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How People Cope with Natural Disasters.pdf

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ANTH 206
Peter Rudiak- Gould

Disasters Natural hazard --> disaster e.g. A natural drought causes starvation Challenging this view O'Keefe Disasters aren't natural because vulnerability to them is manmade e.g. A natural drought combined with a community's manmade vulnerability causes starvation Radical challenged view McKibben and Beck Human technology is so extended that any death shouldn't be considered natural e.g. Cancer --> caused by us and could have been prevented Manmade hazard + manmade vulnerability = disaster e.g. A manmade drought (caused by global warming) combined with a community's manmade vulnerability causes starvation Examples Living near the coast is making us vulnerable to tsunamis If we didn't leave there, we wouldn't be affected by tsunamis Planting one crop only is making us vulnerable to famine If that one crop fails, there is nothing else to eat Should have planted different crops to prevent famine Arguing against the idea of the natural disaster Empirical There is objective evidence that the causes of disasters always involve human agency Ethnographic In some cultures, natural disasters are never natural Ethical Regarding disasters as natural has negative consequences Tibetans and Moral Climate Moral climate The idea that weather conditions are a response to humans' moral or immoral actions For Tibetans No climatic disaster is natural Every climatic disaster is political Every climatic disaster is meaningful Even if it's angry, it cares about you Manmade Disasters in the Marshall Islands Environmental disaster in the Marshall Islands do include a natural element
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