Tjebbe van Tijen on Wed, 16 Sep 2009 15:53:12 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> West and East Africa September 2009: floods and droughts & the luxury disasters of some other nations

about the visualization of natural disasters and questions raised if  
the same technologies that do show us their workings & impact could  
help in if not preventing, lessening the effects on population and  

West and East Africa September 2009: floods and droughts & the luxury  
disasters of some other nations

September 5, 2009 by Tjebbe van Tijen

A series of messages of  a friend (Fran?ois Laureys) on the social  
messaging system of FaceBook community who lives in West Africa  
alerted me to extra ordinary heavy rains and floodings in Burkino  
Fasso and other countries in the region. I had not seen any covering  
of this disaster on national Dutch television, and maybe missed  it  
on BBC news, anyhow us Europeans are not ?flooded? with African news  
anyhow. It can be that the editors in command of our daily supply of  
misery are careful about the possible ?disaster fatigue? of their  
audience, but when a local disaster occurs in the low countries we  
can be sure that the flooded camping outside the village of  
Hoeksewaard ? however minor ? will get full attention. A recent  
example was the so called  ?Weeralarm? (weather alarm) of our  
national meteorological institute KNMI because a combined storm and  
heavy rains were expected on August 20, 2009. Luckily the ?planned?  
storm did not come and the heavy rains failed to materialize, so many  
complaints did get in form organizers of the compulsive and  
commercial late summer outdoor festivals, that were either cancelled  
or delayed. Before, such nation wide offical alarms, everybody  
accepted the vicissitude of the weather, but now the eager business  
minds must have started to think up possible damage claim schemes.  
The national weather institute KNMI was quick to react and has scaled  
down their ?televisionized? national alarms. Anybody with a computer  
in this country ? my good guess is that there are even more computers  
than inhabitants in the Netherlands ? has instant access to the  
continuous weather radar and its efficient didactic visualizations so  
a greengrocer with an outside market stall can check the radar on his  
iphone and take the needed measures right in time. Those are the  
disasters of luxury that befall us here in Europe.

read on...

the full documented and illustrated text can be found at The Limping  

Tjebbe van Tijen
Imaginary Museum Projects
Dramatizing Historical Information
web-blog: The Limping Messenger

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