Despite the best of intentions, there is only so much anyone is capable of doing and there is only so much emotional energy available to invest. It's hard to be heroic all the time.
Last month, the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a full committee hearing on the topic, "Climate Change: It's Happe...
We are under no illusions about the pace of recovery. The damage is great: after these violent storms, more than 8,000 individuals have registered with FEMA for relief. Eleven weeks later we have collected less than one percent of the estimated $2 billion in losses among our community.
It only took Mother Nature a few minutes to utterly destroy what over a thousand residents spent lifetimes building and nurturing, and it would take years for those individuals to rebuild their lives, homes, and businesses.
Disasters disrupt life in unimaginable ways, making those affected much more vulnerable to secondary disasters -- the kind caused by criminals. I've been through a number of earthquakes and lost a home to Hurricane Sandy. I know how all-consuming the aftermath can be.
Extreme weather has been pounding the U.S., and while pundits and the fossil fuel industry will claim action is too expensive, the cost of inaction is far too much to bear.
Even more to my surprise, in the wake of awful natural disasters in the last six months, most notably Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes, no one still wants to talk about climate change in depth -- rather leave it as a quick soundbite in evening news segments.
Anyone who has been watching primetime TV news can't but notice that staggering weather has been the lead or second story much of the time all spring and into the summer.
The libertarian rank hypocrisy runs much deeper and further than the post-tornado cries for help in Oklahoma, which surely deserve our sympathy. And it needs yet another debunking.
How much tv weather reporting is news, and how much is just non-contextualized drama? Originally published in Columbia Journalism Review 6/11/13 On...
By Adam Wollner June 13, 2013...
I have an odd research agenda for an economist: for the last 15 years I have studied the societal impacts and economic dimensions of natural hazards. ...
As a massive tornado touched ground and headed for Moore, Oklahoma, on May 20, it became frighteningly clear that three of Moore's public schools were directly in its path. With only a few minutes' warning, the teachers and staff rushed to protect the children.
In Oklahoma, the median income ranks 41st yet, our people form the nation's 11th most generous state. Here, people give out of their need.
When tragedy strikes, the human spirit doesn't falter. As witnessed with recent events including the Boston Marathon bombings, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, the garment factory building collapse Bangladesh, and the tornado devastation in Oklahoma, individuals and organizations emerge within those communities and across the world eager to lend a hand to those affected.
Certainly any form of "virtual" interaction can lead to more isolation not less -- more social fabric fraying, not less; more broken community ties, not less -- but not all the time. Many times, virtual interaction can lead to the exact opposite: less isolation, more social fabric, more community ties.