1. The Role of Satellites in Disaster Management


    from The Space Show / Added

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    Guests: Laura Delgado Lopez, Yana Gevorgyan, Yusuke Muraki. Topics: Using space and satellite resources to mitigate Earth disasters. Note that several guests used cell phones so you will hear audio issues from time to time. Please note that guest and panel member Yusuke Muraki posted a Power Point presentation on this topic which can be found at the end of TSS blog archive summary. We welcomed Laura Delgado Lopez, Yana Gevorgyan, & Yusuke Muraki to the program to discuss the use of space resources and satellites for mitigating Earth-based disasters. During the first segment of our 1 hour 58 minute webinar, Laura Delgado Lopez introduced us to the discussion topic. Laura talked about the benefits & value all people receive from the use of satellite tools in aiding disaster management. She explained how space tools were used in decision making & how there are more and more new applications coming to market all the time. Yana Gevorgyan explained the role of NOAA as a government science agency & she talked about extreme weather events. As a science agency, she also spoke to the science & technology benefits along with the increasing use of international data sharing . Yusuke Muraki spoke to the role of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in regional economic development, regional disaster management, all being assisted by satellite technology. They focused on decision management as their programs work to alleviate poverty in the area, track rainfall data & more. He cited several recent Asian weather and storm events as examples of their role & data sharing among agencies and governments. I asked our guests about the current & future role of cubesats in this field. Laura spoke to the reliability of cubesats & the limited amount of data they could send back. She said cubesats were evolving & would one day be more valuable in this area. Yusuke said cubesats were not yet fully ready for a role in this field but that as they become more powerful they will play an increasingly important role over time. A listener asked about the use of drones. Yusuke said they were not very good for covering large areas. Listeners asked our panel about forecasting and even prevention rather than using these tools for after the event assistance. Yana suggested that since each disaster is unique, even extreme weather events, lots of data sharing and international cooperation takes place. She listed several types of disasters that are better understood than others. Slow onset disasters such as draughts are not as well understood as the extreme weather event or those that unfold very fast. Another listener emailed in about space assets being used for he Ebola outbreak. Lots was also said about the role of the U.S. leadership in global disaster management. Other topics in this segment included disaster policy, federal data management, and accessing data by the public. As the segment was closing, I asked our guests if the space tools were applicable/useful for individuals impacted by disasters. As you will hear, the space/satellite tools are not that useful for individuals at this time but more work needs to be done & is being done in this area. I also inquired about the space IQ of the public and if it was important for people to know that space assets were being used to help them in a disaster. In the second segment, we talked about search and rescue (SARSAT). Our guests said that since 1982 about 35,000 people had been rescued in the U.S. alone. Several listeners and I asked about the data, where did it come from, what type of data was it, was there a central clearing house, etc. Later, I asked what the worst type of disaster there was for management. Yusuke said the worst disasters dealt with water related activities. Due to comments about earthquakes, tornados, floods, even tsunamis, we learned that people get used to the warnings and even try to go to locations to see the disasters unfold. This has proved to be very risky, even the getting used to the warnings is risky on the part of people. Harold emailed in asking if space tools can stop a disaster from happening. We also talked about lessons learned and if the lessons were being applied to better handle future disaster events. Another set of listener inquiries addressed the question of the cost of data and if in a disaster situation, do organizations and governments buy the data or get it for free. The answer was mixed as you will hear. Later, listeners asked each guest about the biggest challenges in the field for using space assets for disaster management here on Earth. Each of our guests offered summary and closing comments, both as to the work done by their respective organizations as well as from the general perspective of available space tools and how they are being used and will likely be used in the future. Please post your comments/questions on The Space Show blog above. Each of our panel members can be reached through me at drspace@thespaceshow.com.

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    • Lost in Translation? Development versus Tradition - OJW Melbourne


      from One Just World / Added

      72 Plays / / 0 Comments

      Proudly appearing as part of the Melbourne Writers Festival's Big Ideas Series Around the world today there is devastating poverty, disadvantage and inequality. As conscientious and caring global citizens, NGO’s and individuals swoop into the developing world to provide assistance, support and relief to those in need. Yet while many positive outcomes have been achieved in the delivery of aid programs, there are also ripple effects which can prove devastating to those who are supposed to be benefitting – people whose culture is often crucial to their sense of identity. The introduction of formal education, new languages, foods, religions, societal structures and cash-economies can bring serious changes to the cultural fabric of communities. Indigenous dialects are often lost, and with them thousands of years of stories, history and traditions; religion might be diluted and substituted with Western ideologies and beliefs; traditional dress and diet can become outdated as foreign influence sways local style and taste buds; and communities often become divided by changed status, wealth, influence, shifting values, beliefs and priorities. So how do we know where to draw the line? What constitutes positive change in the face of extreme poverty, starvation and inequality? And how can we ensure that such change is possible without causing very old languages and beliefs, traditions and kinship to vanish? Are development and culture mutually exclusive or can communities reap the benefits of development while still preserving their cultural identity?

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