Before Fukushima, the most notorious large-scale nuclear accident the world had seen was Chernobyl in 1986. The fallout from Chernobyl covered vast areas in the Northern Hemisphere, especially in Europe. Belarus, at the time a Soviet republic, suffered heavily: nearly a quarter of its territory was covered with long-lasting radionuclides. Yet the damage from the massive fallout was largely imperceptible; contaminated communities looked exactly like noncontaminated ones. It could be known only through constructed representations of it. In The Politics of Invisibility, Olga Kuchinskaya explores how we know what we know about Chernobyl, describing how the consequences of a nuclear accident were made invisible. Her analysis sheds valuable light on how we deal with other modern hazards -- toxins or global warming -- that are largely imperceptible to the human senses.Kuchinskaya describes the production of invisibility of Chernobyl's consequences in Belarus -- practices that limit public attention to radiation and make its health effects impossible to observe. Just as mitigating radiological contamination requires infrastructural solutions, she argues, the production and propagation of invisibility also involves infrastructural efforts, from redefining the scope and nature of the accident's consequences to reshaping research and protection practices. Kuchinskaya finds vast fluctuations in recognition, tracing varyingly successful efforts to conceal or reveal Chernobyl's consequences at different levels -- among affected populations, scientists, government, media, and international organizations. The production of invisibility, she argues, is a function of power relations.
Author: Megan Finn
Publisher: MIT Press
An examination of how changing public information infrastructures shaped people's experience of earthquakes in Northern California in 1868, 1906, and 1989. When an earthquake happens in California today, residents may look to the United States Geological Survey for online maps that show the quake's epicenter, turn to Twitter for government bulletins and the latest news, check Facebook for updates from friends and family, and count on help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). One hundred and fifty years ago, however, FEMA and other government agencies did not exist, and information came by telegraph and newspaper. In Documenting Aftermath, Megan Finn explores changing public information infrastructures and how they shaped people's experience of disaster, examining postearthquake information and communication practices in three Northern California earthquakes: the 1868 Hayward Fault earthquake, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire, and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. She then analyzes the institutions, policies, and technologies that shape today's postdisaster information landscape. Finn argues that information orders—complex constellations of institutions, technologies, and practices—influence how we act in, experience, and document events. What Finn terms event epistemologies, constituted both by historical documents and by researchers who study them, explain how information orders facilitate particular possibilities for knowledge. After the 1868 earthquake, the Chamber of Commerce telegraphed reassurances to out-of-state investors while local newspapers ran sensational earthquake narratives; in 1906, families and institutions used innovative techniques for locating people; and in 1989, government institutions and the media developed a symbiotic relationship in information dissemination. Today, government disaster response plans and new media platforms imagine different sources of informational authority yet work together shaping disaster narratives.
Waste Is Information
Author: Dietmar Offenhuber, Carlo Ratti
Publisher: MIT Press
Waste is material information. Landfills are detailed records of everyday consumption and behavior; much of what we know about the distant past we know from discarded objects unearthed by archaeologists and interpreted by historians. And yet the systems and infrastructures that process our waste often remain opaque. In this book, Dietmar Offenhuber examines waste from the perspective of information, considering emerging practices and technologies for making waste systems legible and how the resulting datasets and visualizations shape infrastructure governance. He does so by looking at three waste tracking and participatory sensing projects in Seattle, São Paulo, and Boston. Offenhuber expands the notion of urban legibility -- the idea that the city can be read like a text -- to introduce the concept of infrastructure legibility. He argues that infrastructure governance is enacted through representations of the infrastructural system, and that these representations stem from the different stakeholders' interests, which drive their efforts to make the system legible. The Trash Track project in Seattle used sensor technology to map discarded items through the waste and recycling systems; the Forager project looked at the informal organization processes of waste pickers working for Brazilian recycling cooperatives; and mobile systems designed by the city of Boston allowed residents to report such infrastructure failures as potholes and garbage spills. Through these case studies, Offenhuber outlines an emerging paradigm of infrastructure governance based on acomplex negotiation among users, technology, and the city.
A graphic novel account of the race to construct the first atomic bomb and the decision to drop it, tracing the early research, the heated debates, and profiles of forefront Manhattan Project contributors.
Textbook of Disaster Psychiatry
Author: Robert J. Ursano, Carol S. Fullerton, Lars Weisaeth, Beverley Raphael
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
This book presents a decade of advances in the psychological, biological and social responses to disasters, helping medics and leaders prepare and react.
Flirting with Disaster
Author: Marc S. Gerstein, Michael Ellsberg, Daniel Ellsberg
Publisher: Union Square Press
Analyzes major disasters in recent history and explains how their deep financial, emotional, and historical impacts could have been avoided.
A personal interpretation of the impact of the Chernobyl disaster both in the Soviet Union and the West, examining the environmental consequences, Soviet media coverage, reconstruction of life in the disaster zone (including the city built for Chernobyl workers) and safety changes in the industry.
The Rise of Nuclear Fear
Author: Spencer R. Weart
Publisher: Harvard University Press
After the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant had a meltdown, protesters around the world challenged nuclear power. Climate change has never aroused this visceral dread. Weart dissects this paradox, showing that powerful images surrounding nuclear energy hold us captive, allowing fear, rather than facts, to drive our thinking and public policy.
Visit Sunny Chernobyl
Author: Andew Blackwell
Publisher: Rodale Books
For most of us, traveling means visiting the most beautiful places on Earth—Paris, the Taj Mahal, the Grand Canyon. It's rare to book a plane ticket to visit the lifeless moonscape of Canada's oil sand strip mines, or to seek out the Chinese city of Linfen, legendary as the most polluted in the world. But in Visit Sunny Chernobyl, Andrew Blackwell embraces a different kind of travel, taking a jaunt through the most gruesomely polluted places on Earth. From the hidden bars and convenience stores of a radioactive wilderness to the sacred but reeking waters of India, Visit Sunny Chernobyl fuses immersive first-person reporting with satire and analysis, making the case that it's time to start appreciating our planet as it is—not as we wish it would be. Irreverent and reflective, the book is a love letter to our biosphere's most tainted, most degraded ecosystems, and a measured consideration of what they mean for us. Equal parts travelogue, expose, environmental memoir, and faux guidebook, Blackwell careens through a rogue's gallery of environmental disaster areas in search of the worst the world has to offer—and approaches a deeper understanding of what's really happening to our planet in the process.
Moving Health Sovereignty in Africa
Author: Dr Hany Besada, Professor Andrew F Cooper, Professor John J Kirton, Professor Franklyn Lisk
Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd.
Today’s era of intense globalization has unleashed dynamic movements of people, pathogens, and pests that overwhelm the static territorial jurisdictions on which the governance provided by sovereign states and their formal intergovernmental institutions is based. This book insightfully explores the challenges this creates in ways that put the perspectives of Africans themselves at centre stage.
Radiation and Reason
Author: Wade Allison
Author: Richard H. Thaler, Cass R. Sunstein
From the winner of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics, Richard H. Thaler, and Cass R. Sunstein: a revelatory look at how we make decisions—for fans of Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow New York Times bestseller Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist and the Financial Times Every day we make choices—about what to buy or eat, about financial investments or our children’s health and education, even about the causes we champion or the planet itself. Unfortunately, we often choose poorly. Nudge is about how we make these choices and how we can make better ones. Using dozens of eye-opening examples and drawing on decades of behavioral science research, Nobel Prize winner Richard H. Thaler and Harvard Law School professor Cass R. Sunstein show that no choice is ever presented to us in a neutral way, and that we are all susceptible to biases that can lead us to make bad decisions. But by knowing how people think, we can use sensible “choice architecture” to nudge people toward the best decisions for ourselves, our families, and our society, without restricting our freedom of choice. More than 750,000 copies sold
The Chernobyl nuclear plant explosion on April 26, 1986, was the world's most serious nuclear power accident to date. This document examines the accident's impact on the world from a variety of perspectives. The first major section of the book provides a step-by-step account of the accident itself, beginning with the special testing that eventually led to the disaster. Included are data on the daily release of radioactivity from Chernobyl from April 25 to May 7, the maximum reported radiation levels in Europe following the accident, and the estimated direct financial losses in the Soviet Union resulting from the incident. The "Political Fallout" section examines public opposition to nuclear power in various countries. It provides a summary of both the citizen responses (such as protests, demonstrations, and petitions) and the political responses that followed the accident. Other sections examine the safety of nuclear power in general and the possible effects of Chernobyl on the once-held vision of a nuclear-powered world. Major adjustments in policy are traced in selected countries since 1980, and examples of governmental decisions to reduce or eliminate nuclear power are discussed. (TW)
The Security Economy
Publisher: OECD Publishing
With the market for security goods and services having expanded rapidly since 9/11, this study examines the potential costs of major disruptions, the trade-offs between tighter security and economic efficiency, and the implications of tighter security for privacy and other democratic liberties.
Author: Clapperton Chakanetsa Mavhunga
Publisher: MIT Press
In this book, Clapperton Mavhunga views technology in Africa from an African perspective. Technology in his account is not something always brought in from outside, but is also something that ordinary people understand, make, and practice through their everyday innovations or creativities -- including things that few would even consider technological. Technology does not always originate in the laboratory in a Western-style building but also in the society in the forest, in the crop field, and in other places where knowledge is made and turned into practical outcomes. African creativities are found in African mobilities. Mavhunga shows the movement of people as not merely conveyances across space but transient workspaces. Taking indigenous hunting in Zimbabwe as one example, he explores African philosophies of mobilities as spiritually guided and of the forest as a sacred space. Viewing the hunt as guided mobility, Mavhunga considers interesting questions of what constitutes technology under regimes of spirituality. He describes how African hunters extended their knowledge traditions to domesticate the gun, how European colonizers, with no remedy of their own, turned to indigenous hunters for help in combating the deadly tsetse fly, and examines how wildlife conservation regimes have criminalized African hunting rather than enlisting hunters (and their knowledge) as allies in wildlife sustainability. The hunt, Mavhunga writes, is one of many criminalized knowledges and practices to which African people turn in times of economic or political crisis. He argues that these practices need to be decriminalized and examined as technologies of everyday innovation with a view toward constructive engagement, innovating with Africans rather than for them.