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Tsunamis, earthquakes, disaster relief... Just Give?

Three Japanese scientists have done lab or field research with me over the years. All survived the earthquake and tsunami, although they may have lost friends or relatives. I don't know anyone in Haiti, but they may need help even more than Japan does. We can't prevent earthquakes or other natural disasters -- reducing production of greenhouse gases, not building on floodplains, and protecting mangroves might reduce hurricane and flooding risks somewhat -- but investing more in disaster recovery could reduce death and disruption. The US military has made some positive contributions in this area and we might find that having them do more disaster relief would reduce the number of people who want to attack us more efficiently than trying to kill them all has.

Meanwhile, we can support Red Cross/Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, etc. Recently, I've been donating through JustGive.org. They will pass your donation to the groups you select, minus a small fee, and can withhold your address or other contact information. That way, I can support the groups I like, without getting monthly letters asking for more money, from every group they to which sell my address.


We're growing as a population, thinking we can reduce anything is almost funny. Maybe our weight.

In thee midst of disasters we can offer support, even if we can't stop the tragedy from occurring!

At least Japan was earthquake aware before those dreadful events and its government had taken some steps towards protecting its people. Haitians were already on the breadline and burdened with one of the most corrupt governments in the world. Even if there had been provisions set aside to provide for earthquake-resistant construction the money to do so would never have made it into the mainstream. The aftermath of a natrual disaster in Haiti is an ever-deepening social emergency with hundreds of thousands homeless and no light of the end of the tunnel.

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