Library - Disaster Management

Once considered remote and speculative, past predictions of more frequent and more intense coastal storms, bigger and more destructive wildfires in the North American mountain west—all occasioned by climate change—are now being proven correct. And as fossil fuels production has expanded dramatically in the same continent over the last decade, so too have catastrophic failures in the aging infrastructures extracting and transporting those fuels, from offshore oil well blowouts to fiery derailments of tanker car trains to leaking and exploding pipelines.

 

The disaster management cycle, consisting of mitigation, preparation, response, and recovery, is a concept used to describe how we can both lessen the likelihood of foreseeable future disasters and compassionately care for those affected by present and past ones. The Buddha’s teachings on wise speech (truth-telling in facing disaster risks and remedies) and service in the alleviation of suffering apply here, as reflected in Library entries and Group listings on the Earth Sila site.

As reflected in these entries, one form of disaster relief service in which Buddhist sitting group members may have a particular interest and ability is that of disaster chaplaincy.  The provision of emergency emotional and spiritual care is now being recognized as a growing area of largely unmet need.  Several other faith-based communities already work to provide such post-disaster services, but the need for this form of care often exceeds existing capacity; and Buddha Dharma sanghas are in a unique position to be of assistance.

 

THE WRITTEN WORD.

BOOKS

Parenti, Christian. Tropic of Chaos: Climate Change & the New Geography of Violence. Nation Books, 2011.

Parenti presents a cogent argument for more mindful alternatives to unbridled capitalism combined with military power as humanity’s best response to climate change. Quoting the author; 

“…we must find humane and just means of adaptation”(to climate change)”, or we face barbaric prospects.”

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