“Earth Science Meets Social Science”

Your assignment was to read the article, “When Earth Science Meets Social Science” (Dreifus 2006). What is one piece of this article that had the most impact on you and why?

22 Responses

  1. matrix says:

    The first and most astounding thing that stood out to me, personally, would have to be within that first sentence. “When John C. Mutter was growing up in 1950’s Australia, he never once saw a poor person.” Just that sentence is staggering to think about, and it makes me wonder if he just wasn’t paying attention when he was growing up or if it was just that different from today. What do you think?

    • Jennifer says:

      Good question. Did you notice poor people when you were younger? I don’t remember seeing any, but it a lot longer ago that I was a kid!

  2. Laura says:

    The death toll from Hurricane Ivan in different parts of the world really surprised me. I did suspect that the different economic standings of people would affect how they would do during natural disasters. My original thought was that people with less money would have less protection. The numbers from the death toll seems to support that idea.

    • Jennifer says:

      Your intuition was correct. Do you think that this is true even here, where we don’t have hurricanes and earthquakes?

      • Laura says:

        To answer your question, yes I do think that money has an effect on protection in general and not just in natural disasters. There are lots of scenarios where people have died when others survived, simply due to not having the money to support themselves in their situation. An example I could think of is someone unable to work, not being able to afford food because of it, and their health plummeting from it. There are probably more obscure cases when money decided if someone could live, but this is what I came up with.

  3. isaac says:

    What stood out to me was how “John C. Mutter growing up in 1950’s Australia he never once saw a poor person.” That stood out to me because there was so many poor people and poverty during the war and how would you never see a poor person? It just stands out to me and makes me think how many people don’t know there is poverty in the world or around them?

    • Matrix says:

      That’s an excellent question, Isaac. Looking back on the reading after this project, would you say your opinion has been swayed at all or was it only affirmed by the effects of the disasters on poor people? Your presentation was very informative, and if I understand it correctly then the disaster you researched would have lead to more poverty. Great job.

    • Blake says:

      I like the question you asked because it is a shocking thing to think that some people don’t know about less developed countries and/or other places in their own countries that are severely impoverished. Do you truly believe that the author really never saw a poor person or could have seen one and not have thought that they were a poor person.

  4. K-den says:

    Earth Science Meets Social Science. “Were there any discernible trends among the dead?” This stood out to me the interviewer asking if the deaths had anything in common what was it? he responded with the common areas of high fatality rate was poor regions, this is because poor people can’t afford to be in safe environments(unsafe living spaces), and over 60% were elderly people, so the people that are physically incapable of getting up and going on their own. This really stood out to me because almost all of the population in areas most affected by these disasters are poor.

    • Jennifer says:

      What do you think it says about our society that so many older people were killed while younger ones survived?

      • Kaeden says:

        I think that it shows that we care more for the young and less for elderly leaving them in a low budget building alone. While the young are more capable of moving on their own (the elderly not so much.)

  5. Zane says:

    The part of this article that had the most impact on me was, the part about the differences in disaster tolls between rich and poor countries. Mostly because poor people live in these very fragile homes when richer people get all of this stuff to help make there homes a safer place to live for when theres earthquakes and floods. Also the part about how the first response system is lacking so bad.

    • isaac says:

      How did differences in disaster tolls have an impact on you? Are you wondering about equality or distribution of wealth? How did the lack of first response have a big impact on you?

  6. Dustin says:

    The part that had the most impact on me was “When John C. Mutter was growing up in 1950’s Australia, he never once saw a poor person.”
    It stood out to me because I was born in 2000 and i’ve seen a bunch of poor people around my area.

    Also the part about why there are different disaster tolls between the rich and the poor. I never really think about that kinda stuff so it was new to me by reading his response as to why theres a difference.

  7. eejj says:

    I believe that the connection made between natural disasters and poverty was true but explained with wrong reasons. In the article it was explained in a way that made it seem that the storm was selective to those in poverty by its own choice. What I believe is that we place people in unregulated areas because it is cheap and quick so we can easily displace the populace without a second thought until a natural disaster strikes

    • Kaeden says:

      That’s a very good idea Eej I agree with you, do you think that the government or whoever is in charge will notice? or already know and do something? or stand by and wait for it to become a greater problem than now?

  8. Jessilyn says:

    The most that had stood out to me was when they asked him ‘Why are the differences in disaster tolls so great between poor and rich people?’ and he answered ‘Poor people live in more fragile dwellings that fall down during them earthquakes and floods, etc.’ I love it how he explained it between the rich and poor people and saying that poor people live in these houses usually break down when there is floods or earthquakes and the biggest toll was on the poor people and their houses.

    • shayne says:

      I agree with you because poor people don’t have the money to buy a house that wouldn’t fall down during earthquakes. They don’t have the protection that they need.

  9. Blake says:

    What stood out to me the most in this article “Earth Science Meets Social Science” was the question “Is it a long reach – mixing the hard sciences like geology with the social sciences?” and the answer to that question. The reason this stuck out to me the most was the comparison of two earthquakes and Hurricane Ivan, those stuck out to me because in Pakistan there earthquake killed an estimated 100,000 people while Northridge had an earthquake which was about the same magnitude killed only 63. Hurricane Ivan’s effect were different in Haiti than in the United states, in Haiti it killed an estimated 2,000 people but in the United States it killed less than 100 people.

  10. Dustin says:

    The death tolls of children, people in poverty, and elderly is really sad. But I don’t think there is much we could do to stop that in the case of a Natural Disaster. If there was a way to help prevent the deaths of children and the elderly it should have already been done. For people in poverty is also kinda tough to try and prevent so many deaths. Because there homes are usually to weak, if they even have a home. We can’t just give them money to get a new stable home. But there should be some kind of method to help bring down the death tolls. Maybe build a strong building that could stand a natural disaster and when on happens escort the children and the people who really need to be there get in. But that might also have some issues to it. Do you guys think there is a way to prevent/lower the deaths of the people who are impacted the most?

    • eejj says:

      Well Dustin if there is anyway that we may be able to stop natural disasters do you think they would make much impact? The idea of a centralized shelter for those who need it is great but there are more details and also more ideas that can be envisioned to prevent serious impact on the population that needs it most .

  11. Kaeden says:

    I am reposting to back up my previous idea, the areas in wich natural disasters take place are poverty ridden, meaning the people and economy in most danger are poor, being poor you can’t support millions of people to remodel housing and workplaces to be disaster secure, now the places out of danger and more wealthy even though out major danger still are constructed to withstand more force they are at risk half or less than, the poor regions that are. Being poor in areas susceptible to natural disasters puts you in danger more than others.

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