The Great Debate UK
from The Great Debate:
By Danielle Grace Warren
The opinions expressed are her own.
The people of Haiti have a name for the earthquake that rocked their country: Goudougoudou, an onomatopoetic creole nickname invented for the earthquake meant to emulate the sound of the earth rumbling, the buildings falling. There are numbers for it, too: 230,000 deaths, 59 aftershocks and 1.5 million people who remain displaced nearly a year later.
While over a billion dollars in US aid was promised was for rebuilding Haiti is tied up in the umbilicus of Washington, Port au Prince residents are settling between piles of debris — 98% of which still has not been removed. Haitians pick through the rubble for building scraps to reinforce torn tarpaulin.
Many who were displaced by the disaster and came to the Haitian capital for aid have tried to re-settle in the small towns and villages of their birth. But they have been forced to return to the capital yet again since it is still where most of the food and aid in the country can be found.
Before the earthquake happened there were already 3.5 million people living in Port au Prince — nearly 50% of the total country population. This number has doubled in recent years as people have flooded in from severely deforested and degraded agrarian areas in the hope of finding a job. Yet the vast majority of Port au Prince residents are unemployed or underemployed. Eighty percent of city dwellers live below the poverty line in slum and squatter settlements with unstable housing and poor sanitation.
– Lord Hunt is a visiting professor at Delft University and emeritus professor at University College London, and former director-general of the UK Meteorological Office. Dr Simon Day is a researcher at the Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre, University College London. The opinions expressed are their own –
The devastating tsunami that struck the Indonesian islands of Mentawai may have caused about 450 deaths, with hundreds more still missing, and compounds the disaster caused in the country by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Java. Following a magnitude 7.7 earthquake, the Mentawai Islands were engulfed with estimated three-metre waves that affected thousands of households.
Joschka Fischer was never one to mince words when he was Germany's foreign minister in the late '90s and early noughts. So it is not overly surprising that he has painted a picture in a new post of a world with only two powers -- the United States and China -- and an ineffective and divided Europe on the sidelines.
More controversial, however, is his view that China will not only grow into the world's most important market over the coming years, but will determine what the world produces and consumes -- and that that will be green.
Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq is a Ph.D. student at Delft University of Technology and Dr Nick van de Giesen is Professor of Water Resources Management at Delft University of Technology. The opinions expressed are their own.
According to official reports of the Federal Flood Commission of Pakistan, at least 1,556 people have died and more than 568,000 homes have been badly damaged or totally destroyed as a result of the recent floods in Pakistan. Almost 6.5 million people have been affected by this flooding and 3650 sq km of Pakistan’s most fertile crop land have been destroyed.
-Lord Julian Hunt is visiting Professor at Delft University, and former Director-General of the UK Met Office. The opinions expressed are his own.-
The unusually large rainfall from this year’s monsoon has caused the most catastrophic flooding in Pakistan for 80 years, with the U.N. estimating that around one fifth of the country is underwater. This is thus truly a crisis of the very first order.
-Lindsey Nefesh-Clarke is the founder of Women’s Worldwide Web – an online charitable organisation designed to help empower women with access to micro-finance loans, education, mentoring and networking. The opinions expressed are her own.-
“To reach a tipping point towards a new era of sustainability”: this is the urgent goal of the business, government and civil society leaders who convened in New York City for the recent U.N. Global Compact Leaders Summit.
There’s nothing new or unusual about the idea of using bicycles to replace cars to help combat the effects of climate change on the environment. Neither is there anything new or unusual about it taking so long to put the concept into practice.
Oliver Lowenstein has spent several years in pursuit of what he says could become an environmentally sustainable network structured around economically viable “cyclestations” or covered rest points, which would help make long-distance travel more feasible for cyclists.
How can human production be transformed and harnessed to save the planet? Can the market economy really help solve the environmental crisis?
Author Heather Rogers argues in a new book that current efforts to green the planet need to be reconsidered.
-Kees Willemse is professor of offshore engineering at Delft University. The opinions expressed are his own.-
Last month’s explosion at the Deepwater Horizon rig continues to result in the leakage of an estimated 200,000 gallons (910,000 litres) of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day.
– Alexander Smith is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –
Britain’s new coalition government wants to cut the country’s carbon footprint as well as its colossal deficit. But the alliance’s more ambitious green policies sound expensive — especially for an administration whose priority is fiscal discipline. Private sector involvement will be critical. And investors may take some convincing.