Capacity to Predict Disasters Outstrips Our Desire to Avoid Them

Disaster prediction is a "growth industry", writes Nathaniel Rich, and one that has made incredible strides over the past several years. But will all this information lead us to make better decisions about where we choose to live?

"We are now able to prophesy impending cataclysms with a specificity that would have been inconceivable just several years ago," explains Rich. "Several factors have contributed to this progress: a growing public anxiety about disasters; advances in disciplines as disparate as computer science, fluid mechanics, and neuroscience; and an infusion of funding from governments, universities, and especially corporations, which have figured out that disaster planning saves money in the long run." 

"Disaster predictions will become more accurate, but what difference will it make? Will it save lives, or even change behavior?"

"Many millions of people, of course, don’t have a choice—they cannot afford to move. But those who can leave—especially those who can leave—tend to stay. To rebuild is heroic; to move is a retreat, an act of cowardice. "

Full Story: THE NEW SCIENCE OF DISASTER PREDICTION

Comments

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00

Stay thirsty, urbanists

These sturdy water bottles are eco-friendly and perfect for urbanists on the go.
$19.00