Does global environmental change cause vulnerability to disaster?

W. Neil Adger, Nick Brooks

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

54 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We have experienced natural hazards since the beginning of history. To those who have experienced them the world has appeared to cave in when a natural catastrophe occurs. It is only with the advent of economic, social and environmental globalization that we have, in effect, created the ability to actually make our world cave in and to change it irrevocably. At the same time, globalization makes us more aware of the impacts of natural hazards, and our perceptions of risk from them cannot be divorced from its social setting. The physical basis of many natural hazards is assumed to be periodic but essentially in equilibrium. Some elements of the natural world that wreak havoc when they occur do so with unpredictable timing, but are in themselves predictable after a fashion and at other timescales. But some hazards are changing in nature due to global environmental change. In this chapter we seek to elucidate what global environmental change might mean in the context of globalization, to outline some examples of global environmental change and the implications for exposure to natural hazards, and to examine some evidence of whether there has been a change in the scale and scope of environmentally ‘triggered’ natural hazards in the past century.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNatural Disasters and Development in a Globalising World
EditorsMark Pelling
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge
Chapter2
Pages19-42
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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