The Dynamics of Disaster by Susan W. Kieffer audiobook

The Dynamics of Disaster

By Susan W. Kieffer
Read by Heather Henderson

Blackstone Publishing 9780393080957
6.97 Hours Unabridged
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Natural disastersbedevil our planet, and each appears to be a unique event. Leading geologistSusan W. Kieffer shows how all disasters are connected. In 2011 there were fourteen natural calamities that eachdestroyed over a billion dollars’ worth of property in the United States alone.In 2012 Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast and major earthquakes struck inItaly, the Philippines, Iran, and Afghanistan. In the first half of 2013, theawful drumbeat continued—a monster supertornado struck Moore, Oklahoma; apowerful earthquake shook Sichuan, China; a cyclone ravaged Queensland,Australia; massive floods inundated Jakarta; and the most destructive wildfire ever engulfed a large part of Colorado. Despite these events, we still behave as if naturaldisasters are outliers. Why else would we continue to build new communitiesnear active volcanoes, on tectonically active faults, on flood plains, and inareas routinely lashed by vicious storms? A famous historian once observed that “civilizationexists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice.” In the pages ofthis unique book, leading geologist Susan W. Kieffer provides a primer on mosttypes of natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, landslides,hurricanes, cyclones, and tornadoes. By taking us behind the scenes to theunderlying geology that causes them, she shows why natural disasters are morecommon than we realize and that their impact on us will increase as our growingpopulation crowds into ever more vulnerable areas. Kieffer describes how natural disasters result from“changes in state” in a geologic system, much as when water turns to steam. Byunderstanding what causes these changes of state, we can begin to understandthe dynamics of natural disasters. Finally, Kieffer outlines how we might better prepare for, and in somecases prevent, future disasters. She also calls for the creation of anorganization—something akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—that is focused on pending natural disasters.

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Summary

Summary

Natural disastersbedevil our planet, and each appears to be a unique event. Leading geologistSusan W. Kieffer shows how all disasters are connected.

In 2011 there were fourteen natural calamities that eachdestroyed over a billion dollars’ worth of property in the United States alone.In 2012 Hurricane Sandy ravaged the East Coast and major earthquakes struck inItaly, the Philippines, Iran, and Afghanistan. In the first half of 2013, theawful drumbeat continued—a monster supertornado struck Moore, Oklahoma; apowerful earthquake shook Sichuan, China; a cyclone ravaged Queensland,Australia; massive floods inundated Jakarta; and the most destructive wildfire ever engulfed a large part of Colorado.

Despite these events, we still behave as if naturaldisasters are outliers. Why else would we continue to build new communitiesnear active volcanoes, on tectonically active faults, on flood plains, and inareas routinely lashed by vicious storms?

A famous historian once observed that “civilizationexists by geologic consent, subject to change without notice.” In the pages ofthis unique book, leading geologist Susan W. Kieffer provides a primer on mosttypes of natural disasters: earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, landslides,hurricanes, cyclones, and tornadoes. By taking us behind the scenes to theunderlying geology that causes them, she shows why natural disasters are morecommon than we realize and that their impact on us will increase as our growingpopulation crowds into ever more vulnerable areas.

Kieffer describes how natural disasters result from“changes in state” in a geologic system, much as when water turns to steam. Byunderstanding what causes these changes of state, we can begin to understandthe dynamics of natural disasters.

Finally, Kieffer outlines how we might better prepare for, and in somecases prevent, future disasters. She also calls for the creation of anorganization—something akin to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—that is focused on pending natural disasters.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“A clear, engagingly wonky introduction to the field.” Publishers Weekly
“Geologist Kieffer argues that we don’t understand disasters as well as we should. She contrasts ‘stealth disasters’ caused by long-term human impact, including climate change and soil erosion, with natural disasters or ‘acts of God,’ which are also increasingly affected by human actions…[A] highly accessible look at disasters.” Booklist
“Kieffer (emerita, Geology/Univ. of Illinois) argues that all natural disasters that disrupt the Earth and its atmosphere are the result of a rapid shift in matter and energy that she calls a ‘change of state’…Kieffer’s larger point is that a deeper understanding of these events and their underlying causes is required in order to make effective changes in how communities approach engineering strategy, advance-warning technologies, and emergency-response routines…Sharp, timely, slightly terrifying science writing.” Kirkus Reviews

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Susan W. Kieffer

Author Bio: Susan W. Kieffer

Susan W. Kieffer is professor emerita of geology at the University of Illinois and a recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant. She hosts a popular blog called Geology in Motion. She lives on Whidbey Island, Washington.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 6.97
Audience: Adult
Language: English