Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Avoiding Disasters

 In front of our TVs and laptops in the relative safety of our living rooms, most of us watched with empathy the plight of the tens of thousands clawing away at the rubble in frantic and selfless efforts to rescue those who may still be trapped and alive under the ruins of buildings collapsed by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. The internet and social media allows us to witness, almost live and first hand, the disaster and  tragedies suffered by our fellow humans around the world, evoking within us all manner of emotions, from the urge to donate to some charity but also the feeling of despair at not being able to help out even more. Many observers have criticised the ineffectiveness of the relief operation, particularly in regard to Syria because of the political relations that exist.

After every natural catastrophe, the rescue missions slowly swing into action and the 'experts' tell us we can learn lessons from it. It is the same message repeated over and over again with each new disaster. Each time there are calls for an International rapid deployment force of rescue and first aid teams. Questions are asked as to how such devastation could not have been foreseen and demands for more cooperation and coordination. Few point to the mountain of red tape that has to be cut through before rescue teams can be fully mobilised - (ie. the observance of national sovereignty,  getting permission from this or that government, working out who will pay the bill before operations are underway etc.

There is inadequate planning for future disasters -guaranteed to come.  Foresight as ever proves an expensive luxury to those who currently have the greatest say in our lives.

As we await further natural disasters we can only guess at how long it will take the 'experts' to contemplate a system of society in which the earth's scientific and technological resources are the common property of all and in which the death tolls from such disasters are greatly reduced.

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