Gonzalo Lizarralde

Sep 22, 2021

Unnatural Disasters

Why Most Responses to Risk and Climate Change Fail But Some Succeed

Columbia University Press 2021

Unnatural Disasters: Why Most Responses to Risk and Climate Change Fail But Some Succeed (Columbia UP, 2021) offers a new perspective on our most pressing environmental and social challenges, revealing the gaps between abstract concepts like sustainability, resilience, and innovation and the real-world experiences of people living at risk. Gonzalo Lizarralde explains how the causes of disasters are not natural but all too human: inequality, segregation, marginalization, colonialism, neoliberalism, racism, and unrestrained capitalism. He tells the stories of Latin American migrants, Haitian earthquake survivors, Canadian climate activists, African slum dwellers, and other people resisting social and environmental injustices around the world. Lizarralde shows that most reconstruction and risk-reduction efforts exacerbate social inequalities. Some responses do produce meaningful changes, but they are rarely the ones powerful leaders have in mind.

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