What links the banking crisis and the volcano?

Man proposes; nature disposes. We are seldom more vulnerable than when we feel insulated. The miracle of modern flight protected us from gravity, atmosphere, culture, geography. It made everywhere feel local, interchangeable. Nature interjects, and we encounter – tragically for many – the reality of thousands of miles of separation. We discover that we have not escaped from the physical world after all. Full Story »

Posted by Kristin Gorski - via NewsRack (Poverty), NewsRack (Recession), AllTop, NewsRack (Business), NewsRack (Energy), NewsRack (Media), sahajajnana thirthaji (f), Shams Kazi (f), Kaizar Campwala (f), Fabrice Florin (f), David Fox (f)
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Beth Wellington
by Beth Wellington - Apr. 20, 2010

The author takes some leaps about solar storms and peak oil necessitating the end of air travel that many will not be willing to take with him and, in once case, his language about "living under the flight path" is unclear enough that I had to guess at his meaning.

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Andre Heinemann
by Andre Heinemann - Apr. 20, 2010

Gloomy opinion piece weaving an interesting web of interconnectivity of today's societies and society's vulnerability to natural and man-made disaster. Original, interesting, offering some relevant references/links, certainly worth reading.

Simplification appears to be the key, as in so many other cases. Increased complexity is usually a recipe for disaster, just look at the US Tax Code, most terms and conditions or privacy statements, just to name a few; obviously global health and preparedness is a bit more important. I don't think society, or even each person, will ever be able to prepare for every possible eventuality, but we should all individually and collectively take steps to prepare for more common and ... More »

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Kristin Gorski
by Kristin Gorski - Apr. 28, 2010

Very well written and insightful. Monbiot draws some compelling parallels between forces of nature and financial crises bringing the world to the brink. Quality food for thought.

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Subramanya Sastry
by Subramanya Sastry - Apr. 28, 2010

It is a well-written article highlighting the perils of an over-globalized / over-inter-dependent world. While the scenarios laid out in the article may or may not come to pass, recognizing the faultlines in this setup is important and to that extent, this article is an important one.

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Sirajul Islam
by Sirajul Islam - Apr. 28, 2010

George Monbiot went philosophical, but his point is valid. Airlines have only been grounded for a few days, and they’re already calling for state assistance. Well, such pleas are much easier to digest in the case of a volcanic eruption than with a banking crisis, since the former is one of the classic instances of force-majeure.

since the outbreak of the international financial crisis, the expectation has been that the politicians should lend a helping hand whenever companies suffer from things not of their own making. But this kind of logic is just as fatal when it comes to disasters as it was with global recessions. Statespersons should only help when a catastrophe really threatens to push the entire airline industry into the abyss and endangers the greater economic infrastructure. Taxpayers across the ... More »

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Walter Cox
by Walter Cox - Apr. 20, 2010

The author demonstrates an unhappy fatalism that may, or may not, correspond to future reality. The convenience of low-cost air travel is something that most of us will not be willing to forgo, inasmuch as it affords us easy access to a rich array of cultural, educational and practical benefits. Our real task is to make existing systems more durable and less sensitive to natural and man-made phenomena.

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O. Billbrough
by O. Billbrough - Apr. 21, 2010

I feel that the article is insightful and informative but the way that it is presented is poor and the language could be more professional.

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Sharon Pereira
by Sharon Pereira - Apr. 22, 2010

Although this editorial takes on a somewhat pessimistic tone, the information that the author puts forth supports his arguments. The author really puts into perspective the hazardous future that we may be facing in parts and sets out, one by one, all the possibilities. I enjoyed this article.

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Joshua Ortiz
by Joshua Ortiz - Apr. 21, 2010

This article was well written and I agree with lots of what is stated in the article. This is not factual information. I agree with this because once countries start depending on technology to and other resources to get things done. Another thing I agree with is that developed countries aren’t taking measures to prevent this situation.

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Mike Miller
by Mike Miller - Apr. 21, 2010

This is a great example of journalism because the article is very well written. The author created a combination of a news analysis and opinionated statements which made a great article. George Monbiot starts off by establishing our tendency to rely on complex systems. He then gives examples of what would happen if one our systems would fail and how it would effect us. The author then goes to talk about past societies how their reliance of complex systems caused them to collapse. The author then ties everything together with the airline system.

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Yousuf Khaled
by Yousuf Khaled - Apr. 21, 2010

This article seems to focus more on the inevitable problems then a solution for them. The author does sight various historic examples as well experts from around the world. It just sounds like another person proclaiming that the world will end as we know it.

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Samuel Beccaria
by Samuel Beccaria - Apr. 21, 2010

The logic behind the author's argument seems valid, and the author has a precise and exact flow of thought. The author sites reputable sources, and keeps in mind that we may want to see some of the sources/terminology that the author uses, and links them out.

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Camille Weisgant
by Camille Weisgant - Apr. 21, 2010

The journalist's fatalism seems rather extreme. However, the piece was well written and quite thoughtful.

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Morgan Kusmer
by Morgan Kusmer - Apr. 21, 2010

Yes, because it raises awareness--it states the problem, relates it to us, and asks the question of what we can do to change it.

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