Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson review
Is there such a thing as a timely history book? If the point of history is to gain objective distance from past events, then timeliness can only be a pleasing accident rather than an outcome that is consciously sought. Yet with a column-writing historian such as Niall Ferguson, someone who is engaged prolifically in current affairs, the call of the now appears nigh on impossible to ignore.
And so his latest book, Doom, takes its lead from the Covid pandemic and seeks to place it in a historical context of other natural and manmade disasters – the two, as he rightly points out, are usually conjoined. The subtitle is The Politics of Catastrophe, and Ferguson’s basic thesis is that all disasters are grounded in “a history of economics, society, culture, and politics”….
Disaster response systems must be upgraded to deal with multiple crises simultaneously
As cyclone Tauktae cuts a swathe through the western coast, Gujarat is bracing itself for the strongest cyclone since 1998. Tauktae’s landfall is expected to be between Porbandar and Mahuva early Tuesday morning with wind speeds up to 185kmph. Already, eight people have died due to the strong winds in Karnataka and hundreds of houses have been damaged along the cyclone’s path.
That all of this comes in the middle of the Covid pandemic makes rescue and evacuation operations extremely complicated…
Ana forms in the Atlantic, becoming the first named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season
Subtropical Storm Ana formed early Saturday morning, becoming the first named storm of the 2021 Atlantic hurricane season. This now marks the seventh year in a row in which at least one named storm has formed prior to the start of Atlantic hurricane season which officially begins June 1.
This is not the first year that a subtropical storm has marked the beginning of Atlantic hurricane season. Mostly recently, 2019 and 2018 featured Subtropical Storms Andrea and Alberto, which were the first named storms of the season to form in their respective years.
A subtropical storm has similar characteristics of a tropical storm but is not considered fully tropical because it doesn’t depend on warm water temperatures to fuel its development…