New York City Is Building for a Future of Flooding

Author: Jamie Condliffe (re-posted from MIT Technology Review: Coastal areas of the northeastern U.S. could experience huge increases in sea level by 2100, and its largest city is already preparing. As rising sea levels continue to pose a threat to coastal regions of the U.S., low-lying but densely populated regions like New York City are … [Read more…]

Using Archives of Past Floods to Estimate Future Flood Hazards

Authors: Tina Swierczynski, Monica Ionita, and David Pino ( Worldwide, floods cause greater economic damage and loss of human life than any other type of natural disaster. We urgently need better assessments of flood hazards to reduce the societal impact of extreme floods caused by Earth’s rapidly changing climate, among other factors. One way of assessing … [Read more…]

Disaster Justice in Anthropocene Asia and the Pacific Conference

Authors: Michelle Miller and Marcel Bandur As all disasters occur in political space, disaster justice is situated in spheres of governance and in the context of the rapidly urbanizing societies of the Asia-Pacific that are increasingly impacted by the advent of the Anthropocene, namely, the destructive human transformations of nature that are significant drivers of … [Read more…]

Good Samaritans?

Author: Dr Caroline Brassard The increasing emergence of ‘non-traditional actors’ in the humanitarian field – some of whom bring specialized skills and innovative technology, others who are ill-prepared – heralds a new chapter in disaster relief. The increasing importance of private businesses, charities and faith-based organizations in responding to humanitarian and environmental crises is impacting … [Read more…]

Call for Abstracts – Navigating Towards Security & Sustainability, PRiMO Annual Conference, March 20-23, 2017, Honolulu, Hawaii

Communities throughout the world face natural and man-made threats and hazards. Since 2003, the Pacific Risk Management Ohana (PRiMO) has been bringing people and organizations together to share knowledge, increase collaboration, and build resilient communities. The 2017 PRiMO Conference will focus on “Navigating Towards Security and Sustainability.” We invite researchers, scholars, and scientists to submit … [Read more…]

Fascination with Disaster: the rise and rise of ‘dark tourism’

Author: Dr Fiona Williamson The term ‘dark tourism’ was coined in 1996 by academics J. Lennon and M. Foley to mean tourism that involves travelling to sites associated with disasters and suffering. Disasters and stories of human tragedy seem to hold some kind of special fascination for us. Keeping alive the memory of people’s suffering … [Read more…]

The Roles of Myth and Science in Understanding Disaster

Author: Dr Fiona Williamson At a recent seminar held at the LKY School of Public Policy, NUS, on the subject of Environmental Disaster Risk Reduction in Timor Leste, the subject of ‘local knowledge v. modern science’ featured significantly in post-seminar discussion. ‘Local’ knowledge might entail anything from traditional methods of risk reduction or avoidance, coping strategies, … [Read more…]

Understanding Climate Change and Disaster through History

Author: Dr Fiona Williamson The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have just announced on that June 2016 was the hottest ever recorded worldwide. Added to this, June also marked the fourteenth consecutive month of record heat since 1880. Whilst there still exist a hardcore of people who refuse to believe that warming is … [Read more…]

Some questions for an ethics of expertise

Author: Eric Kerr Special knowledge confers special responsibilities; new knowledge produces new obligations. Does giving up on the idea of expertise in disasters therefore mean giving up on the possibility of holding anyone accountable? Channels for attributing expertise, whether they be apparent possession of knowledge (for domains where knowledge is often uncertain), prediction of events … [Read more…]