The Year of Unceasing Rain (4)

Irony alert ? “Typhoons ? They happen all the time. It’s just a little local storm. Nothing to worry about. Happens every season or so. The locals know how to read the warning signs, and head to high ground or build their huts on stilts. Power lines down ? Oh, they’ll be strung back up in no time. And the rice paddies will benefit from all that extra rain.”

Watch out China – here comes Megi :-

Remembering Pakistan

Found at : Only In It For The Gold

Will the long-term future for much of inundated Pakistan resemble a country-wide-scale New Orleans – destroyed and mostly deserted ?

Where will the people go ? Or will they rot and die in “temporary” camps ?

What will become of those stranded in their villages – they stayed to protect the land – they didn’t realise the floodwaters would be like never before – coming to take away their livelihoods and possibly their lives.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jX_KetVCMo64AOZxSMudPWArFrJgD9I946KG0

“US envoy warns Pakistan of flood funding shortfall : By SEBASTIAN ABBOT (AP) : 16 September 2010 : KARACHI, Pakistan — The world will only be able to fund around 25 percent of the tens of billions of dollars needed to rebuild Pakistan after the floods, and its government will have to make up the shortfall, the U.S. envoy to the country warned Thursday. Richard Holbrooke said America would not condition its assistance to the country, but warned that the U.S. Congress might not be generous if it felt that Pakistan was not taxing its own citizens enough. Pakistan’s rich have traditionally not paid much tax on their income or their property — either because they evade them or are exempt — and the country’s collection rates are among the lowest in the world…Monsoon rains triggered massive floods six weeks ago that spread across the country and are still continuing in parts of the south. Some 8 million people have been made homeless in what Pakistani and U.N. officials have said is one of the largest humanitarian disasters in living memory…”

Are You Ready for Pakistan ?

Compassion fatigue appears to have set in early in the Western Media – yet the existential problems of simple human survival, health, shelter, food and clean drinking water have only just started in large parts of Pakistan.

I was speaking with a contact recently who is just about to go out East to help coordinate an emergency mission in the region, and my first question was, “Are you ready for Pakistan ?”, because I don’t think anybody “parachuting” into the country will be.

Plus, this may be the worst crisis that the world’s humanitarian network has faced in the last half Century, but it’s not the only one ongoing and just about to start :-

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Pacific_typhoon_season

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Atlantic_hurricane_season

Human interest stories have been the bread and butter of holiday media for decades – now is the time to roll cameras for the never-ending rollercoaster of disaster Climate Change is turning out to be.

It’s been raining really, really heavily, catastrophically somewhere on the planet practically non-stop since the beginning of the year.

Surely that’s not just a story, that’s a whole narrative ?

And it’s about weather, too, every journalist’s favourite subject.

Continue reading Are You Ready for Pakistan ?

Overwhelming Disaster

A couple of weeks ago I was in discussion with some people considering what would trigger urgent global action on reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions.

Not just words and forms of words, but serious practical action to re-figure the global Economy around Low Carbon principles.

Someone mentioned Katrina. And someone else mentioned that despite the estimations showing that the damage from Hurricane Katrina was probably partly due to global warming (or, rather, ocean warming), it hasn’t been a wake-up call.

Continue reading Overwhelming Disaster