ROBERT MUIR-WOOD    Book Number: 86148    Product format: Hardback

Year after year, natural disasters wreck homes, livelihoods and lives, be they floods, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, tsunamis or, as is becoming more commonplace, sinkholes. But since they are, as the name implies, natural i.e. uncontrollable, what can we do about it other than take it on the chin? Well, actually, quite a lot, according to Prof Muir-Wood, of University College, London and Risk Management Solutions. He argues that so-called natural disasters are, in fact, human ones. Despite knowing the power and likely location of destructive forces of nature we continue to build brick buildings in earthquake zones, timber-framed ones in fire zones and coastal cities in the path of hurricanes. Then we blindly trust in our as yet untested flood barriers and other disaster preparations and if they fail, catastrophes become even more deadly - history shows us that no society, however wealthy, is immune to the twin dangers of complacency and heedless development. From the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 to Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the author examines dozens of incidents, recounting the ingenious ways in which people have fought back against disaster and showcases the power and promise of predictive technologies which bring together data, detection and action in a way so as to minimise the pain and destruction caused. A potent mix of political plots, "fake news", dodgy insurance companies, new technology and tales of astounding human resilience. 356pp.
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ISBN 9780465060948
Browse this category: Nature/Countryside

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