Friday, September 24, 2004

...against the middle

One of the frequent predictions of the results of global climate change is an increase in climate-related disasters, such as hurricanes and typhoons, tornados, drought, and flood. Again, it was a prediction pooh-poohed as Chicken Little fantasies by the apologists for the polluters - and once again, the predictions are giving indications of coming true. From the BBC for September 17:
More and more people are being caught up in a growing number of natural disasters, a UN agency said on Friday.

The International Strategy for Disaster Reduction said the increase in numbers vulnerable to natural shocks was due partly to global warming.

It said 254 million people were affected by natural hazards last year - nearly three times as many as in 1990. ...

Events including earthquakes and volcanoes, floods and droughts, storms, fires and landslides killed about 83,000 people in 2003, up from about 53,000 deaths 13 years earlier, the ISDR said.

Releasing its statistics jointly with the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (Cred) at the University of Louvain in Belgium, it said there was a consistent trend over the last decade of an increasing number of people affected by disasters.

There were 337 natural disasters reported in 2003, up from 261 in 1990.
ISDR director Salvano Briceno noted other causes beyond climate change: more people living in concentrated urban areas and in slums with poor building standards and a lack of facilities, and environmental degradation. But global climate change remains one of the big three.

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