Corruption News

IIan Kelman: 'Disasters are not natural – but don't blame climate change'



It has long been accepted in disaster research that we should avoid the phrase ‘natural disaster’. Disasters are not usually the consequence of environmental phenomena, such as earthquakes and rainfall. Instead, we put ourselves and others in harm’s way while failing to take measures which we know would prevent disasters, no matter what nature does. Disasters are not natural, because the causes are human values, attitudes, behaviour, and choices, typically when people with power and resources force others to be vulnerable. Now, human-caused climate change is being blamed for ‘no natural disasters’ even though it alters hazards while having little impact on vulnerabilities. With a few terrifyingly lethal exceptions, climate change does not cause the unnaturalness of disasters.



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