The Environment as Hazard

Front Cover
Guilford Press, 1993 - Science - 290 pages
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The Environment as Hazard offers an understanding of how people around the world deal with dramatic fluctuations in the local natural systems of air, water, and terrain. Reviewing recent theoretical and methodological changes in the investigation of natural hazards, the authors describe how research findings are being incorporated into public policy, particularly research on slow cumulative events, technological hazards, the role played by social systems, and the relation of hazards theory to risk analysis. Through vivid examples from a broad sample of countries, this volume illuminates the range of experiences associated with natural hazards. The authors show how modes of coping change with levels of economic development by contrasting hazards in developing countries with those in high income countries - comparing the results of hurricanes in Bangladesh and the United States, and earthquakes in Nicaragua and California.
In new introductory and concluding chapters that supplement the original text, the authors present new global data sets, as well as a trenchant discussion of implications of hazards research for the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction and for attempts by the world community to come to grips with the threats of climate change.
 

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Contents

Is the Environment Becoming More Hazardous?
1
BANGLADESH 1970
2
TROPICAL STORM AGNES 1972
5
TRENDS IN LOSSES
9
GLOBAL EVENTS
10
SELECTED HAZARDS IN THE UNITED STATES
16
POLICY AND ORGANIZATION
18
BANGLADESH AND TROPICAL STORM AGNES REVISITED
21
ADJUSTMENTS
130
PROCESSES OF CHOICE
143
THE APPRAISAL OF HAZARD
144
PERCEPTION AND CREATION OF ADJUSTMENTS
145
ADOPTION OF ADJUSTMENTS
149
MAINTENANCE AND CHANGE
161
National Policy
164
NATIONAL APPRAISALS OF HAZARD
165

FEATURES IN COMMON
23
A CRUCIAL TIME
28
Hazard Response and Choice
31
ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS FOR HUMAN RESPONSE
34
RESPONSE TO HAZARDS
47
CHOICES AND DECISIONS
61
The Range of Experience
66
AGRICULTURAL DROUGHT
68
FLOOD
74
TROPICAL CYCLONE
79
AIR POLLUTION
84
HAZARD AND THE NATIONAL EXPERIENCE
90
DEVELOPMENT AND THE NATIONAL EXPERIENCE
91
Individual Choice
95
HOW DO PEOPLE CHOOSE ADJUSTMENTS?
96
ELEMENTS IN THE CHOICE PROCESS
100
COMPARATIVE STUDY SITES
103
APPRAISING HAZARD
108
CHARACTERISTIC APPRAISALS AND CHOICES
113
FOUR BEHAVIOR PATTERNS
121
IMPLICATIONS OF INDIVIDUAL CHOICE
123
Collective Action
125
NATIONAL EXPERIENCE IN COPING
168
TYPES OF NATIONAL POLICIES
176
DIRECTIONS FOR NATIONAL POLICY
184
International Action
186
WHAT IS WORTH SHARING?
188
WHAT IS WORTH DOING JOINTLY?
197
Natural Extremes and Social Resilience
219
MODES OF COPING
220
THE MIX OF ADJUSTMENTS
226
THE CAUSES OF NATURAL DISASTER
229
ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
232
SOCIETAL CHANGE
234
IS A LESS HAZARDOUS ENVIRONMENT ATTAINABLE?
238
BY WAY OF SUMMARY
240
Emerging Synthesis
241
THE INTERNATIONAL DECADE FOR NATURAL DISASTER REDUCTION
254
THE CHALLENGE OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
256
National and Comparative Studies
264
References
266
Index
285
Copyright

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About the author (1993)

Ian Burton is Scientist Emeritus at the Meteorological Service of Canada and Emeritus Professor at the University of Toronto, Canada.

Gilbert F. White is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of geography at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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