Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The real story of 'looting' after a disaster like typhoon Haiyan

At some point, the natural disaster as a category will have to be interred and obituaried.

It isn't just that the climate is partially manmade. All such disasters, insofar as they befall human communities, are socially constituted. We have known for some time, for example, that famine is the result not simply of crop failure, but of political and market failure. It is planned human responses, as much as the natural event itself, that produces the disaster.

So it is in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan. The winds, reading 195mph, tore up the previously solid streets of towns and cities, killing thousands: there is no reliable count, for who has tallied up every rotting corpse on every devasted street? Major towns were almost totally submerged in storm waters. But the immediate aftermath is where there is an opportunity to prevent death by disease, starvation and injury.

No comments:

Post a Comment