Monday, December 20, 2010

Time to Polarize the Hull Plating

The AP says that "More people were killed worldwide by natural disasters this year than have been killed in terrorism attacks in the past 40 years combined."

The guys who have to pay for this ought to know, right?
Disasters from the Earth, such as earthquakes and volcanoes "are pretty much constant," said Andreas Schraft, vice president of catastrophic perils for the Geneva-based insurance giant Swiss Re. "All the change that's made is man-made."
"Through Nov. 30, nearly 260,000 people died in natural disasters in 2010, compared to 15,000 in 2009, according to Swiss Re. The World Health Organization, which hasn't updated its figures past Sept. 30, is just shy of 250,000. By comparison, deaths from terrorism from 1968 to 2009 were less than 115,000, according to reports by the U.S. State Department and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory."


In the summer, one weather system caused oppressive heat in Russia, while farther south it caused flooding in Pakistan that inundated 62,000 square miles, about the size of Wisconsin. That single heat-and-storm system killed almost 17,000 people, more people than all the worldwide airplane crashes in the past 15 years combined.
The excessive amount of extreme weather that dominated 2010 is a classic sign of man-made global warming that climate scientists have long warned about. They calculate that the killer Russian heat wave - setting a national record of 111 degrees - would happen once every 100,000 years without global warming.
There are lots more interesting facts in the article.

Surprising they don't mention 2004, the year of the Boxing Day Tsunami, which killed about 230,000. That shocked me and still does. But until I read the AP article I didn't realize that the Haiti earthquake was about the same, killing 220,000. Why don't I feel the same degree of shock over that?

1 comment:

Brian said...

Maybe it's harder for us to empathize with poor people living in rickety slums than it is to be randomly walking along a beach and getting hit with a tsunami.