Archive for September, 2012

Shakespeare on disasters

Posted: September 7, 2012 by Huub Nieuwstadt in Disaster, Etymology

As a student of disaster management, it has been repeated to me ad nauseam that there is no such thing as a natural disaster. Disasters are not unfortunate “acts of God”. In this context one is often reminded of the vote-loving, press-pleasing and responsibility-shifting politicians who claim that a disaster happening under their auspices is beyond their control. Disasters – I am told instead – find their root causes in more man-made circumstances.

I find it interesting to see that academia has accepted a definition of disasters that is pretty much the exact opposite of the actual historical and etymological meaning of the word.