In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, necessity has bred an interesting kind of financial invention for the New York MTA: the world’s first “catastrophe” bond - a reinsurance for the insurer - designed to protect public transportation infrastructure, specifically against storm surge. These bonds privatize risk for public gain, creating a kind of tool that may protect economic development against all kinds of natural and man-made disasters around the world.Read More
A cholera epidemic can kill many people or few people—it all depends on the expertise of the doctors and their access to the right equipment. A program in Dhaka rushes both to countries when an epidemic is just breaking out.Read More
In a country of limited resources — and perhaps for that very reason — preparing for natural disasters is top of the agenda in Bangladesh. Various grassroots, collaborative programs have been put in place over the years to help address many facets of the calamities caused by cyclones, from improved emergency shelters to long-term support for those who lose their livelihoods in the storms.Read More
Around the globe, countries have taken actions that have helped reduce carbon emissions and increase the use of renewable energy. Although the state of Florida feels the effects of climate change, its state representatives have not produced policy addressing it. Local policy makers and organizers have made the biggest difference in the state.Read More
In the face of a prolonged drought, residents of Melbourne, Australia, cut water consumption in half by capturing rainwater and using efficient toilets and washing machines.Read More
Summer in the Northwest presents a great risk of wildfires. A pile burning operation, just one facet of the strategy that Oregon has enacted to conserve its forests, clears undergrowth to lessen the risk of mega-fire. The work stimulates the local economy and provides employment, but it's also a very small part of what needs to be done.Read More
In the wake of the Rana Plaza collapse, Bangladeshi civilians—often first on the scene of disasters in poorer countries–are being trained to support emergency teams.Read More
The 2004 tsunami that hit Asia caused significant damage in the islands of the Seychelles, destroying roads, homes, and shoreline. A teacher determined to restore her home through tangible action took a lead role in helping her students take conservation into their own hands by working to restore the mangroves that can protect their island from future storms.Read More
After the drought hit Australia in the early 2000s, city officials had to start thinking seriously about ways to conserve and creatively store their water. External tanks became the solution, storing rain runoff to create an available source of water for Melbourne residents. This solution may not fit every location, but there are other teachable lessons such as taking radically shorter showers.Read More
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