Disillusioned commentary on Australian financial sector, politics, business, media... with attention occasionally distracted to the world outside... and intermittent reminder that rage is a more life-conserving irrationality than despair.

Monday, January 31, 2005

Away in a manger...

Yes, it's a dog in there.

Reporting for New Scientist this week from Kobe, Emma Young writes ("Quake, flood, fire. Will we be ready?"):

... many of those involved say the World Conference on Disaster Reduction was a wasted opportunity. While there was much well-meaning rhetoric, little emerged in the way of firm disaster reduction plans or targets for saving lives. There was not even any agreement on how much money to spend on reducing the death toll caused by earthquakes, floods, droughts and tsunamis.

"The targets at the beginning of this process were very clear and strong and concrete. What we've seen is that over the diplomatic process of reaching consensus, they have been tremendously watered down. That is an enormous disappointment." says hazard vulnerability Ben Wisner of the London School of Economics.

While various initiatives were announced at the conference, there was no commitment to funding and, asks Young:

... will action really be taken next time it is needed? While the UK and Sweden pushed for hard targets... others, including the US, blocked such proposals.

The US Bush administration has preserved its hundred per cent record of cooperating with nobody.

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