Catastrophe! Natural Disasters, Sustainability, and the Future of Civilization
April 16, 2013
We've heard a lot about protection of the environment, but what about protection from the environment? Over the past several years, natural disastershurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, and tornadoesseem to wreak havoc on our globe, and some are a threat in our own backyards. From the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to Superstorm Sandy, natural disasters are claiming hundreds of thousands of lives and consuming billions in economic resources. Although natural disasters are not often considered as elements of sustainability policy, they represent the ultimate test of a civilization's sustainability. In the program, Michael Hamburger, professor of Geological Sciences at Indiana University, examined the causes and impacts of mega-disasters, discussed humans' role in creating the disasters or exacerbating their impacts, and explored how we can mitigate the effects of natural disasters that will undoubtedly affect our future.