Emerging societally-based mega-issues
EarthquakesAs reported in 2006 by Ian Traynor, in Turkey, there Is a major earthquake fault that runs through the north of the country, including Istanbul. Over recent years, there have been a number of severe earthquakes in this area, but not yet in Istanbul. Given the geology of the area, it would appear to be a case of not if, but when, a major earthquake strikes Istanbul, and, given the size of the population of the city (approximately 15 million) the consequences of such an earthquake are likely to be severe.‘A disaster waiting to happen – Why a huge earthquake near Istanbul seems inevitable’.
Want to keep
Coventry University online course,
Emergencies and Disasters: Trends and Issues
FloodingThe opposite headline mega-issue to drought would, of course, be flooding, something that affects tens of thousand of locations around the world. In the article below from 2007, Steven Morris and Alok Jha refer to the very serious floods that struck Gloucester, England in 2007, where connections were made between the flooding, suspected long-term climate change and the prospect of repeated flooding of a similar scale, in the future.‘Climate Warning Raises Long-Term Fears’.
Exploitation of the developing worldIn this article from 2006 John Vidal explores the effect of cash crops, crops grown purely for financial profit, rather than for use by the grower, on the water supplies in Kenya. It is not just rivers in Kenya however, but rivers in many other less economically developed countries (LEDCs) that intensively grow ‘cash crops’ for export to more economically developed countries (MEDC’s).‘How your supermarket flowers empty Kenya’s rivers’While it is very nice, in a country such as the UK, to be able to visit your local supermarket in the middle of winter and buy a lovely bunch of flowers for your ‘significant other’, and at a very reasonable price, there can be many significant consequences of extensive monocultures in less economically developed countries (LEDCs). For example, gluts through overproduction, or crop failure, possibly as a result of disease, may have dire consequences for the livelihoods of families and whole communities in areas dominated by the production of a particular commodity.
Water shortagesIn this article from 2007 Richard Wachman discusses another aspect of the relationship between climate change and water, namely the increasing disparity between the distribution of populations and the availability of water. Particularly between different countries who have access to the means and the political will to contest the ownership of water.‘Water becomes the new oil as the world runs dry’
Urban dependenceIn this article from 2008 Deyan Sudjic refers to densely populated major cities, and megalopolises, in which the vast majority of the population do not live directly ‘off the land’. Rather, they are highly dependent on a range of different types of critical infrastructure: for electricity, heating, water, food, financial exchange, information and communication, transportation and healthcare, for earning a livelihood. In fact, for almost all aspects of their day-to-day lives.‘Cities on the edge of chaos’.In our globalised world, many of the infrastructures and systems that supply the relevant goods and services cross national, and even continental boundaries. This degree of inter-connectivity can be a source of resilience, however, it can also be a source of vulnerability to disaster, as past power and banking systems failures and outbreaks of animal disease and human epidemics have demonstrated.
Your taskIf it is not sufficient to view emergencies and disasters as one-off events, then what further approaches are needed, and what steps should be taken?How can societies and governments determine and put into effect the policies and measures that are required?
Emergencies and Disasters: Trends and Issues
Our purpose is to transform access to education.
We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.
We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.