run, related for instance to how global warming would affect life on our planet. Such a threat could take decades, even centuries, to reach a critical level. This perception has changed following the devastating earthquake and tsunamis that hit the coastal regions of South Asia and, less violently, of East Africa, on 26 December.
This cataclysmic event has underscored the vulnerability of our world before the wrath of Nature and shaken the sanguine belief that the end of the world is a long way away. Gone are the days when we could comfort ourselves with the notion that the extinction of the human race will not occur before a long-term future that will only materialise after millions of years and not affect us directly in any way. We are now forced to live with the possibility of an imminent demise of humankind. Hurricane damage large & growingDAVLASHERIDZE 12 PhD Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology and Education, Penn State [Meri Davlasheridze, The Effects of Adaptation Measures on Hurricane Induced Property Losses, http://aese.psu.edu/directory/mzd169/job-market-paper
Hurricanes represent one of the costliest natural catastrophes in the United States. At the beginning of the 20th century, decadal total number of hurricane fatalities was 8,734 with the corresponding damage cost of $1.45 billion (in year 2000 dollars) (Sheets and Williams, 2001). The last decade figures show that deaths have decreased by a factor of 35 whereas costs have risen by a factor of 39 (Figures 1 and 2). Over time, hurricane fatalities have become less of a concern, partially attributed to improved warning and weather forecasting systems in coastal counties (Sadowski and Sutter, 2005). This declining trend in loss of human life, however, has not been accompanied by a decrease in property damage. Increased intensity and frequency of Atlantic basin hurricanes is considered to be partially responsible for direct as well as indirect economic losses. Much property loss has also been inflicted because of increased population, rising standards of living and the consequent accumulation of wealth in these coastal areas (Pielke, et al., 2008). If recent socio-economic developments persist (rising coastal population and increase in wealth level) coupled with geophysical trends of hurricane intensities, damage figures will likely grow astronomically. Pielke et al. (2008) find that the normalized damages of hurricanes provides an important “warning” message for policy makers: “Potential damage from storms is growing at a rate that may place severe burdens on society. Avoiding huge losses will require either a change in the rate of population growth in coastal areas, major improvements in construction standards, or other mitigation actions. Unless such action is taken to address the growing concentration of people and properties in coastal areas where hurricanes strike, damage will increase, and by a great deal, as more and wealthier people increasingly inhibit these coastal locations”. An obvious agenda for researchers and policy makers involves decisions on loss mitigation strategies and plans to lessen these economic impacts. The domain of potential public and private coping and adaptation options is large. It goes beyond measures designed to mandate and enforce stringent regulatory policies such as building codes, hazard planning, land zoning and development regulation. Often, these measures are immensely costly and involve providing public protection via implementing and investing in major retrofitting and/or structural projects such as dams, levees, acquisition of private property, etc. In addition to these proactive measures, devastating natural disasters elicit post-disaster recovery and assistance programs primarily aimed to provide immediate relief to impacted communities. Federal government spends millions of dollars annually to help communities recover from severe disasters. Since 1989 Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has spent more than 13 billion dollars to help communities implement long term hazard mitigation projects. Approximately 76% of total mitigation grant funding have been allocated for hurricane, storm and flood related disasters. Even more was spent for public assistance projects. Around 45 billion dollars (in 2005$) was given to impacted communities, since 1999, in the form of immediate assistance to help with disaster recovery.1 Approximately eighty percent of these funds were given in response to hurricane, flood or severe storm related events (Figures 3 and 4). Furthermore, these figures are higher when accounting for non-disaster governmental transfers, which are likely to increase substantially after major disasters (Deryugina, 2011).2 These numbers are striking and certainly raise public concern especially as the frequency and severity of hurricanes are projected to increase in the future.
*Open Ev (Emory Debate OSW AFF)