Document / Publication
Chemistry & Industry (Wiley) (C & I)
Societal actions set up people and communities to be harmed by the environment: Poorly constructed buildings, breaking planning regulations, fearing assault in an evacuation shelter, poor communication of – or ignoring – warnings, and silencing doctors who sound the alarm about a new disease.
The environment always provides tectonic movements, weather, and biological challenges to humanity. Those in society with resources and power make decisions to create and perpetuate vulnerabilities. This ranges from placing settlements
in burnable ecosystems without accounting for wildﬁres to paying people orders of magnitude more to kick, hit or throw a ball than to save lives daily.
Disasters are not extreme, unusual, or unpredictable events originating in the natural world. Fundamentally, disasters are not events. They are the common, every day, often unadmitted conditions in which we all live and are often powerless to stop. Unfortunately, they hit the headlines and galvanise action mainly when people die. By accepting that disasters including pandemics are not natural, but are caused by us, we can avoid making disastrous choices.
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DOCUMENTS / PUBLICATIONS