Estimated 12,000 weather-related disasters


September 23, 2005.  

618,200 fatalities and economic losses of USD 1.3 trillion have been caused by an estimated 12,000 weather-related disasters since 1980. In the 1980s, the average annual economic loss from weather-related disasters was billion. In 2004, that number rose to 4 billion, and in 2005, Hurricane Katrina alone is expected to cost 0-200 billion in economic losses.

 

The catastrophe we are watching unfold along the U.S. Gulf Coast is a wake-up call for decision makers around the globe. If the world continues on its current course—massively destroying coastal wetlands and increasing fossil fuel consumption—future generations may face a chain of disasters that make Katrina-scale catastrophes a common feature of life in the 21st century.

 

At a time when politicians and the media have focused on immediate symptoms rather than long-term problems, Worldwatch plays a more important role than ever.

 

For example, well-financed opponents of action on climate change have delayed implementation of carbon dioxide emissions limits for over a decade, allowing global emissions to grow by 20 percent since 1990. The world’s population has expanded by more than a billion people during the same period, which is undermining the health of the ecosystems on which humanity relies, from forests to water and marine resources.

 

In the past few weeks, Worldwatch has been actively analyzing and communicating the lessons of Katrina, responding to scores of media requests and providing long-term context to the immediate crisis along the Gulf.

 

Worldwatch researchers are showing that goals such as reducing poverty, stabilizing the world’s climate, and slowing world population growth must be treated as part of an interconnected whole rather than in isolation.

 

With the help of many concerned people like you, we are redoubling our commitment to provide the information and vision needed to point the way toward leaving the world a better place for future generations.

 

Never has our work been more important to the world and never has the support of friends like you been more important to our work.

 

Please take a moment to view the short presentation outlining the work of the Institute by going to: www.worldwatch.org/about/presentation/.

 

Then join us as we work together to create a healthy and sustainable world for generations to come.

 

Thank you.

 

 

Christopher Flavin

President

 

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Dr. Günther Manske

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