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Resilience NEWS

Resilience NEWS


‘People, not climate’ blamed for natural disasters

THE Australian scientist who had a lead role in writing a UN report on managing extreme events associated with climate change says human settlement patterns are more important than global warming in driving losses from natural disasters. John Handmer, director of the Centre for Risk and Community Safety at Melbourne’s RMIT University, spoke out as Tony Abbott blasted attempts to link the deadly NSW bushfires with climate change as “complete hogwash”. And deputy Greens leader Adam Bandt declared addressing global warming was more important than prescribed burning to reduce bushfire risk, sparking anger from land management experts who have fought for tougher action to tackle fire fuel loads. Professor Handmer said the main driver worldwide of losses from natural disasters was the increased exposure of people to them, including to bushfire in Australia


Australia Wildfires Unlikely to Hurt Economy

Wildfires consuming parts of eastern Australia are unlikely to dent the economy in the way other natural disasters have in recent years, despite being the worst to strike the country’s most-populous state since the 1960s. The biggest fires are centered in the Blue Mountains region west of Sydney, an area that’s popular with tourists but is away from farmland and key resource-producing regions. Unlike severe floods in northeastern Queensland state nearly three years ago that wiped out fruit and vegetable crops and disrupted coal shipments for months, the latest wildfires will have an “almost negligible” impact on economic activity, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group senior economist Felicity Emmett said in a research report Friday. The country has been hit by a succession of extreme weather events in recent years. In 2009, 173 people were killed by wildfires that swept across Victoria, and in late 2010 and early 2011 Queensland state was hit hard by flooding and cyclones. Insurance losses for the latest fires have reached around 138 million Australian dollars (US$132.5 million). Insurance Australia Group Ltd. (IAG.AU) said it had so far received about 600 claims…


Geneva Association Calls on Governments to Act on Disaster Risks

In recognition of the impact wrought by Superstorm Sandy – $68 billion, the second biggest natural catastrophe loss in U.S. history – and the recent release of the IPCC’s climate report, the Geneva Association has issued a call to governments to “expand and increase their disaster resilience and response efforts.” The Association said: “The science underlying the IPCC report states with unprecedented certainty that the climate is changing and the speed at which these changes are taking place is accelerating. As a result, the frequency and intensity of weather events will continue to increase in certain regions. Recent insurance industry data also confirms that both the cost and the frequency of climate related insurance claims are rising…


Hurricane Sandy and Its Aftermath: By the Numbers

As with most events of significance, pointing to statistics can be telling — providing a window into the sheer depth of an incident or activity. In the case of superstorm Sandy, those facts and figures, however fascinating, are also tragic. Not only did hundreds of people lose their lives, last year’s hurricane and post-tropical cyclone left billions of dollars in damages and lost revenue in its wake. Here’s a look at the 100 years’ storm, by numbers…


CLEAR aims to minimize environmental disasters

The Fredericksburg area can better prepare for economic growth, creating “green” jobs and mitigating natural disasters. Those are a few of the objectives in a new regional planning effort spearheaded by the University of Mary Washington and a group of area businesses and community partners. The Climate, Environment and Readiness—CLEAR—plan would create a framework to discuss and help resolve climate change-imposed risks on families, cultural sites, the economy, natural resources and green spaces. “I see it as lasering in on a central set of issues, which have to do with resilience for the region” in meeting challenges ahead, Richard Finkelstein, UMW’s dean of the College of Arts & Sciences, said in a recent review…




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