The Great Debate UK
-Lord Julian Hunt is a Visiting Professor at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are his own.-
In their different ways, the disruption and damage caused by the ongoing Icelandic Volcano eruption, and the major oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, have underlined how low-probability events can wreak havoc locally and across the world.
Both events underline the continuing need for well-established crisis response by international bodies. Risk assessments taking into account all the diverse scientific and social interactions should enable the public and private sector to prepare in advance.
• Although international procedures by UN bodies for dealing simultaneously with volcanic eruptions, meteorology and aviation had been agreed and tested at a technical level since the 1990s, the disruption caused by the Icelandic volcano led EU Transport Ministers call for quicker and more coordinated reaction to such crisis situations.
-Kees Willemse is professor of off-shore engineering, Delft University. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The news that a huge metal cap has been successfully placed over several of the leaking oil vents at the Deepwater Horizon site marks a potential turning point in the Gulf of Mexico crisis.
-Alexander Vollebregt is Assistant Professor at Delft University of Technology and Head of the Urban Emergencies Programme. The opinions expressed are his own.-
At the request of President Rene Preval’s Strategic Advisory Group, several members of Delft University’s Urban Emergencies Centre are now working with the Haiti authorities to assess how post-disaster urban redevelopment can support the rebuilding process in Port au Prince.
- Dr. Ir. Jules B. van Lier is a professor at Delft University. The opinions expressed are his own. -
The international observance of World Water Day, this year on March 22, is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro. This year’s theme — ‘Clean Water for a Healthy World’ — reflects the fact that population and industrial growth are adding new sources of pollution and increased demand for clean water across the world.
- Julian Hunt is visiting professor at Delft University and formerly director general of the UK meteorological office. Charles Kennel is distinguished professor of atmospheric science, emeritus and senior advisor to the sustainability solutions institute, UCSD. The opinions expressed are their own. -
The non-legally binding “deal” agreed at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen among the U.S., China, Brazil, South Africa and India, has brought to a conclusion what has proved an extraordinarily complex set of negotiations.