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robertogreco : disasters   28

Could California's Camp Fire Have Been Avoided? - The Atlantic
[originally here: https://tinyletter.com/vruba/letters/6-90-sauce ]

"Disasters are never natural in the ordinary sense because they always could have been avoided or mitigated by human choices. In this way of thinking, everything that we call a disaster started as a hazard, and hazards themselves are only risks, not harms. If and how hazards become disasters is shaped by governmental, infrastructural, and economic choices, conscious or unconscious."



"Disasters are never natural in the ordinary sense because they always could have been avoided or mitigated by human choices. In this way of thinking, everything that we call a disaster started as a hazard, and hazards themselves are only risks, not harms. If and how hazards become disasters is shaped by governmental, infrastructural, and economic choices, conscious or unconscious.

If this sounds like I’m saying we should blame the government for disasters, like medieval peasants who believe that a flood means the king has lost the mandate of heaven and must lack virtue, I’m not. Nor am I saying that the government (or the economic system, or whatever) is strictly to blame for every bad thing. I’m saying that if we set up an institution to control floods, and rightly give it credit when it does well, it’s equally to blame when it does poorly. This isn’t subtle; it’s what we mean by responsibility. And there are historians now who read the old idea of the mandate of heaven and “moral meteorology” not only as a farmers’ superstition but also as an oblique way to say things like: The king didn’t use the massive hydrological infrastructure at his disposal to mitigate the effects of what could have been merely unusually heavy rain. He’s a bad administrator. Or, if you prefer, heaven finds him lacking in virtue.

California and the United States are, of course, strikingly well-governed in some ways and strikingly badly governed in others. Our disasters follow. The air quality in the Bay Area right now is a hazard; a society that can’t manage to distribute good air filters to everyone who needs to be outside, and allows everyone else to stay inside, is a disaster. The poorest suffer the most. This is so true that it’s almost redundant. Poverty in any useful sense isn’t net worth in dollars. It’s more like a high ratio of personal disasters to personal hazards. Will a toothache, a hazard, turn into an untreated infection, a disaster? Will being caught jaywalking, a hazard, turn into a felony record, a disaster? Will getting sick turn into losing your job? When we point out that homeless people suffer particularly badly from the smoke, it’s worth remembering that this isn’t some kind of sad coincidence—wow, homeless and at risk from the air!—it’s why we care about homelessness in the first place. A house is one of many machines for mitigating hazards.

The Black Saturday fires destroyed entire towns and killed 180 people near metropolitan Melbourne, Australia, not quite a decade ago. The comparisons are easy. Survivors talked about the speed of the fire there too—how you could be preparing to evacuate one minute and surrounded by flames the next. Many people in those hills died defending their houses, with garden hoses and buckets, against unsurvivable heat. I expect that happened here too. After the Black Saturday fires, a lot of experts were exasperated by survivors rebuilding what had been destroyed, most famously the little town of Marysville. Don’t people realize the fires will be back? The experts are right about the fires but wrong about the people. Everything we make is temporary, and some will choose to live under trees even knowing they’ll burn. The rest of us can roll our eyes, but we do it from places where we know there will be another hurricane, another earthquake, another heat wave, mass shooting, death in custody, cancer. Everyone spends a lifetime doing things that will end."



"The closest thing we have to infinity is sustainability, a word secretly disliked by many people who use it most. Sustainability for Californian forests is a fairly clear concept, because it’s been tried for 10,000 years. Fire is hard to govern. A serious program of controlled wildland fires in California would surely collapse the first time one got out of control—and one would, because fire does—and burned down someone’s property. It asks a lot of anyone to see a house’s destruction in a fire set by someone wearing a uniform as really necessary.

We can’t switch over to some perfectly sustainable, traditional ecological knowledge–based fire-management regime tomorrow. We have already built houses among trees. The forest we know today is different from the forest that was sustained. It’s been changed by policies of fire suppression and intense logging. It will have to slowly become something sustainable, and only then could that future forest, which none of us has ever seen, be sustained.

And, of course, the climate is changing. Summer is hotter and drier now. What worked well for the entire Holocene epoch may not work at all in the Anthropocene. And the ideal forest strategy in 2018’s climate will not be ideal in 2068’s, at least the way we’re going. So it comes back to taking carbon out of the air. We all knew that already. I think this must be one reason California’s fires are especially fearsome to many Americans: because the idea of California is often subtly an idea of the future.

I hear people say with disgust that these smoky days are the new normal. But the forests burned every year, in vast areas, though in cooler, slower, individually smaller fires, up until the genocides of European settlements. The nearly smokeless summers that my parents’ generation can talk about weren’t the system at equilibrium; they were already an effect of unsustainable imbalance. The oldest Californians living can’t remember the kind of forest we’ll need for the future. If we don’t want the kind of fire we have today—the kind that kills whole families—and if we don’t want to cut down all the plants and be done with the unpredictability of nonhuman life, we’ll still be left with fires. Safer fires, but smoky fires.

So there will be some ash-tasting days in the happiest future I can imagine for California. The air will be chemically fairly similar to today’s, but it will smell different. For now, here in Oakland we’re breathing the consequences of the 20th century, and trying not to forget that this kind of air is ordinary for millions upon millions of people who live around coal power plants."
charlieloyd  2018  california  fires  risk  hazards  climatechange  wilfdires  disasters  anthropocene  forests  forestmanagement  canon 
november 2018 by robertogreco
elisehunchuck [Elise Misao Hunchuck]
[via: https://twitter.com/lowlowtide/status/1052233654074654720

"what a rare pleasure, listening 2 @elisehunchuck presenting her research on an incomplete atlas of stones: ‘Trangressions & Regressions’ @tudelft #ULWeek2018

“stones help us understand how the earth moves”—@elisehunchuck"]

"Elise Hunchuck (b. Toronto) is a Berlin based researcher and designer with degrees in landscape architecture, philosophy, and geography whose work focuses on bringing together fieldwork and design through collaborative practices of observation, care, and coordination. Facilitating multidisciplinary exchanges between teaching and representational methods as a way to further develop landscape-oriented research methodologies at multiple scales, her research develops cartographic, photographic, and text-based practices to explore and communicate the agency of disasters through the continual configuring and reconfiguring of infrastructures of risk, including memorials, monuments, and coastal defense structures.

A University Olmsted Scholar, Elise was recently a finalist for the 2017 Maeder-York Landscape Fellowship at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (Cambridge, US) and a research fellow with the Landscape Architecture Foundation (Washington DC, US). Her writing has appeared in The Funambulist and her research has been featured on BLDGBLOG. She has taught representational history and methods in the graduate architecture, landscape, and urban design departments at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto (Toronto, CA) and has been an invited critic in the undergraduate and graduate programs at the architecture, landscape, and urban design departments at the Daniels Faculty and the School of Architecture at Waterloo.

Elise is also a member of the editorial board of Scapegoat Journal: Architecture / Landscape / Political Economy.

For general enquiries, commissions, or collaborations, please contact directly via email at elisehunchuck [at] gmail [dot] com."

[See also:

"An Incomplete Atlas of Stones"
https://elisehunchuck.com/2015-2017-An-Incomplete-Atlas-of-Stones
https://cargocollective.com/elisehunchuck/An-Incomplete-Atlas-of-Stones-1
https://www.daniels.utoronto.ca/news/2018/02/21/elise-hunchuck-mla-2016-presents-incomplete-atlas-stones-aa-london
https://thefunambulist.net/articles/incomplete-atlas-stones-cartography-tsunami-stones-japanese-shoreline-elise-misao-hunchuck
https://thefunambulist.net/contributors/elise-hunchuck

"Warnings Along the Inundation Line"
http://www.bldgblog.com/2017/06/warnings-along-the-inundation-line/

"Century Old Warnings Against Tsunamis Dot Japan's Coastline"
https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/century-old-warnings-against-tsunamis-dot-japans-coastline-180956448/

"How Century Old Tsunami Stones Saved Lives in the Tohoku Earthquake of 2011"
https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidbressan/2018/03/11/how-century-old-tsunami-stones-saved-lives-in-the-tohoku-earthquake-of-2011/#18355a8244fd

https://www.daniels.utoronto.ca/news/2017/06/28/bldgblog-features-incomplete-atlas-stones-elise-hunchuck-mla-2016

https://issuu.com/danielsfacultyuoft/docs/2016.04.11_-_2016_winter_thesis_rev ]
elisehunchuck  landscape  multispecies  morethanhuman  japan  iceland  tsunamis  design  fieldwork  srg  multidisciplinary  teaching  place  time  memory  disasters  risk  memorials  monuments  coasts  oceans  maps  mapping  photography  canon  scale  observation  care  caring  coordination  markers 
october 2018 by robertogreco
The Blog of Phyz: Be careful with your parabolic mirror
"[image]

Let's say you you were into making solar ovens. Let's say that you decided a few years ago to make the best solar oven ever. Further, let's stipulate that you saw a nearly meter-diameter Direct TV antenna on the side of the road. An idea happened. You rushed to the local plastics store and bought highly reflective Mylar and glued it to the antenna.

Your solar oven was pretty amazing. While the hot spot wasn't super small, it was hot. Really hot. It can pasteurize a liter of water in 15 minutes.

And now you work at the Exploratorium and you think that you might bring it to work for grins. If you forget it in the back of the your Outback face up on a sunny day near the solstice, well, it can melt the molding in a fairly impressive way. I think I was lucky that my car didn't catch on fire.

[image]

You might be wondering how I could make such a mistake? I had a lot to carry into the Exploratorium, and the mirror wouldn't fit on the cart. I planned on coming back in a few minutes, but I got busy doing something else, and it slipped my mind. Coming back in the afternoon, I sat in the driver seat and looked into the rear view mirror.

[image]

Uh oh.

[image]

If you want to make your own parabolic mirror, you can find some excellent instructions here.

Marc "Zeke" Kossover"
classideas  optic  science  physics  mirrors  exploratorium  2018  humor  disasters  marckossover 
august 2018 by robertogreco
Mitigation of Shock – Design Responses to First World Disasters
"In the last year alone, average temperatures have exceeded recorded averages month upon month, marking seven months of new highs since the end of 2015. February 2016 was recorded at 1.35 degrees Celsius above the long-term average. Migratory patterns and natural behaviours of the planet’s fauna are already changing to adapt to the new normal. Extreme weather might not directly link to climate change, but is a key indicator. James Hanson and his colleagues’ new research demonstrates how the global sea level is likely to increase “several meters over a timescale of 50 to 150 years. As climate change threatens significant change to our planet and society, what will be left of the world we have grown to know, and love?

The history, present, and future of climate change, is also the study of the history, present, and future of inequality and injustice. Will the effects of climate change reinforce or subvert the status quo?

Parallel to these questions is the gravity of predictions and anticipatory warnings from climate researchers, data scientists, and economists, which collides with the lived realities of people living in western democracies. Our lifestyles of access and abundance look set to dramatically change. Row upon row of supermarket shelves, filled with all the food you could want, from all around the world, all year round, so cheap that you can buy two for one and throw one away, will soon be in short supply.

The disconnect between scientific, data driven predictions of global warming, and the lack of immediately visible signs creates a space of cognitive dissonance, its implications unsettling and ominous. But it is also a space which offers the opportunity to confront our fears, to experiment with ways in which the shocks of the impact of climate change can be mitigated. It is in this space that we at Superflux have situated our research and design project: Mitigation of Shock.

We will design responses to first world disasters that are likely to happen in the near future, by prototyping alternatives today. Alternatives that are tools, methods, materials and commons that individuals can learn, use and share in order to gain agency and capacity to mitigate the shock of climate change.

If you are working in climate science, food insecurity, global economics, supply chains, or related fields, we’d love to talk to you."
climatechange  superflux  mitigationofshock  science  foodinsecurity  supplychains  disasters  globalwarming 
july 2016 by robertogreco
Where to Live to Avoid a Natural Disaster - Map - NYTimes.com
"Weather disasters and quakes: who’s most at risk? The analysis below, by Sperling’s Best Places, a publisher of city rankings, is an attempt to assess a combination of those risks in 379 American metro areas. Risks for twisters and hurricanes (including storms from hurricane remnants) are based on historical data showing where storms occurred. Earthquake risks are based on United States Geological Survey assessments and take into account the relative infrequency of quakes, compared with weather events and floods. Additional hazards included in this analysis: flooding, drought, hail and other extreme weather."
2011  via:vruba  maps  mapping  disasters  naturaldisasters  nature  usgs  earhquakes 
july 2015 by robertogreco
BOMB Magazine — Rebecca Solnit by Astra Taylor
"AT One of the most interesting ideas in the book is the concept of “elite panic”—the way that elites, during disasters and their aftermath, imagine that the public is not only in danger but also a source of danger. You show in case after case how elites respond in destructive ways, from withholding essential information, to blocking citizen relief efforts, to protecting property instead of people. As you write in the book, “there are grounds for fear of a coherent insurgent public, not just an overwrought, savage one.”

RS The term “elite panic” was coined by Caron Chess and Lee Clarke of Rutgers. From the beginning of the field in the 1950s to the present, the major sociologists of disaster—Charles Fritz, Enrico Quarantelli, Kathleen Tierney, and Lee Clarke—proceeding in the most cautious, methodical, and clearly attempting-to-be-politically-neutral way of social scientists, arrived via their research at this enormous confidence in human nature and deep critique of institutional authority. It’s quite remarkable.

Elites tend to believe in a venal, selfish, and essentially monstrous version of human nature, which I sometimes think is their own human nature. I mean, people don’t become incredibly wealthy and powerful by being angelic, necessarily. They believe that only their power keeps the rest of us in line and that when it somehow shrinks away, our seething violence will rise to the surface—that was very clear in Katrina. Timothy Garton Ash and Maureen Dowd and all these other people immediately jumped on the bandwagon and started writing commentaries based on the assumption that the rumors of mass violence during Katrina were true. A lot of people have never understood that the rumors were dispelled and that those things didn’t actually happen; it’s tragic.

But there’s also an elite fear—going back to the 19th century—that there will be urban insurrection. It’s a valid fear. I see these moments of crisis as moments of popular power and positive social change. The major example in my book is Mexico City, where the ’85 earthquake prompted public disaffection with the one-party system and, therefore, the rebirth of civil society.

AT So on the one hand there are people responding in these moments of crisis and organizing themselves, helping each other, and, on the other, there are power elites, who sometimes, though not always, sabotage grassroots efforts because, as you say at one point, the very existence of such efforts is taken to represent the failure of authorities to rise to the occasion—it’s better to quash such efforts than to appear incompetent. The way you explore the various motivations of the official power structure for sabotaging people’s attempts to self-organize was a very interesting element of the book.

RS You are an anarchist, aren’t you?

AT Maybe deep down. (laughter)

RS Not all authorities respond the same way. But you can see what you’re talking about happening right after the 1906 earthquake. San Franciscans formed these community street kitchens. You weren’t allowed to have a fire indoors because the risk of setting your house, and thereby your neighborhood, on fire was too great—if you had a house, that is. People responded with enormous humor and resourcefulness by creating these kitchens to feed the neighborhood. Butchers, dairymen, bakers, etcetera were giving away food for free. It was like a Paris Commune dream of a mutual-aid society. At a certain point, authorities decided that these kitchens would encourage freeloading and became obsessed with the fear that people would double dip. So they set up this kind of ration system and turned a horizontal model of mutual aid—where I’m helping you but you’re helping me—into a vertical model of charity where I have and you lack and I am giving to you. Common Ground, the radical organization for community rebuilding, 100 years later in New Orleans chooses as its motto: “Solidarity not charity.”

AT The charity model fits hand in hand with the “we need a paternal, powerful authority figure in a time of crisis” mindset that your book refutes. Do you think people need to be led?

RS Part of the stereotypical image is that we’re either wolves or we’re sheep. We’re either devouring babies raw and tearing up grandmothers with our bare hands, or we’re helpless and we panic and mill around like idiots in need of Charlton Heston men in uniforms with badges to lead us. I think we’re neither, and the evidence bears that out."



"RS I started that book when I was almost 30. The Nevada Test Site was the place that taught me how to write. Until then I had been writing in three different ways: I had been writing as an art critic, in a very objective, authoritative voice; I had been writing as an environmental journalist, also with objectivity; and then I had also been writing these very lapidary essays on the side. It felt like three different selves, three different voices, and explaining the test site and all the forces converging there demanded that I use all those voices at once. So as to include everything relevant, it also demanded I write in a way both meandering and inclusive. A linear narrative is often like a highway bulldozed through the landscape, and I wanted to create something more like a path that didn’t bulldoze and allowed for scenic detours.

My training as an art critic was a wonderful background because it taught me to think critically about representations and meanings, and that applied really well to national parks and atomic bombs and Indian Wars. It was great to realize that I didn’t have to keep these tools in museums and galleries—it was a tool kit that could go anywhere. Also, I was trained as a journalist. A journalist can become an adequate expert pretty quickly and handle the material, whereas a lot of scholars dedicate their life to one subject."
rebeccasolnit  atrataylor  elites  elitism  humans  humannature  power  2009  insurrection  resistance  caronchess  leeclarke  charlesfritz  enricoquarantelli  kathleentierney  timothygartonash  maureendowd  fear  neworleans  katrina  disasters  solidarity  grassroots  activism  charity  authoruty  patriarchy  control  writing  howwewrite  nola 
june 2015 by robertogreco
Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene - NYTimes.com
"This chorus of Jeremiahs predicts a radically transformed global climate forcing widespread upheaval — not possibly, not potentially, but inevitably. We have passed the point of no return. From the point of view of policy experts, climate scientists and national security officials, the question is no longer whether global warming exists or how we might stop it, but how we are going to deal with it."



"The challenge the Anthropocene poses is a challenge not just to national security, to food and energy markets, or to our “way of life” — though these challenges are all real, profound, and inescapable. The greatest challenge the Anthropocene poses may be to our sense of what it means to be human. Within 100 years — within three to five generations — we will face average temperatures 7 degrees Fahrenheit higher than today, rising seas at least three to 10 feet higher, and worldwide shifts in crop belts, growing seasons and population centers. Within a thousand years, unless we stop emitting greenhouse gases wholesale right now, humans will be living in a climate the Earth hasn’t seen since the Pliocene, three million years ago, when oceans were 75 feet higher than they are today. We face the imminent collapse of the agricultural, shipping and energy networks upon which the global economy depends, a large-scale die-off in the biosphere that’s already well on its way, and our own possible extinction. If homo sapiens (or some genetically modified variant) survives the next millenniums, it will be survival in a world unrecognizably different from the one we have inhabited."



"But the biggest problems the Anthropocene poses are precisely those that have always been at the root of humanistic and philosophical questioning: “What does it mean to be human?” and “What does it mean to live?” In the epoch of the Anthropocene, the question of individual mortality — “What does my life mean in the face of death?” — is universalized and framed in scales that boggle the imagination. What does human existence mean against 100,000 years of climate change? What does one life mean in the face of species death or the collapse of global civilization? How do we make meaningful choices in the shadow of our inevitable end?

These questions have no logical or empirical answers. They are philosophical problems par excellence. Many thinkers, including Cicero, Montaigne, Karl Jaspers, and The Stone’s own Simon Critchley, have argued that studying philosophy is learning how to die. If that’s true, then we have entered humanity’s most philosophical age — for this is precisely the problem of the Anthropocene. The rub is that now we have to learn how to die not as individuals, but as a civilization."



"I found my way forward through an 18th-century Samurai manual, Yamamoto Tsunetomo’s “Hagakure,” which commanded: “Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily.” Instead of fearing my end, I owned it. Every morning, after doing maintenance on my Humvee, I’d imagine getting blown up by an I.E.D., shot by a sniper, burned to death, run over by a tank, torn apart by dogs, captured and beheaded, and succumbing to dysentery. Then, before we rolled out through the gate, I’d tell myself that I didn’t need to worry, because I was already dead. The only thing that mattered was that I did my best to make sure everyone else came back alive. “If by setting one’s heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead,” wrote Tsunetomo, “he gains freedom in the Way.”"



"The human psyche naturally rebels against the idea of its end. Likewise, civilizations have throughout history marched blindly toward disaster, because humans are wired to believe that tomorrow will be much like today — it is unnatural for us to think that this way of life, this present moment, this order of things is not stable and permanent. Across the world today, our actions testify to our belief that we can go on like this forever, burning oil, poisoning the seas, killing off other species, pumping carbon into the air, ignoring the ominous silence of our coal mine canaries in favor of the unending robotic tweets of our new digital imaginarium. Yet the reality of global climate change is going to keep intruding on our fantasies of perpetual growth, permanent innovation and endless energy, just as the reality of mortality shocks our casual faith in permanence.

The biggest problem climate change poses isn’t how the Department of Defense should plan for resource wars, or how we should put up sea walls to protect Alphabet City, or when we should evacuate Hoboken. It won’t be addressed by buying a Prius, signing a treaty, or turning off the air-conditioning. The biggest problem we face is a philosophical one: understanding that this civilization is already dead. The sooner we confront this problem, and the sooner we realize there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves, the sooner we can get down to the hard work of adapting, with mortal humility, to our new reality.

The choice is a clear one. We can continue acting as if tomorrow will be just like yesterday, growing less and less prepared for each new disaster as it comes, and more and more desperately invested in a life we can’t sustain. Or we can learn to see each day as the death of what came before, freeing ourselves to deal with whatever problems the present offers without attachment or fear.

If we want to learn to live in the Anthropocene, we must first learn how to die."
environment  royscranton  2014  anthropocene  disturbance  climatechange  iraq  collapse  civilization  hurricanesandy  hurricanekatrina  neworleans  weather  disasters  globalwarming  climate  death  fear  life  living  nola 
march 2014 by robertogreco
CDC official: we've reached "the end of antibiotics"
"Yesterday, Mark Sample tweeted about disasters, low-points, and chronic trauma:
"Low point" is the term for when the worst part of a disaster has come to pass. Our disasters increasingly have no low point.

After the low point of a disaster is reached, things begin to get better. When there is no clear low point, society endures chronic trauma.

Disasters with no clear low point: global warming, mass extinction, colony collapse disorder, ocean acidification, Fukushima.

To which I would add: drug-resistant infectious diseases."
2013  marksample  kottke  disasters  lowpoints  trauma  chronictrauma  antibiotics  disease  climatechange  globalwarming  massextinction  colonycollapsedisorder  oceanacidification  fukushima 
october 2013 by robertogreco
CDC - Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response: Zombies
"Wonder why Zombies, Zombie Apocalypse, and Zombie Preparedness continue to live or walk dead on a CDC web site? As it turns out what first began as a tongue in cheek campaign to engage new audiences with preparedness messages has proven to be a very effective platform. We continue to reach and engage a wide variety of audiences on all hazards preparedness via Zombie Preparedness; and as our own director, Dr. Ali Khan, notes, "If you are generally well equipped to deal with a zombie apocalypse you will be prepared for a hurricane, pandemic, earthquake, or terrorist attack." So please log on, get a kit, make a plan, and be prepared!"
zombies  classideas  via:anne  cdc  preparedness  disasters 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Chinese DIY Inventions - In Focus - The Atlantic
"One visible sign of China's recent economic growth is the rise in prominence of inventors and entrepreneurs. For years now, Chinese farmers, engineers, and businessmen have taken on ambitious do-it-yourself projects, constructing homemade submarines, helicopters, robots, safety equipment, weapons and much more. Some of the inventions are built out of passion, some with an eye toward profit, (some certainly safer than others), and a few have already led to sales for the inventors. Gathered here are recent photos of this DIY movement across China."
china  engineering  photos  photography  invention  inventions  robots  housing  arks  submarines  2013  vehicles  motorcycles  slides  houses  portability  mobility  nomads  disasters  airplanes  diy  making  makers  bikes  prosthetics  helicopters 
may 2013 by robertogreco
Power to the People | Jacobin
"The idea of mutual aid was at the foundation of Occupy as much as the much-debated horizontalism and the opposition to the banks."

"Rebecca Solnit wrote so eloquently of the communities that arise in disaster, and Occupy was a response to a disaster itself, a slow-moving financial hurricane that destroyed homes as surely as the storm. So it shouldn’t be surprising that after Sandy moved through, the first people to jump into action were the same ones who had made things run in the park. The movement may have suffered from the lack of focus after the encampments were taken, but Sandy provided that focus and immediate needs to be provided for."

"what seemed entirely lost is the long tradition of service provision as political organizing…

political organizing and mutual aid go hand in hand, or they should… the early labor movement wasn’t just about organizing on the job but organizing in your neighborhood."
communities  community  disasters  rebeccasolnit  resilience  society  politics  politicalorganizing  action  horizontalism  mutualaid  2012  hurricanesandy  occupywallstreet  ows 
november 2012 by robertogreco
The half-life of disaster: The world's media-driven nerves quickly move from shock to vague foreboding and 'disaster capitalism' surges on | Brian Massumi | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
"These quasi-monopolistic movements are tolerated, or even encouraged, in the name of securing the economy's future stability…significantly the case in energy sector, with policies friendly to centralised production & quasi-monopolistic ownership designed, for example, to revive nuclear power industry or to kick-start capital-intensive pseudo-green "alternatives" like biofuels & mythical "clean" coal – precisely kinds of choices that will render the global situation even more precarious in long run…As long as disaster capitalism reigns – which no doubt will be as long as capitalism itself reigns – world will be caught in vicious circle: that of responding by increasingly draconian & ill-advised means to threat environment whose dangers response only contributes to intensifying.

The only way out is to militate for an alternate interlinkage: between global anticapitalist political contestation & a renascent environmental movement with opposition to nuclear power at its heart."
brianmassumi  disasters  nuclear  energy  capitalism  disastercapitalism  power  money  influence  greed  2011  japan  tsunamis  fukushima  naturaldisasters  threatenvironment  environment  sustainability  change  terrorism  collectiveresponse  scale  heroes  systems  systemsthinking  via:javierarbona 
april 2011 by robertogreco
Tomgram: Rebecca Solnit, The Earthquake Kit | TomDispatch
"…usual emphasis on “panic” in disasters implies that, in a crisis, we’re all sheep wheeling around idiotically, incapable of making good decisions, & selfishly trampling those around us. The emphasis on looting implies that, in a crisis, we’re all wolves, taking ruthless advantage of & preying on each other. Both presume that during a disaster social bonds will break. In fact, as the records of disaster after disaster show, mostly they don’t. In fact, those who study the subject confirm that, in catastrophe, most of us behave remarkably beautifully, exhibiting presence of mind, altruism, generosity, bravery, & creativity."<br />
<br />
"So in a disaster, unload the usual clichés & stereotypes. Do your best not to fill up the unknown w/ fantasy or fear. Don’t assume the worst or the best, but keep an alert mind on the actual as it unfolds. Don’t take scenarios for realities. Be prepared to reevaluate & change your plans again & again…disaster is like everyday life, only more so."
rebeccasolnit  via:javierarbona  panic  truth  human  humans  humannature  behavior  media  society  earthquakes  2011  disasters  safety  preparedness  community  people 
march 2011 by robertogreco
storyful
"Dramatic new video of the Tsunami sweeping away cars and debris has emerged"
japan  disasters  tsunami  2011 
march 2011 by robertogreco
BOMB Magazine: Rebecca Solnit by Astra Taylor
"Extensive archival research allows Solnit to paint a colorful portrait of mutual aid at the turn of the 20th century, while contemporary first-person investigative reporting lends a sense of urgency and, also, possibility. As Solnit points out, untold disasters lurk just over the horizon. What remains unknown is whether self-interest or a sense of community will guide our next response."
interview  sociology  rebeccasolnit  astrataylor  disasters  community  society  resilience  mutualaid 
december 2010 by robertogreco
Cellphones Become Our Comfort Objects During Disaster
"Two days after a 8.8 magnitude earthquake displaced them from their homes and separated them from dear ones, people gathered at a fire-station in Concepcion, Chile to charge their cellphones—their comfort objects during this disaster.

Chile was becoming a trending topic on Twitter before even the fastest newscasters got a chance to talk about Saturday's earthquake, thanks to many hastily posted Tweets—most of which likely came from mobile devices. Tweets, text messages, emails, calls, voicemails—everything flew across the networks, draining phones and granting people some comfort and peace. Just hearing a familiar voice or reading words of assurance—knowing that your mobile device links you to the world, to family, and to much needed aid—makes one heck of a difference.

We need food. We need medication. We need a hand to pull us out of the rubble. But we also need a little gadget that lets us cry out to the world so that everyone else has a chance to tell us that it'll be ok."
chile  earthquakes  disasters  mobile  phones  emergency  trust  twitter  comfort  2010  via:jbleecker 
august 2010 by robertogreco
climate capsules: means of surviving disaster
"in view of the advancing climate change, the exhibition 'climate capsules: means of surviving disaster' poses the question: 'how do we want to live in the future?' and draws attention to the socio-political consequences of coexistence under new climatic conditions. in relation to the issue that politicians are hesitant to enforce strict measures for climate protection and that citizens are very sluggish about altering their habits, the change appears inevitable. the world community is accordingly confronted with the challenge of investigating various possible means of adapting to climate change. this exhibition brings together historical and current climate-related models, concepts, strategies, experiments and utopias from the areas of design, art, architecture and urban development – pursuing not the aim of stopping climate change, but envisioning means of survival after disaster has struck."
survival  exhibits  exhibitions  art  architecture  glvo  disasters  climatechange  policy  urban  urbanism  design  history  future 
july 2010 by robertogreco
Haiti Rewired
"Will foreign aid to Haiti fail this time? Or will the tragedy bring with it a chance to reboot one of the world's poorest countries -- & rethink the the traditional ways of delivering aid & development?...the disaster may prove to be a unique chance for an architectural & communications reboot of an entire country. That's why we've created this community, Haiti Rewired. We believe that better answers to the difficult questions could be created through the collaboration of technologists, researchers, geographers, infrastructure specialists, aid groups & others. Our writers & editors can aggregate information, report new stories & add to the discussion, but the focus of this effort is squarely on the thoughts, plans & actions of our contributors...we want to test (5) simple principles that could transform not only Haiti, but the world's response to crisis: Collaboration, Transparency, Innovation, Design, & DIY."

[text from: http://haitirewired.wired.com/profiles/blogs/haiti-rewireds-mission ]

[via: http://snarkmarket.com/2010/5054 ]
technology  community  collaborative  creativecommons  development  haiti  philanthropy  transparency  innovation  design  glvo  collaboration  diy  disasters  disaster  rebooting  infrastructure  geography  aid  gamechanging 
january 2010 by robertogreco
encore heureux + G studio: 'room room' - crossing dialogues: for emergency architecture
"for their concept encore heureux + G studio looked for what we need more in critical
moments of existence: when we are without roof, without place of residence, excluded
from the society. we wished to imagine an 'ally' to accompany the people who reconstruct
and remain with dignity."
architecture  emergencies  mobility  mobile  design  neo-nomads  nomads  disasters 
june 2009 by robertogreco
After Shock: What Happens Next Is Up to You...
"After Shock is the world's first massively collaborative disaster simulation, about a major earthquake affecting much of Southern California. Starting Nov 13, 2008, you'll experience the earthquake as if it's really occurring, and what happens next? How do we survive? Can our region recover and rebuild? - will be up to you."
iftf  earthquakes  simulation  disasters  tcsnmy  socal  classideas  simulations 
october 2008 by robertogreco
Core77 / Good stuff, Gatherer Jacket adapts to unexpected climate changes
"Merrell's new lightweight Gather Jacket helps hikers and climbers adapt to rapid temperature changes by filling pockets throughout the jacket with any found materials for increased insulation."
clothing  design  finalhome  glvo  disasters  weather  adaptability 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Letter from Tokyo: Shopping Rebellion: What the kids want: The New Yorker [see also finalhome.com]
"coat is designed to serve as a final home in the case of a natural or man-made disaster...For warmth, you can stuff its many pockets with newspapers, or with the floppy nylon teddy bears which Final Home also sells."
finalhome  japan  newyorker  tokyo  fashion  shopping  glvo  2002  nomads  neo-nomads  disasters 
july 2008 by robertogreco
Access : Of myths and men : Nature News
"Worries about an apocalypse unleashed by particle accelerators are not new, says Philip Ball. They have their source in old myths, which are hard to dispel."
science  nature  physics  myth  experiments  mythology  disasters  risk  scifi  stories  truth  cern  lhc 
may 2008 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Americas | Scientists advance 'drought crop'
"Scientists say they have made a key breakthrough in understanding the genes of plants that could lead to crops that can survive in a drought."
agriculture  botany  disasters  drought  environment  genetics  science  technology  future  food 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Ten things holding back tech - ZDNet UK
"1. Microsoft's stranglehold on the desktop 2. Operator lock-in 3. Input methods 4. Battery life 5. The mania for speed 6. Intellectual property law 7. Skills inequalities 8. Web 2.0 9. National interests 10. The current lack of global wars and/or disaste
future  innovation  technology  trends  progress  information  development  change  microsoft  speed  input  batteries  ip  skills  web2.0  disasters  war  twitter  skype  facebook  leapfrogging  qwerty 
november 2007 by robertogreco
Slideshow: Instant Housing and Designing for Disaster
"A growing number of architects and designers is exploring humanitarian design for people displaced by a natural disaster or other emergency. This gallery shows some of the most promising quick-fix shelters, from inflatable concrete tents to houses made f
shelter  emergencies  architecture  design  housing  homes  disasters 
october 2007 by robertogreco

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