Resilience NEWS

The Year That Resilience Gets Real

2014 promises to be a superlative year—and that’s not necessarily a good thing. Complex, “super” disasters like Super Typhoon Haiyan are becoming more frequent, more systemic, and more destructive. Global trends, from population dynamics to food, water, and energy scarcities, threaten to further complicate the playing field. But by finally getting serious about resilience—the much discussed buzzword of 2013—we might reduce our vulnerability, restore our communities, and build back better, rather than just picking up the pieces…

Chicago weather forecast in a word: Brutal!!
Chicago weather forecast in a word: Brutal!!

 

Resilience: The Opposite of Depression

“Happiness isn’t the opposite of depression — resilience is, according to psychologist Peter Kramer. Think of the people you most admire — many of them didn’t get where they are just by sailing through life without any negative experiences or failures. Most of them distinguished themselves by their ability to get right back up every time they fall, a truism reflected in countless inspirational quotations on the power of perseverance.”..

 

Study: What is driving the rising cost of natural disasters? (Macquarie University, Sydney)

It is a widely held view that climate change arising from human activity is increasing the cost of natural disasters. This perception is false.  While it is undeniable that the economic cost of natural disasters is rising rapidly, it is doing so because of growing concentrations of population and wealth in disaster-prone regions. So far studies of long-term insurance or economic disaster loss histories caused by extreme weather -tropical cyclones, floods, bushfires (wildfires) and storms- have been unable to identify a contribution from human-induced climate change. This is true for many different natural perils and across jurisdictions…

 

Natural disaster will be declared

AN OFFICIAL announcement of a “state of natural disaster” is imminent in Brittany.  Following the recent flooding, official government spokeswoman Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said today un état de catastrophe naturelle will be declared as soon as possible, adding that “the government will be supporting Brittany in facing up to these bad weather conditions”.  Most home insurance policies include cover for natural disasters but insurers only pay out once a natural disaster has been declared by ministerial decree. Anyone affected has 10 days to make an insurance claim from the date of the decree (see February’s Connexion for more on this).  The red alert in Finistère has now been lowered to orange again, as flooding has started to subside, but inhabitants in Quimperlé, the town worst affected, are watching with concern to see the impact of tonight’s high tide…

 

Indonesia cave reveals history of tsunami

A cave discovered near the source of Indonesia’s massive earthquake-spawned tsunami contains the footprints of past gigantic waves dating up to 7,500 years ago, a rare natural record that suggests the next disaster could be centuries away — or perhaps only decades. The findings provide the longest and most detailed timeline for tsunami that have occurred off the far western tip of Sumatra Island in Aceh province. That’s where 30-meter waves triggered by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004, killed 230,000 people in several countries…

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