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2017 Prognostications and Challenges

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What would Nostradamus say?

I'll jump on the bandwagon here and acknowledge that 2016 was a crazy year, the likes of which I hope we never go through again. But what does it really mean for EDM in 2017?

I'll take this last-post-of-the-year opportunity to review the profound decisions our society made in 2016, and then don my Oracle of Delphi skills to figure out what the various inputs mean to our profession. In all circumstances, I will utilize theories of cause-and-effect, historical precedent, and knowledge of human behavior to make my predictions.

I invite you to play along.

Do you have different inputs regarding what constitute profound decisions? Would you interpret a decision differently than I would? Would you interpret an impact differently than I would? If so, don't hesitate to make comments. But DO be ready to defend them. Don't just be a rabid troll. Put some thought into what you say.

The future according to Cuthbert:

I humbly submit the following analysis for your consideration:

  1. The federal government: 2016 was the year that cemented the notion that politicians at the federal level are more concerned with acquiring and retaining power than in governing in the best interests of their constituents.
  2. Climate Change: 2016 was the year when business interests predominately accepted the realities of climate change and adapted their business models to accommodate.
  3. Equality under the law: 2016 was the year when the disadvantaged and vulnerable faced unprecedented attacks on the social safety net, from attacks on poor women's health services to initiatives to prevent or roll back equal rights for LGBT citizens.
  4. Drought: 2016 was the year when drought and excess water use made us aware that our efforts to maintain society in vulnerable areas such as California, the Rockies, and the American Southwest are not sustainable.
  5. Gun control: 2016 was the year that the so-called second amendment protectors refuted all efforts to help the American citizenry prevent gun violence, even at the cost of children's lives.
  6. Police conduct: 2016 was the year when the conflict between police forces and the citizens they were sworn to protect and serve came to the forefront.
  7. Social disobedience: 2016 was the year when the performance of our government became so ineffective that citizen movements began to arise in order to demonstrate that government is not serving the people.
  8. The dismissal of science: 2016 was the year when truth and facts became irrelevant at the national government level. Citizens chose as their representation an administration that promises to return the US to a bygone era of comfortable identity sameness.
  9. Local governance: 2016 was the year when local governments and businesses, working together, acknowledged that the federal government was no longer supporting their communities, and worked to achieve their own strategies with respect to protecting their served public.

In the near future I will address each of these topics in depth.

Again, if you don't like my characterization, or you disagree with my analysis with regard to what it means to EDM, then please comment. But, if not, please understand that these posts are meant to inspire creativity with respect to how we protect the public--so DO use them in your checklists, budget requests, and philosophy of how to run your operation.

See you next year! Have the happiest of the remaining holiday season. May your team win its bowl game. May you emerge from the holiday season inspired and full of vigor. Your country needs you, and it needs your full inspiration and dedication. So rest up these remaining few days, and then be prepared to go make it happen!

Randall Cuthbert Dr. Randall Cuthbert is a retired APUS Professor of Emergency & Disaster Management. He has also worked as a Red Cross Shelter Supervisor, and spent a 20-year career as a US Air Force Civil Engineer Officer. His blogging interests include: protecting & enhancing the EDM profession in the areas of integrity, honorable public service, and social justice; education regarding the 'big picture' role of EDM in our society; educating our professionals and neighbors with regard to the greatest threat to our civilization--climate change; and in general terms, creating a better world for our children and grandchildren.