That march through the institutions has gone a long way

Levi Gahman, Lecturer: Radical Geography and Critical Development Studies, The University of the West Indies: St. Augustine Campus and Gabrielle Thongs, Assistant Lecturer, Geography Department, The University of the West Indies: St. Augustine Campus

Just got to love that first title there, don’t you?

These are not isolated instances of random bad luck. As University of the West Indies geographers who study risk perception and political ecology, we recognize the deep, human-induced roots of climate change, inequality and the underdevelopment of former colonies – all of which increase the Caribbean’s vulnerability to disaster.

Disaster risk is a function of both a place’s physical hazard exposure – that is, how directly it is threatened by disaster – and its social vulnerability, specifically, how resilient it is.
Across most Caribbean islands, hazard exposure is about the same, but research shows that poverty and social inequality drastically magnify the severity of disasters.
Haiti, where eight out of every 10 people live on less than $4 a day, offers an example of how capitalism, gender and history converge to compound storm damage.

The least capitalist economy in the area, Haiti, gets hardest hit by such disasters.

That’s not, obviously, the conclusion they draw, is it?

22 comments on “That march through the institutions has gone a long way

  1. How do they manage to take anybody in? You get paid to produce fifth-rate schoolboy/girl bullshit?

    Capitalism is probably also responsible for my currently dodgy knee and the fact that neither Kim Bassinger nor Michelle Pfeiffer (I am letting you into the heart of my heart here) have ever had the good fortune to sleep with me.

  2. Otoh, I feel sure this nice Jewish boy is appropriating the jobs of black Caribbean useless pseudointellectual twats and erasing black queer black people of blackness, or something.

    It’s an ethical pickle.

  3. Capitalism is such a powerful force that it is even responsible for things that happen in non-capitalist countries.

    See: every explainaway ever as to why the Soviet block was so shit in every way compared to the Western free world

  4. Congratulations Tim

    You have found two people even more stupid than Richard Murphy:

    De beers has nothing on this article:

    ‘Irma and Maria are surely not the last extreme disasters that will strike the region. To survive and flourish in this dangerous new normal, Caribbean countries would do well to look to the heart of these issues, rethinking the concept of risk and mindfully engaging with factors like poverty, gender and climate change.

    In practice, this means identifying their most vulnerable communities and working to improve their day-to-day well-being – not just their survival in a storm.’

    ‘Across the region, people spend most of their income on daily essentials like food, clean water, shelter and medicine, with little left over for greeting Irma and Maria with lifesaving hurricane-resilient roofs, storm shutters, solar generators and first aid kits.

    For the poor, emergency radios and satellite telephones that could warn of impending disasters are largely unaffordable, as is homeowners’ insurance to hasten recover’

  5. I wonder, if somebody, (a Professor of Radical Economics perhaps?) did a careful study of capital investment and its consequential development in the Caribbean islands divided in to pre-colonial, colonial and post-colonial / independent* eras, what this might show.

    But, anyway, it’s all whitey’s fault (see other thread and David Thompson passim).

    Anyway, when did Sir pTerry start awarding academic titles in the real world? It’s not quite Professor of Cruel and Egregious Geography, but it’s close.

    * Also the era of rule by corrupt and / or (but mostly ‘and’) socialist but black (therefore the right people to do the ruling) people.

  6. Radical Geography is just like normal geography, but you have to carry a surfboard and wear sunglasses.

  7. This “new normal” of… erm… no hurricanes for 10 years and then a normal-to-high-but-not-exceptional year.

    But let’s not let facts get in the way of Blame Whiteyism.

  8. Van_patten,

    > Across the region, people spend most of their income on daily essentials like food, clean water, shelter and medicine …

    I spend most (>50%) of my income on food, clean water, shelter, and medicine.

  9. Tim, in a non-related moment I note that TFL/Sadiq Khan have revoked Uber’s licence to operate in London!
    Fuckers. London is waging war on free markets now. Give us strength.

  10. To survive and flourish in this dangerous new normal, Caribbean countries would do well to look to the heart of these issues, rethinking the concept of risk and mindfully engaging with factors like poverty, gender and climate change.

    Christian nutters are called nutters because they think men prancing about in frocks cause hurricanes.

    Professors think that celebrating men prancing about in frocks will do what? Deter them? Allow people to cope better with the after-effects?

  11. @ SMFS
    “… and mindfully engaging with factors like poverty, gender and climate change.”

    When all you have is a hammer….

  12. “We must have socialism.

    What’s in today’s news? Hurricanes? K. We will use hurricanes to explain why we MUST HAVE socialism.”

    It doesn’t matter that it doesn’t fit; it even goes against their argument. What matters is still, “We must have socialism.”

  13. You all missed that the second researcher is called “Gabrielle Thongs”.

    And, amazingly, she does exist. My first thought was that someone had fooled Salon into publishing Sokolese, and then I remembered it was Salon, which lead me to realize you didn’t have to fool Salon to do that… That’s what they do anyway.

    She has a Ph.D. in Surveying and Land Management from UWI, which (surprisingly) appears to be an entirely practical field of study, and is employed there as an “Assistant Lecturer”… whatever that is.

    Given the gibberish she’s published at Salon, she’s decided she wants a career in academia…

  14. @ Dennis
    “Radical Geography” looks at the roots of geography – why we have outcrops of land above sea level, why rivers flow downhill, what comprises a nation-state, how one can pretend that an ethnic group that arrived in the West Indies after the Europeans can claim to be indigenous ….

  15. “I spend most (>50%) of my income on food, clean water, shelter, and medicine.”

    While I was still working, I spent most (>50%) of my income on taxes. The higher income people in California and New York spend 66%.

  16. “Radical Geography” looks at the roots of geography – why we have outcrops of land above sea level, why rivers flow downhill, what comprises a nation-state, how one can pretend that an ethnic group that arrived in the West Indies after the Europeans can claim to be indigenous …..

    Ah, now I see… It’s sociology for people who like to play in dirt.

Leave a Reply

Name and email are required. Your email address will not be published.