Natural Disasters Are Among the World’s Greatest Challenges
If you look at the larger picture, it’s clear that global climate change is impacting society in significant and life-altering ways. From historic winter storms to F5 tornadoes, extreme weather events have the potential to massively disrupt communities across the world. In the last decade, these events have occurred with increasing and alarming frequency. More people died from natural disasters in 2017 than at any point in the last 20 years. Fires in California are displacing people whose homes have burned to the ground. Farmers in Central America’s Dry Corridor cannot sustain their crops in record draughts forcing them to become climate refugees. Flooding in Bangladesh has forced riverbank-dwellers to make impossible choices around their families.
Skeptics dismiss climate change, claiming that prolonged and more extreme weather events are just fluctuations. They are, however, part of a sustained and systemic transformation. Residents of communities hit with repeated and increasingly severe weather are leaving their homes and their communities, local governments struggle to keep citizens safe and maintain infrastructures that are battered by the conditions and corporations want to find ways to bring much-needed supplies into affected areas.
We can’t stop weather from happening, but we can impact how humans react and how badly they are affected. Technology and data are inspiring life-saving and cost-effective actions to encourage more productive responses to forecasted conditions. Our ability to progress is what makes us uniquely human and today, technology is the core of progress. With all of this at our fingertips, why does natural disaster preparation and relief seem insurmountable?