Guest essay by Eric Worrall
According to Australian National University lecturer Maria Tanyag, people who try to stay positive and encourage each other after a town is flattened by a typhoon are ignoring the lessons they should have learned about climate change.
Myths about disaster survivors stall the global response to climate change
Disasters, as forms of crisis, can offer opportunities to more sharply focus on historical and ongoing inequalities. What lessons can we learn from large-scale disaster responses and how can we apply them in the face of intensifying and more frequent extreme weather events?
Drawing on our research in the aftermath of the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan disaster in Eastern Visayas, Philippines, we found that few meaningful lessons were drawn from Haiyan because the recovery of survivors had been romanticized and distorted. While resilience and stories of the communities “building back better” has become the legacy of Haiyan, those on the ground says it’s actually more like “building back bitter.”
We found that after almost six years, there are now worrying signs in the telling and re-telling of the disaster, and the recovery that occurred afterwards, especially for the hardest-hit communities.
Based on our research, we argue that long-term global climate change response is at risk when accounts of resilience, resourcefulness and remittance are mythologized and eventually cemented as truths in the aftermath of disasters.
The Haiyan disaster is a cautionary case for climate adaptation and mitigation because it demonstrates the seductiveness of survival myths.
These idealized narratives ultimately do more harm than good because they prevent the identification of specific conditions that make households and communities particularly vulnerable to disasters, as well as the tremendous gendered inequalities that are often exacerbated in their aftermath.Read more: https://theconversation.com/myths-about-disaster-survivors-stall-the-global-response-to-climate-change-121548
How unsurprising; climate alarmists complaining that people should be wallowing in misery and demanding climate action, instead of trying to put their lives back together after a weather disaster.