Archive for the Natural Disasters Category

“Here it comes!” “Global warming!” Ahhh!

Posted in Environmental Security, Natural Disasters, Popular Culture, Risk & Fear on April 28, 2010 by jessicabarranco

After talking about security, and questions about fear and power, I wanted to share this link with everyone.  This is how I feel about the environment sometimes, so I hope that this episode of South Park will help answer any lingering questions about global warming.

Please enjoy!

Click on: Two Days Before the Day After Tomorrow

Episode 908 (Original Air Date: Oct 19, 2005)

A GLOBAL WARMING STATE OF EMERGENCY is declared in South Park. The world’s largest beaver dam breaks and floods the adjacent town of Beaverton. As the victims wait for help to arrive, everyone in South Park tackles priority number one: who is to blame? Only Stan and Cartman know who’s really at fault.

When It’s All Said and Done, I Want It to be Over: Final Blog Post

Posted in Natural Disasters, Post-Apocalypse, Risk & Fear, Uncategorized on April 28, 2010 by cjreevesii

As I sit here writing my last blog post, I am reminded of all of the others that not only I, but my classmates have written before. A various range of genres flooding my thoughts, but all pertaining to one specific subject: eco- collapse. During my time in this class I have learned a lot about what makes our world go round, and if I may correctly say, what will eventually make it stop turning altogether. However, after everything I have learned from this class, two questions continue to pop in mind. Is the earth really going to end? If so, why are we trying to stop it? Although I understand that we as humans are selfish and would love to preserve our time spent controlling every possible element of the earth we can, I myself think that it would be better to let the earth die.

Now I know what you’re thinking. Why would anyone want the earth to die? Surely that would mean the death of all mankind dying with it. Well, I will tell you why. After much reading (thanks professor Ray) and discussion on what direction our planet is heading, I have determined that the conclusion is not good. Surely after all of the war, pollution, extinction, deprivation, death, global warming, natural disasters, (and the list goes on) the earth will be a ball of flames, born anew out of ashes, spinning without us. Although this may seem a bleak and out willful future, I believe it will ultimately do the earth more good to continue without us. Honestly, it’s no secret that we humans have done nothing to help restore the balance in the world. More accurately, we are almost always the cause of any bad thing happening on the planet, and sadly we do not seem to see the error of our ways.

Alan Weisman, the author of The World Without Us, gives us an astounding realization of our behaviors when he says “Every four days our population raises by 1 million. Since we really can’t grasp the effects of the numbers, we will crash and burn just like other species have done in the past.” It’s clear to see that from our own destructive ways we are harming the planet more every day. Would it be so much of a stretch to think that we humans could have one act of selflessness and ‘take on for team earth’? Surely we all know that the earth can go on without us. I would even venture to say that it will do quite better without human influence misguiding its path.

Well, from my perspective, when it’s all said and done, I want it to be over for us humans. Although I am eager to see just how many other share my opinion. Weisman seems to think that no matter what (even if the human race becomes extinct) we will never truly leave the earth alone. He ended his essay (which I will leave you with as well) with these last haunting lines. “Or even one day-long after we are gone, unbearably lonely for the beautiful world which we so foolishly banished ourselves- we, or our memories, might surf home abroad some comic electromagnetic waves to haunt our beloved earth.”

We won’t be back

Posted in Climate Change, Natural Disasters on April 28, 2010 by ajtriplett

Rebecca Solnit’s article Judgment Day in Copenhagen brings up some great points– but these are all points we’ve heard over and over and over.  Our leaders, the ones we elect to run our great nation, are being blinded.  Well, I wouldn’t even say blinded, more like ignorant, stupid, greedy and so many more words of choice.  Arnold Schwarzenegger, Obama, and every other Joe Schmo who says that something must be done about climate change and they are the ones who are going to do it are full of crap.

Like Solnit stated, the agreement that was discussed in Copenhagen suggested that we limit the temperature increase to about 7 degrees F.  Really? I mean, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that limiting 7 degrees will still destroy the environment. Although the temperature increase would be over time (by 2100), that 7-degree increase will kill the coral reefs, devastate farms, make the Amazon non-existent, and cause a slew of other problems.  Why can’t we make drastic changes now?  Make carpooling and recycle mandatory.  Limit the number of cars people can own. Force square footage limits on the houses people build…. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for solutions, but something major needs to be done.

and I feel fine

One of the comments a reader made on the Solnit article back in 2009 was about 9-11 and how  leaders across the world  “were all one, and would stand together against a common threat; yet tens of millions around the globe are now facing death by starvation and disease due to climate change, and those same governments can’t even agree to an agreement.”  Ding ding ding!!!!  Major disasters will continue to happen, people will continue to die, landscapes will perish until we just blow up.  The people who can really make a difference in the world—those who can make laws—need to do it now. Today.

Solnit said there are no superheroes but us….. superheroes aren’t real……

T.M.I. (Too Many Issues) in Natural Disasters

Posted in Environmental Security, Natural Disasters, Rhetoric on April 15, 2010 by Rita

This is my last blog and I feel somewhat slacking in my responsibilities. Yet, on the other hand, I am struggling with this week’s topic: Natural Disasters.

Don’t get me wrong, I know what Natural Disasters are and as you’re reading this I’m sure you’ve thought of at least a dozen recent Natural Disasters. I know that I could have inserted copious numbers of videos illustrating examples of this week’s topic but I felt it would be trite.

I have never been in a Natural Disaster yet, I can empathize with those who have and survived. Reading Rebecca Solnit’s A Paradise Built in Hell and the article, “We Know This Place”: Neoliberal Racial Regimes and the Katrina Circumstance by Jordan T. Camp and the constant reference to Sunni Patterson’s poem, We Know This Place, I literally cannot grasp the topics discussed and I honestly do not understand where the authors are coming from.

An example of being unable to wrap my mind around these topics is Sunni Patterson’s relating how the citizens of the Ninth Ward (predominantly poor blacks) in New Orleans were mistreated after hurricane Katrina is in direct relation to the days of slavery. Maybe its my naive nature but I never thought of the issues raised by the authors.

A Natural Disaster is horrendous and we all realize that the media cannot and the vast majority do not report without an agenda or bias, so it is no surprise when listening or watching the news that only what has “shock value” and/or looks “good” on camera is reported on.

I don’t understand why these authors and the communities devastated by disasters feel/believe that their governments must rush in and save them. Is it actually written in any of the constitutions of the governments of the world?

I guess for me knowing how the U.S. government has behaved in the wake of Natural Disasters in this country and how it has treated it’s citizens makes it crystal clear that it cannot and should not be relied upon in a community’s time of need.

“Natural” disasters

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental Security, Natural Disasters on April 14, 2010 by rudweiser

It’s understandable that humans have always placed the blame of natural disasters on external forces completely out of our control. We can’t even begin to conceive the possibility that something so radical, something believed to be solely caused by natural cycles on Earth, could be triggered by human activity. It’s not only wrong to think we don’t play a role, but pure ignorance to not consider ourselves as a factor. Earth’s environment is incredibly fragile and can easily be manipulated through the seemingly smallest activities of humans (i.e. burning fossil fuels, introducing alien species, oil drilling, etc). The real trouble arises when we try to change the environment to suit our needs rather than adapting to it. As we try to manipulate it to conserve our current lifestyle, unforeseen consequences are inevitable as we change Earth’s natural ways.

Adapting to the natural environment or ourselves?

How about our on-going race to secure resources? Everything from mining, logging to solar panels and hydro-electricity are being utilized to capture energy and will be used more extensively as the population continues to grow. These are all unnatural and have adverse effects on the natural environment, another way of changing it to our needs.

Three Gorges Dam

According to National Geographic, the Three Gorges Dam could hold enough water that the weight could tilt the Earth approximately 2 to 3 degrees. What effects could this have on the climate? How this climate shift effect natural disasters?

It’s difficult for me to have an optimistic look on the future. We are the smartest organisms on Earth, yet we cannot figure out how to adapt like all other organisms. We’ve dug ourselves in so deep with trying to maintain our current way of life that we have made natural disasters unnatural. Complete restructuring of our political and economic systems to adapt to the environment is a utterly perplexing and seems altogether impossible, yet the only permanent solution.

If my father was an earthquake, my mama was a hurricane

Posted in Natural Disasters, Popular Culture on April 14, 2010 by coolaccordionest

This week I wanted to stray from my creative writing stories and change my blog post up to flood our class with videos, blogs and links to things on natural disasters and pop culture.  One thing that really interested me about this class was seeing how apocalyptic and environmental issues are shown to us today. I wanted to get down to the basics for my research so of course I choose Google. I mean, what does every average American do when they want to know the answer to something or want to learn more about something?  As quickly as they can, they type whatever they’re searching for in some search engine.  So with the whole internet in front of me, I typed in “Natural Disasters and pop culture.”

This past year has been full of natural disasters from the Haiti earthquake to the less known flooding of Cusco, Peru and to the earthquakes and tsunamis of Chile.  When huge environmental crisis’s hit,  it seems like the whole world get’s involved.  An example of this is the earthquake in Haiti.  Everyone from the Red Cross to celebrities did everything they could to do their part. I mean, who knew that Shakira was a saint for finding time in her busy schedule to help rebuild schools in Haiti?  I sure didn’t until I googled natural disasters. 🙂 Even celebrities got together to remake the song “We Are the World” to get the word out Haiti (as well as to honor the late M.J.).

Our culture is in awe of anything that has to do with natural disasters.  I mean, look at this huge list of movies on disasters: LIST!
We could watch endless trailers on movies or hear a whole slew of songs about them.  I mean, remember just a couple years back when all the musicians got together to play at Live Earth — getting the word out about how to save the planet?

So now that I’ve bombarded our class with links and videos, what do you think this does for the average American? Do you think we’re better or worse off with all this information just floating around through the interwebs?

Although I already posted this song for the dust bowl, I thought it fit in really well with the category of Natural Disasters.

Also, here’s the link to the trailer Soylent Green.  I came upon it looking for documentaries on PBS. Apparently, turning people into crackers could be a possibility if resources really ran out. 🙂  [http://video.pbs.org/video/1443759794/]

Gotta get Mine

Posted in Climate Change, Environmental Security, Natural Disasters, Nuclear Apocalypse, Rhetoric, Risk & Fear, War on April 8, 2010 by Taylor Manuel

Through exploring the connections between war and the environment, there seems to be an  overwhelming voice speaking to an escalation of conflict in the interest of securing increasingly diminishing  resources. I think that in carrying on discussion in this area it is important to note that though there seems to be an increase in such conflict, securing environmental resources and conversely using them in war has been an aspect of conflict from the very beginning of war itself. Though technology certainly magnifies the impact and feasibility of environment both as weapon and reason for war.

Geo-political interest in foreign occupation has become just as permanent as the basses we have established.

If securing oil and gas resources is the major motivation for military occupation and national security, why do we put boots on the ground in the name of “Democracy and womens rights”? I suppose the answer is an obvious one, but is securing access to dwindling resources not just? As selfish as it may seem. Not to mention, profitable!

Unrelated to this theme, its interesting to think of Natural disaster being used as a covert weapon. Both in  cause and or response.

Gordan J. F. Macdonald was a visionary professor in Geophysics. In 1968, he wrote a book entitled, “Unless Peace Comes: How to Wreck the Environment.” He writes:

Man already possesses highly effective tools for destruction. Eventually, however, means other than open warfare may be used to secure national advantage. As economic competition among many advanced nations heightens, it may be to a country’s advantage to ensure a peaceful natural environment for itself and a disturbed environment for its competitors. Operations producing such conditions might be carried out covertly, since nature’s great irregularity permits storms, floods, droughts, earthquakes and tidal waves to be viewed as unusual but not unexpected. Such a ‘secret war’ need never be declared or even known by the affected populations. It could go on for years with only the security forces involved being aware of it. The years of drought and storm would be attributed to unkindly nature and only after a nation were thoroughly drained would an armed take-over be attempted.

This strategy of covert war, coupled with the securing of resources and invasive population control presents an interesting dynamism…