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An essential guide for those dealing with the Cape Water Crisis and for general water saving in South and southern Africa, a notoriously water-scarce region.
Three provinces in South Africa have been declared national disaster zones because of drought. The way we think about water needs to change, and fast. This is especially true for those of us who have running water and flush sanitation piped into our homes. For millions of South Africans, water is already a precious resource that costs toil to collect and fuel to heat. Our middle-class expectations that water will gush steaming from our dozens of indoor taps 24/7 are going to look as bizarre to future generations as the spectacle of Cleopatra bathing in asses’ milk. Our Roman-orgy relationship with water is over.
This book will hopefully help to alleviate water panic and distress. A “can-do” compendium, it’s meant to be a guide, not prescriptive – not all solutions or tips are one-size-fits-all. Think of it as an ally in your fight to save water and part of your survival kit, along with the first-aid box; Valium for water-worriers.
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the NSRI, here is a collection of daring rescues filled with drama and danger. From burning ships to shark attacks, sinking trawlers to hallucinating fishermen, these are the stories of man’s constant battle with some of the most dangerous waters on earth. But there is one story in particular that gave rise to the creation of the NSRI...
On 12 April 1966, four fishing boats put out to sea from Stilbaai on South Africa’s southern coast. Soon they were all pulling in fish as fast as they could bait their hooks, and the boats were settling lower in the water. Shortly before sunset, skipper Gerhard Dreyer saw clouds building on the horizon. But the fishing was too good and they ignored the signs. Later that night a gale force wind slammed into them. ‘I told the men to throw everything overboard,’ Gerhard remembers. An hour before midnight, Gerhard headed for deeper water to try and ride out the swells. As dawn broke, they saw for the first time the true extent of the night’s damage: among the flotsam, one man in a lifebuoy. That man was the only crewman from the other three boats to survive the terrible storm. Seventeen men died that night.
Simonstown schoolteacher Patti Price was horrified when she read the news. She began a media campaign and appealed to the president of the Society of Master Mariners. As a direct result of her efforts, the South African Inshore Rescue Service was founded in August 1966 (renamed the National Sea Rescue Institute in 1967). Today, the NSRI has 35 rescue bases and over 1 000 volunteers.
From award-winning ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman, and written using exclusive interviews and information comes the definitive account of the dramatic story that gripped the world: the miracle rescue of twelve boys and their soccer coach trapped in a flooded cave miles underground for nearly three weeks-a pulse-pounding page-turner by a reporter who was there every step of their journey out.
After a practice in June 2018, a Thai soccer coach took a dozen of his young players to explore a famous but flood-prone cave. It was one of the boys' birthday, but neither he nor the dozen resurfaced. Worried parents and rescuers flocked to the mouth of a cave that seemed to have swallowed the boys without a trace. Ranging in age from eleven to sixteen, the boys were all members of the Wild Boars soccer team. When water unexpectedly inundated the cave, blocking their escape, they retreated deeper inside, taking shelter in a side cavern. While the world feared them dead, the thirteen young souls survived by licking the condensation off the cave's walls, meditating, and huddling together for warmth. In this thrilling account, ABC News Chief National Correspondent Matt Gutman recounts this amazing story in depth and from every angle, exploring their time in the cave, the failed plans and human mistakes that nearly doomed them, and the daring mission that ultimately saved them.
Gutman introduces the elite team of volunteer divers who risked death to execute a plan so risky that its American planners admitted, "for us, success would have meant getting just one boy out alive." He takes you inside the meetings where life and death decisions were grimly made and describes how these heroes pulled off an improbable rescue under immense pressure, with the boys' desperate parents and the entire world watching. One of the largest rescues in history was in doubt until the very last moment. Matt Gutman covered the story intensively, went deep inside the caves himself, and interviewed dozens of rescuers, experts and eye-witnessed around the world.
The result is this pulse-pounding page-turner that vividly recreates this extraordinary event in all its intensity-and documents the ingenuity and sacrifice it took to succeed.
Vyftig jaar gelede, om drie minute oor tien op 29 September 1969, is die Noord-Boland getref deur ’n aardbewing van 6.3 op die Richterskaal.
Die middelpunt van die aardbewing was net buite Tulbagh, tuiste van sommige van die oudste kerke, Kaaps-Hollandse huise en wynplase in Suid-Afrika. Tien van die elf mense (meestal kinders) wat in die skudding gesterf het, is in en om die dorpie dood.
In hierdie boek – wat met die vyftigjarige herdenking van die aardbewing saamval – verwesenlik Rosette Jordaan, ’n boorling van Tulbagh, ’n lewensideaal om diť geskiedenis op te teken voordat dit uit die menseheugenis verdwyn. Die resultaat is ’n skatkis van verhale en vertellinge – aangrypend, amusant, onvergeetlik
'Remarkable . . . grips with the force of a thriller' Robert Macfarlane 'The most brilliant and essential book on Chernobyl since that of Nobel Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich' Irish Times ** National Book Critics Circle Finalist 2019 ** The official death toll of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, 'the worst nuclear disaster in history', is only 54, and stories today commonly suggest that nature is thriving there. Yet award-winning historian Kate Brown uncovers a much more disturbing story, one in which radioactive isotopes caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, and the magnitude of the disaster has been actively suppressed. For years after, Soviet scientists, bureaucrats and civilians were documenting staggering increases in birth defects, child mortality, cancers and other life-altering diseases. Worried that this evidence would blow the lid on the effects of radiation release from Cold War weapons-testing, scientists and diplomats from international organizations, including the UN, tried to bury or discredit it. Brown also encounters many everyday heroes, often women, who fought to bring attention to the ballooning human and ecological catastrophe, and adapt to life in a post-nuclear landscape, where the dangerous effects of radiation persist today. Based on a decade of archival and on-the-ground research, Manual for Survival is a gripping historical detective story that brings to light the real consequences of Chernobyl - and the plot to cover them up. 'A troubling book, passionately written and deeply researched' Sunday Times
The first comprehensive oral history of September 11, 2001—a panoramic narrative woven from the voices of Americans on the front lines of an unprecedented national trauma.
Over the past eighteen years, monumental literature has been published about 9/11, from Lawrence Wright’s The Looming Tower, which traced the rise of al-Qaeda, to The 9/11 Commission Report, the government’s definitive factual retrospective of the attacks. But one perspective has been missing up to this point—a 360-degree account of the day told through the voices of the people who experienced it.
Now, in The Only Plane in the Sky, award-winning journalist and bestselling historian Garrett Graff tells the story of the day as it was lived—in the words of those who lived it. Drawing on never-before-published transcripts, recently declassified documents, original interviews, and oral histories from nearly five hundred government officials, first responders, witnesses, survivors, friends, and family members, Graff paints the most vivid and human portrait of the September 11 attacks yet.
Beginning in the predawn hours of airports in the Northeast, we meet the ticket agents who unknowingly usher terrorists onto their flights, and the flight attendants inside the hijacked planes. In New York City, first responders confront a scene of unimaginable horror at the Twin Towers. From a secret bunker underneath the White House, officials watch for incoming planes on radar. Aboard the small number of unarmed fighter jets in the air, pilots make a pact to fly into a hijacked airliner if necessary to bring it down. In the skies above Pennsylvania, civilians aboard United Flight 93 make the ultimate sacrifice in their place. Then, as the day moves forward and flights are grounded nationwide, Air Force One circles the country alone, its passengers isolated and afraid.
More than simply a collection of eyewitness testimonies, The Only Plane in the Sky is the historic narrative of how ordinary people grappled with extraordinary events in real time: the father and son working in the North Tower, caught on different ends of the impact zone; the firefighter searching for his wife who works at the World Trade Center; the operator of in-flight telephone calls who promises to share a passenger’s last words with his family; the beloved FDNY chaplain who bravely performs last rites for the dying, losing his own life when the Towers collapse; and the generals at the Pentagon who break down and weep when they are barred from rushing into the burning building to try to rescue their colleagues.
At once a powerful tribute to the courage of everyday Americans and an essential addition to the literature of 9/11, The Only Plane in the Sky weaves together the unforgettable personal experiences of the men and women who found themselves caught at the center of an unprecedented human drama. The result is a unique, profound, and searing exploration of humanity on a day that changed the course of history, and all of our lives.
A journey through the history and science of epidemics and pandemics – from measles to coronavirus.
For centuries mankind has waged war against the infections that, left untreated, would have the power to wipe out communities, or even entire populations. Yet for all our advanced scientific knowledge, only one human disease – smallpox – has ever been eradicated globally. In recent years, outbreaks of Ebola and Zika have provided vivid examples of how difficult it is to contain an infection once it strikes, and the panic that a rapidly spreading epidemic can ignite.
But while we chase the diseases we are already aware of, new ones are constantly emerging, like the coronavirus that spread across the world in 2020. At the same time, anti-microbial resistance is harnessing infections that we once knew how to control, enabling them to thrive once more.
Meera Senthilingam presents a timely look at humanity’s ongoing battle against infection, examining the successes and failures of the past, along with how we are confronting the challenges of today, and our chances of eradicating disease in the future.
*WINNER OF THE BAILLIE GIFFORD PRIZE FOR NON-FICTION 2018* *WINNER OF THE PUSHKIN HOUSE BOOK PRIZE 2019* 'As moving as it is painstakingly researched. . . a cracking read' Viv Groskop, Observer 'A riveting account of human error and state duplicity. . . rightly being hailed as a classic' Hannah Betts, Daily Telegraph On 26 April 1986 at 1.23am a reactor at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Soviet Ukraine exploded. While the authorities scrambled to understand what was occurring, workers, engineers, firefighters and those living in the area were abandoned to their fate. The blast put the world on the brink of nuclear annihilation, contaminating over half of Europe with radioactive fallout. In Chernobyl, award-winning historian Serhii Plokhy draws on recently opened archives to recreate these events in all their drama. A moment by moment account of the heroes, perpetrators and victims of a tragedy, Chernobyl is the first full account of a gripping, unforgettable Cold War story. 'A compelling history of the 1986 disaster and its aftermath . . . plunges the reader into the sweaty, nervous tension of the Chernobyl control room on that fateful night when human frailty and design flaws combined to such devastating effect' Daniel Beer, Guardian 'Haunting ... near-Tolstoyan. His voice is humane and inflected with nostalgia' Roland Elliott Brown, Spectator 'Extraordinary, vividly written, powerful storytelling ... the first full-scale history of the world's worst nuclear disaster, one of the defining moments in the Cold War, told minute by minute' Victor Sebestyen Sunday Times 'Plays out like a classical tragedy ... fascinating' Julian Evans, Daily Telegraph 'Here at last is the monumental history the disaster deserves' Julie McDowall, The Times
The Earth is a beautiful and wondrous planet, but also frustratingly complex and, at times, violent: much of what has made it livable can also cause catastrophe. Volcanic eruptions create land and produce fertile, nutrient-rich soil, but they can also bury forests, fields, and entire towns under ash, mud, lava, and debris. The very forces that create and recycle Earth's crust also spawn destructive earthquakes and tsunamis. Water and wind bring and spread life, but in hurricanes they can leave devastation in their wake. And while it is the planet's warmth that enables life to thrive, rapidly increasing temperatures are causing sea levels to rise and weather events to become more extreme. Today, we know more than ever before about the powerful forces that can cause catastrophe, but significant questions remain. Why can't we better predict some natural disasters? What do scientists know about them already? What do they wish they knew? In Dangerous Earth, marine scientist and science communicator Ellen Prager explores the science of investigating volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, landslides, rip currents, and--maybe the most perilous hazard of all--climate change. Each chapter considers a specific hazard, begins with a game-changing historical event (like the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens or the landfall and impacts of Hurricane Harvey), and highlights what remains unknown about these dynamic phenomena. Along the way, we hear from scientists trying to read Earth's warning signs, pass its messages along to the rest of us, and prevent catastrophic loss. A sweeping tour of some of the most awesome forces on our planet--many tragic, yet nonetheless awe-inspiring--Dangerous Earth is an illuminating journey through the undiscovered, unresolved, and in some cases unimagined mysteries that continue to frustrate and fascinate the world's leading scientists: the "wish-we-knews" that ignite both our curiosity and global change.
***THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER*** 'This book is brilliant. Utterly, utterly brilliant' Jeremy Clarkson 'F*cking brilliant' Sarah Knight AN EXHILARATING JOURNEY THROUGH THE MOST CREATIVE AND CATASTROPHIC F*CK-UPS OF HUMAN HISTORY In the seventy thousand years that modern human beings have walked this earth, we've come a long way. Art, science, culture, trade - on the evolutionary food chain, we're real winners. But, frankly, it's not exactly been plain sailing, and sometimes - just occasionally - we've managed to really, truly, quite unbelievably f*ck things up. From Chairman Mao's Four Pests Campaign, to the American Dustbowl; from the Austrian army attacking itself one drunken night, to the world's leading superpower electing a reality TV mogul as President... it's pretty safe to say that, as a species, we haven't exactly grown wiser with age. So, next time you think you've really f*cked up, this book will remind you: it could be so much worse... FURTHER PRAISE FOR HUMANS: 'Very funny' Mark Watson 'A light-touch history of moments when humans have got it spectacularly wrong... Both readable and entertaining' The Telegraph 'Chronicles humanity's myriad follies down the ages with malicious glee and much wit ... a rib-tickling page-turner' Business Standard 'A timely, irreverent gallop through thousands of years of human stupidity' Nicholas Griffin, Ping-Pong Diplomacy: The Secret History Behind the Game That Changed the World
Disaster Risk Reduction for the Built Environment provides a multi-facetted introduction to how a wide range of risk reduction options can be mainstreamed into formal and informal construction decision making processes, so that Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) can become part of the developmental DNA . The contents highlight the positive roles that practitioners such as civil and structural engineers, urban planners and designers, and architects (to name just a few) can undertake to ensure that disaster risk is addressed when (re)developing the built environment. The book does not set out prescriptive ( context blind ) solutions to complex problems because such solutions can invariably generate new problems. Instead it raises awareness, and in doing so, inspires a broad range of people to consider DRR in their work or everyday practices. This highly-illustrated text book provides a broad range of examples, case studies and thinking points that can help the reader to consider how DRR approaches might be adapted for differing contexts.
Around the world in Britain, the United States, Asia and the Middle East, there are people with power who are cashing in on chaos; exploiting bloodshed and catastrophe to brutally remake our world in their image. They are the shock doctors. Exposing these global profiteers, Naomi Klein discovered information and connections that shocked even her about how comprehensively the shock doctors' beliefs now dominate our world - and how this domination has been achieved. Raking in billions out of the tsunami, plundering Russia, exploiting Iraq - this is the chilling tale of how a few are making a killing while more are getting killed. 'Packed with thinking dynamite ... a book to be read everywhere' John Berger 'If you only read one non-fiction book this year, make it this one' Metro Books of the Year 'There are a few books that really help us understand the present. The Shock Doctrine is one of those books' John Gray, Guardian 'A brilliant book written with a perfectly distilled anger, channelled through hard fact. She has indeed surpassed No Logo' Independent
A devastating loss of life and a community's response.March 4, 1908, was an ordinary morning in Collinwood, Ohio, a village about ten miles outside of Cleveland. Children at Lakeview Elementary School were at work on their lessons when fifth-grader Emma Neibert noticed wisps of smoke, a discovery that led to a panicked stampede inside the school-the chaos of nine teachers trying to control and then save pupils in overcrowded classrooms. Outside, desperate parents and would-be rescuers fought to save as many children as possible, while Collinwood's inadequate volunteer fire department-joined by members of the Cleveland fire department-fought a losing battle with the rapidly spreading blaze. While some inside jumped from the building to safety, most were trapped. Ultimately, 172 children, two teachers, and one rescue worker were killed, and the Collinwood community was irrevocably changed. The fire's staggering death toll shocked the entire country and resulted in impassioned official inquiries about the fire's cause, the building's structure, and overall safety considerations. Regionally, and eventually nationwide, changes were implemented in school structures and construction materials. The Collinwood Tragedy: The Story of the Worst School Fire in American History describes not only the events of that fateful day but also their lingering effects. James Jessen Badal's extensive research reveals how the citizens of Collinwood were desperate to find someone to blame for the tragedy. Rumor and suspicion splintered the grieving community. And yet they also rose to the challenge of healing: officials reached out to immigrant families unsure of their rights; city charities, churches, and relief agencies responded immediately with medical help, comfort for the bereaved, and financial support; and fundraising efforts to assist families totaled more than $50,000-more than $1 million in today's terms.
An essential guide to the foundations, research and practices of community disaster resilience Framing Community Disaster Resilience offers a guide to the theories, research and approaches for addressing the complexity of community resilience towards hazardous events or disasters. The text draws on the activities and achievements of the project emBRACE: Building Resilience Amongst Communities in Europe. The authors identify the key dimensions of resilience across a range of disciplines and domains and present an analysis of community characteristics, networks, behaviour and practices in specific test cases. The text contains an in-depth exploration of five test cases whose communities are facing impacts triggered by different hazards, namely: river floods in Germany, earthquakes in Turkey, landslides in South Tyrol, Italy, heat-waves in London and combined fluvial and pluvial floods in Northumberland and Cumbria. The authors examine the data and indicators of past events in order to assess current situations and to tackle the dynamics of community resilience. In addition, they put the focus on empirical analysis to explore the resilience concept and to test the usage of indicators for describing community resilience. This important text: Merges the forces of research knowledge, networking and practices in order to understand community disaster resilience Contains the results of the acclaimed project Building Resilience Amongst Communities in Europe - emBRACE Explores the key dimensions of community resilience Includes five illustrative case studies from European communities that face various hazards Written for undergraduate students, postgraduates and researchers of social science, and policymakers, Framing Community Disaster Resilience reports on the findings of an important study to reveal the most effective approaches to enhancing community resilience. The emBRACE research received funding from the European Community's Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007-2013 under grant agreement n Degrees 283201. The European Community is not liable for any use that may be made of the information contained in this publication.
'[One of] the wonder women of our emergency services' Glamour 'An inspirational woman' Good Housekeeping Dr Sabrina Cohen-Hatton has been a firefighter for eighteen years. She decides which of her colleagues rush into a burning building and how they confront the blaze. She makes the call to evacuate if she believes the options have been exhausted or that the situation has escalated beyond hope. She has managed emergencies that have shocked and moved us all, and made decisions that seem impossible. Taking us to the very heart of firefighting, she reveals the skills that are essential to surviving - and even thriving - in such a fast-paced and emotionally-charged environment. And she immerses us in this extraordinary world; from scenes of devastation and crisis, through triumphs of bravery, to the quieter moments when she questions herself and the decisions made in the most unforgiving circumstances. Ultimately, we are asked to step into her boots. In the face of urgency and uncertainty, would you respond analytically or trust your instincts? How would you decide who lives and who dies? Sabrina's award-winning research into decision-making in the emergency services has transformed policy at a global level. This is her astonishing account of a profession defined by the most difficult decisions imaginable. Honest, eloquent and empowering, here is the truth about how we respond in our most extreme moments.
'Remarkable . . . grips with the force of a thriller' Robert MacFarlane An astonishing expose of the aftermath of Chernobyl - and the plot to cover up the truth The official death toll of the 1986 Chernobyl accident, 'the worst nuclear disaster in history', is only 54, and stories today commonly suggest that nature is thriving there. Yet award-winning historian Kate Brown uncovers a much more disturbing story, one in which radioactive isotopes caused hundreds of thousands of casualties, and the magnitude of this human and ecological catastrophe has been actively suppressed. Based on a decade of archival and on-the-ground research, Manual for Survival is a gripping account of the consequences of nuclear radiation in the wake of Chernobyl - and the plot to cover it up. As Brown discovers, Soviet scientists, bureaucrats, and civilians documented staggering increases in cases of birth defects, child mortality, cancers and a multitude of life-altering diseases years after the disaster. Worried that this evidence would blow the lid on the effects of massive radiation release from weapons-testing during the Cold War, scientists and diplomats from international organizations, including the UN, tried to bury or discredit it. Yet Brown also encounters many everyday heroes, often women, who fought to bring attention to the ballooning health catastrophe, and adapt to life in a post-nuclear landscape, where dangerously radioactive radioactive berries, distorted trees and birth defects still persist today. An astonishing historical detective story, Manual for Survival makes clear the irreversible impact of nuclear energy on every living thing, not just from Chernobyl, but from eight decades of radiaoactive fallout from weapons development.
Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention is concerned with refugee status determination (RSD) in the context of disasters and climate change. It demonstrates that the legal predicament of people who seek refugee status in this connection has been inconsistently addressed by judicial bodies in leading refugee law jurisdictions, and identifies epistemological as well as doctrinal impediments to a clear and principled application of international refugee law. Arguing that RSD cannot safely be performed without a clear understanding of the relationship between natural hazards and human agency, the book draws insights from disaster anthropology and political ecology that see discrimination as a contributory cause of people's differential exposure and vulnerability to disaster-related harm. This theoretical framework, combined with insights derived from the review of existing doctrinal and judicial approaches, prompts a critical revision of the dominant human rights-based approach to the refugee definition.
Preventing War and Promoting Peace: A Guide for Health Professionals is an interdisciplinary study of how pervasive militarism creates a propensity for war through the influence of academia, economic policy, the defense industry, and the news media. Comprising contributions by academics and practitioners from the fields of public health, medicine, nursing, law, sociology, psychology, political science, and peace and conflict studies, as well as representatives from organizations active in war prevention, the book emphasizes the underlying preventable causes of war, particularly militarism, and focuses on the methods health professionals can use to prevent war. Preventing War and Promoting Peace provides hard-hitting facts about the devastating health effects of war and a broad perspective on war and health, presenting a new paradigm for the proactive engagement of health professions in the prevention of war and the promotion of peace.
Yang Jisheng's Tombstone is the book that broke the silence on of one of history's most terrible crimes More people died in Mao's Great Famine than in the entire First World War, yet this story has remained largely untold, until now. Still banned in China, Tombstone draws on the author's privileged access to official and unofficial sources to uncover the full human cost of the tragedy, and create an unprecedented work of historical reckoning. 'A book of great importance' Jung Chang, author of Wild Swans 'The first proper history of China's great famine ... So thorough is his documentation that some are already calling Yang "China's Solzhenitsyn"' Anne Applebaum, author of Gulag: A History
This book aims to uncover the root causes of natural and man-made disasters by going beyond the typical reports and case studies conducted post-disaster. It opens the black box of disasters by presenting 'forensic analysis approaches' to disasters, thereby revealing the complex causality that characterizes them and explaining how and why hazards do, or do not, become disasters. This yields 'systemic' strategies for managing disasters. Recently the global threat landscape has seen the emergence of high impact, low probability events. Events like Hurricane Katrina, the Great Japan Earthquake and tsunami, Hurricane Sandy, Super Typhoon Haiyan, global terrorist activities have become the new norm. Extreme events challenge our understanding regarding the interdependencies and complexity of the disaster aetiology and are often referred to as Black Swans. Between 2002 and 2011, there were 4130 disasters recorded that resulted from natural hazards around the world. In these, 1,117,527 people perished and a minimum of US$1,195 billion in losses were reported. In the year 2011 alone, 302 disasters claimed 29,782 lives; affected 206 million people and inflicted damages worth a minimum of estimated US$366 billion.
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