About The Resilience Institute

The Resilience Institute is part of WWU Huxley’s College of the Environment. It facilitates scholarship, education, and practice on reducing social and physical vulnerability through sustainable community development, as a way to minimize loss and enhance recovery from disasters in Washington State and its interdependent global communities.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

NYT's Andrew Revkin Keeps Asking Good Questions

In this blog post:

While California, thanks to wakeup calls in 1906 and 1933, has pushed to bolster schools and other vital structures, there, too, experts say, there are gaps, particularly in poorer school districts. In Oregon, the gaps are truly scary, according to Yumei Wang, the head of the state’s geohazards team. When the anticipated earthquake there comes, it could well be an 9.0-magnitude event.

If hundreds of the 1,300 Oregon schools estimated to be inadequately reinforced fall, will that be seen as a cruel twist of fate or somebody’s fault?

And if it’s somebody’s fault, who is the somebody? The person in office? The voters who don’t clamor for safe schools before a disaster strikes? State agencies that perhaps didn’t catch a contractor’s shortcut? Engineers or scientists who haven’t tried hard enough to explain what this kind of threat means? The media for focusing on politicians’ gaffes and celebrities’ stunts?

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