Disasters

Effect Measure

Category archives for Disasters

Only the ducks are dead

BP has this great reputation for being an environmentally friendly and responsible company. I know it because their incessant television ads tell me it’s true. The ones that flank the national news stories about their horrendous safety record of explosions and worker deaths or their catastrophic oil spills. Those ads. When something happens they start…

The Icelandic volcanic eruption is still causing havoc in Europe with ripple effects elsewhere as people and planes are grounded for travel in or out of much of northern Europe. Pressure from the traveling public, air carriers and business is mounting to let passenger and cargo planes fly again. What’s changed? Not much. There’s about…

Concise version of pandemic planning

For reasons other than this blog (I actually have a real life) I was reading a 1965 text by Leavell and Clark, Preventive Medicine for the doctor in his community: an epidemiologic approach, and found this on pp. 67-68 regarding tasks in a disease outbreak: “Further spread must be prevented; the sick must be cared…

Whether they are called the White House Press Secretary or the regime’s Information Minister, they seem to have in common one characteristic: they are professional liars. It goes without saying that all of Bush’s press secretaries have been blatant liars, but it’s also true of Clinton’s and virtually very one of their predecessors. Some of…

Mass murder in Zimbabwe

Cholera is a vicious disease. It can take a healthy person and kill him or her in a day by rapidly dehydrating them from a massive, watery diarrhea. The resulting electrolyte imbalance can lead to vascular collapse or cardiac arrest. Cholera is usually spread by fecally contaminated drinking water, and hence is completely preventable. It…

Climate change and the financial meltdown

I am not in the habit of reading classic horror stories but this weekend I picked up John Kenneth Galbraith’s 1955 book, The Great Crash: 1929. Unfortunately it is non-fiction. And even more unfortunately it is selling well in the university bookstore. Galbraith is gone but his book lives on. In a new Foreword written…

The Katrina aid that wasn’t

Hurricane season is upon us (Hello, Dolly), so it’s time to drag out the still heaving corpse of Hurricane Katrina. There was always this weird mismatch between Bush administration tales of how much aid was going to the victims and the pictures of forlorn, unaided and then outraged victims. Given the huge amount of federal…

It seems with every terrible natural disaster we have to say the same thing. Dead bodies aren’t a public health risk: