Monday, May 12, 2014

Earthquakes, Natural Disasters & Globalisation

I did not expect the figures to be so high. "Since the millennium, more than 2.3 billion people have been directly affected by natural disasters..." so says the first line of Debarati Guha-Sapir & Indhira Santos (eds.), The Economic Impacts of Natural Disasters (Oxford UP, 2014?). That kind of population impact is close to a third of world population currently at 7.15 billion. Remarkably, the birth pangs attending the end-time events speak of events affecting only a quarter of the earth (Rev 6) including great earthquakes in Luke 21. The end-time could be upon us sooner than we think, though I would personally advise caution unless we see a convergence of not just earthquakes and natural disasters but famine, pestilence and deaths resulting from wars.
One frightening aspect of the global events today is that a virus or disease could spread within days of one person infected from one corner of the earth to another corner of the globe as a result of air travel and forces of globalisation where peoples live together in a city from different countries and cultures, coming into a country or a city as economic migrants primarily. This exchange, mixture or plurality of communities can be a good thing because it adds vibrancy to a cosmopolitan city, a melting pot of nations united by a common tongue, English the lingua franca of today's world working and living side by side in a world-city, linked by a conglomeration of other mega-cities in a globalised world.

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