Disaster by Choice

How our actions turn natural hazards into catastrophes

Price: 750.00 INR

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ISBN:

9780198841340

Publication date:

10/02/2020

Hardback

192 pages

Price: 750.00 INR

We sell our titles through other companies
Disclaimer :You will be redirected to a third party website.The sole responsibility of supplies, condition of the product, availability of stock, date of delivery, mode of payment will be as promised by the said third party only. Prices and specifications may vary from the OUP India site.

ISBN:

9780198841340

Publication date:

10/02/2020

Hardback

192 pages

Ilan Kelman

  • Offers an uncomfortable truth, that the majority of 'natural disasters' are created or exacerbated by human choices
  • Explores how we can and should act to stop people dying when nature unleashes its powers by asking what can be done to prevent or avoid disasters
  • Considers the social, political, and economic factors involved in our decision making around natural hazards
  • Encourages readers not to accept the complacent narrative of human helplessness in the face of the power of inevitable natural occurrences
  • Describes inspiring examples of effective human action that limits damage, such as managing flooding in Toronto and villages in Bangladesh, and wildfire in Colorado

Rights:  OUP UK (Indian Territory)

Ilan Kelman

Description

An earthquake shatters Haiti and a hurricane slices through Texas. We hear that nature runs rampant, seeking to destroy us through these 'natural disasters'. Science recounts a different story, however: disasters are not the consequence of natural causes; they are the consequence of human choices and decisions. we put ourselves in harm's way; we fail to take measures which we know would prevent disasters, no matter what the environment does.

This can be both hard to accept, and hard to unravel. A complex of factors shape disasters. They arise from the political processes dictating where and what we build, and from social circumstances which create and perpetuate poverty and discrimination. They develop from the social preference to blame nature for the damage wrought, when in fact events such as earthquakes and storms are entirely commonplace environmental processes We feel the need to fight natural forces, to reclaim what we assume is ours, and to protect ourselves from what we perceive to be wrath from outside our communities. This attitude distracts us from the real causes of disasters: humanity's decisions, as societies and as individuals. It stops us accepting the real solutions to disasters: making better decisions.

This book explores stories of some of our worst disasters to show how we can and should act to stop people dying when nature unleashes its energies. The disaster is not the tornado, the volcanic eruption, or climate change, but the deaths and injuries, the loss of irreplaceable property, and the lack and even denial of support to affected people, so that a short-term interruption becomes a long-term recovery nightmare. But we can combat this, as Kelman shows, describing inspiring examples of effective human action that limits damage, such as managing flooding in Toronto and villages in Bangladesh, or wildfire in Colorado.

Throughout, his message is clear: there is no such thing as a natural disaster. The disaster lies in our inability to deal with the environment and with ourselves.

About the Author

Ilan Kelman is Professor of Disasters and Health at University College London, England and a Professor II at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. His overall research interest is linking disasters and health, including the integration of climate change into disaster research and health research.

Ilan Kelman

Table of contents

Prelude: Disasters are not natural
1: An island shattered
2: Nature's hazards
3: The story of vulnerability
4: Vulnerability by choice
5: Making the choice
6: Making the change
Endnotes
Further reading

Ilan Kelman

Ilan Kelman

Review

"This is an excellent little book that crystallises ideas about the influence and impact of human actions on natural catastrophes into a thoughtful and informative narrative, concluding - and rightly so - that there is no such thing as a natural disaster. A must-read book." - Professor Bill McGuire, author of Waking the Giant

Ilan Kelman

Description

An earthquake shatters Haiti and a hurricane slices through Texas. We hear that nature runs rampant, seeking to destroy us through these 'natural disasters'. Science recounts a different story, however: disasters are not the consequence of natural causes; they are the consequence of human choices and decisions. we put ourselves in harm's way; we fail to take measures which we know would prevent disasters, no matter what the environment does.

This can be both hard to accept, and hard to unravel. A complex of factors shape disasters. They arise from the political processes dictating where and what we build, and from social circumstances which create and perpetuate poverty and discrimination. They develop from the social preference to blame nature for the damage wrought, when in fact events such as earthquakes and storms are entirely commonplace environmental processes We feel the need to fight natural forces, to reclaim what we assume is ours, and to protect ourselves from what we perceive to be wrath from outside our communities. This attitude distracts us from the real causes of disasters: humanity's decisions, as societies and as individuals. It stops us accepting the real solutions to disasters: making better decisions.

This book explores stories of some of our worst disasters to show how we can and should act to stop people dying when nature unleashes its energies. The disaster is not the tornado, the volcanic eruption, or climate change, but the deaths and injuries, the loss of irreplaceable property, and the lack and even denial of support to affected people, so that a short-term interruption becomes a long-term recovery nightmare. But we can combat this, as Kelman shows, describing inspiring examples of effective human action that limits damage, such as managing flooding in Toronto and villages in Bangladesh, or wildfire in Colorado.

Throughout, his message is clear: there is no such thing as a natural disaster. The disaster lies in our inability to deal with the environment and with ourselves.

About the Author

Ilan Kelman is Professor of Disasters and Health at University College London, England and a Professor II at the University of Agder, Kristiansand, Norway. His overall research interest is linking disasters and health, including the integration of climate change into disaster research and health research.

Read More

Reviews

"This is an excellent little book that crystallises ideas about the influence and impact of human actions on natural catastrophes into a thoughtful and informative narrative, concluding - and rightly so - that there is no such thing as a natural disaster. A must-read book." - Professor Bill McGuire, author of Waking the Giant

Read More

Table of contents

Prelude: Disasters are not natural
1: An island shattered
2: Nature's hazards
3: The story of vulnerability
4: Vulnerability by choice
5: Making the choice
6: Making the change
Endnotes
Further reading

Read More