EDM Digest began in November 2015 as an initiative to gather, report, and interpret emergency and disaster news and information on a timely basis for use by the emergency management community and the general public.
“May you live in interesting times.” In the US, this is a challenge; in China, this is a curse. However one views it, we DO live in interesting times, and that’s not something we can avoid. Consider the challenges facing humanity:
- We have developed the most prosperous society known to humankind. However, as we’ve done that, we’ve used up 90% of the fish in the sea, most of the available oil & gas, a majority of the available freshwater, and many rare minerals. The time is nearing when the impacts of this unsustainable use of resources will come due, and we will need to adapt to survive.
- We have not shared the wealth equitably. Wars are currently being fought over access to water, oil, cropland, and other enablers of prosperity, and refugees are flooding Europe to escape conflict and to attempt to access a share of the wealth for their families and future generations. Those who have not been allowed to share in the prosperity are now lashing out in violent ways.
- We have changed the atmosphere of the Earth irrevocably. The carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere is now higher than it has been for at least the past 800,000 years, and possibly far longer. This has built into our climate a global warming trend that will alter our weather in dangerous ways; acidify the oceans, further threatening sea life; intensify wildland fires across the Western US; and has already created an unknowable and irreversible sea level rise that even now is lapping at the shores of Miami and New York.
- We love to live in dangerous places. Seattle and Istanbul are overdue for magnitude nine earthquakes. The last time a magnitude nine earthquake hit the Seattle region, it changed the height of the land more than seven feet. California faces the same fate, on only a slightly lesser scale. The Gulf Coast is a great place to live until a periodic hurricane sweeps through.
So the challenges are many and daunting. We in the emergency & disaster management community—including your authors and contributors—are convinced that the only way for our civilization to survive and thrive in the future is through education, innovation, and adaptation. Accordingly, we will bring you a roundup of the day’s emergency and disaster news from around the globe, complete with commentary and analysis directed at bringing the sheer volume of events into a manageable picture that you can act on.
EDM Digest’s authors and contributors are an eclectic mix of folks from widely varying backgrounds that have one thing in common—a strong desire for achieving safety, security, and prosperity through education and public service. Please do join us and contribute freely to the discussions as we weave our way through this adventure into the uncertain future.