Natural Disasters

Briefs: Expert mocked on Twitter; Maine homesteaders (mostly) are prepared

March 27, 2020

Expert mocked for alarmist tweetstorm The data were in before the pandemic began, and one scientist tried to sound the alarm. A Harvard epidemiologist using Twitter tried to warn society back in January about the global threat COVID-19 represented. He was ignored, ridiculed, or asked to tone it down, in one case by the elite […]

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Just in case it isn’t apocalyptic enough: Locusts

March 2, 2020

Spurred by climate change, civil war and poverty, a new plague of locusts is sweeping though northeastern Africa. And experts say the out-of-control insect swarms are going to get worse before they get better. Previously, locusts — also known as short-horned grasshoppers — haven’t appeared in such numbers in the region since the 1950s.  Tens […]

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Australia’s firefighters have a lot to learn from Aboriginal people

January 24, 2020

In southern, temperate Australia, this year’s fire season has been one of the worst in living memory — but in much of the country’s tropical north, it is nothing out of the ordinary.  This is no accident, experts say — it’s partly due to the predominance of Aboriginal people in the north, and whites in the […]

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Climate change is making good coffee harder to grow

December 8, 2019

The good news: Millions of farmers around the world are using ecologically sound methods to produce small harvests of high-quality coffee beans for global markets. The bad news: they’re just as vulnerable to drought, intense storms and other symptoms of climate change as industrial-scale coffee plantations — but they’re lower income and cannot recover as […]

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Millions have gone missing from a quake recovery fund in Mexico

September 24, 2019

In September 2017, Mexico City was rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake in which over 200 people died in building collapses. The high death toll was blamed on lax building codes, and a lack of effective regulation and government oversight of the construction industry. [RELATED: “Corruption blamed for hundreds of deaths in Mexico City earthquake”] […]

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Dorian hit Bahamas poor hardest

September 16, 2019

Do natural disasters discriminate by social class and ethnic background? Judging by the tragedy still unfolding in the demolished shantytown of Mudd, on Abaco island in the Bahamas, the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Residents who remain after Hurricane Dorian speak of at least 1,000 dead, many of these Haitians immigrants, who have long suffered […]

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