Archive for the ‘Natural disasters’ Tag

Time For International Rescue

international rescueThe current run of natural disasters and the calls for international help from the countries that have been overwhelmed by the scale of the events makes me wonder why there is such poor coordination between all the organisations who aim to help in these situations. A search on the internet reveals hundreds of separate voluntary and government led organisations all doing their bit in isolation.

These are events that need a quick and, more importantly, relevant response in terms of manpower, equipment, food, medical services and materials if the victims are to be rescued and casualties kept to a minimum. Unfortunately, there is no central coordinating body that can assess the response needed and call up the services available from the individual agencies and charities.

Quite why each organisation feels it necessary to put their independence above the needs of the victims of a disaster is not clear. Politics is probably one factor and concerns over money may be another, but it probably all comes down to simple self interest and egos. Its time such emotions were put aside and a true International Rescue organisation is created with the sole aim of helping people in distress.

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When Fiction Becomes Fact

Our appointment with asteroid NT7 on 1 February 2019 will see the subject of several works of fiction becoming fact. If NT7 is the first real threat to this world we have 10 years to find an answer. Considering how the pace of change in technology has accelerated since man landed on the moon 40 years ago and assuming those with the technology are able to work together to find a solution it would seem reasonable to say NT7 will not be a problem. I think, on this occasion, we will be able to sleep easy in our beds.

When Star Trek started teleporting people about, scientists said the laws of nature made it impossible. Now they are saying it is not only possible but has, in a very small way, been done. I am typing this on a netbook computer that is massively more powerful than the first computer I used in 1970, an ICL 1100 which was the size of several large family cars. There is now a paint that heals itself if scratched, glass that cleans itself, flying machines the size of flies and a medical camera the size of an aspirin. Science fiction is becoming science fact all the time.

Natural disasters are a timely reminder of how fragile our life is on the earth. We have yet to develop technology to prevent or control the major events that strike the world from time to time but we do have the technology to destroy the world ourselves many times over. The fiction of Nevil Shute’s book On The Beach could still come true.