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New York Times (January 8)

2018/ 01/ 09 by jd in Global News

“Given the century of medical progress” since 1918, one would assume “that we are far better prepared today to deal with such a worldwide catastrophe. Unfortunately, the opposite is true…. A 1918-type influenza pandemic could cause ruin on the order of what the Black Death did to 14th-century Europe, but on a global scale.” To escape such catastrophe, urgent priority needs to be placed on developing “a universal vaccine that effectively attacks all influenza A strains, with reliable protection lasting for years, like other modern vaccines.”


Salon (November 26)

2017/ 11/ 28 by jd in Global News

“A wholesale collapse of Pine Island and Thwaites would set off a catastrophe. Giant icebergs would stream away from Antarctica like a parade of frozen soldiers. All over the world, high tides would creep higher, slowly burying every shoreline on the planet, flooding coastal cities and creating hundreds of millions of climate refugees. But “what we do now will determine how quickly” this ensues. “A fast transition away from fossil fuels in the next few decades could be enough to put off rapid sea-level rise for centuries. That’s a decision worth countless trillions of dollars and millions of lives.”


Financial Times (June 20)

2017/ 07/ 01 by jd in Global News

“Six months into its financial crisis, Toshiba is shaping up as the Sistine Chapel of corporate catastrophes: you have to lie on your back to appreciate its scale, and once you get your eye in, the beauty is mesmerising.” Toshiba’s sweeping catastrophe “encapsulates much that investors — both foreign and domestic — have long despaired.” And “for a Japanese government apparently committed to reversing decades of shoddy corporate governance… Toshiba provides the perfect example of why it is pushing for change.”


USA Today (June 12)

2017/ 06/ 13 by jd in Global News

“Officials mustn’t extend a laptop ban until they can assure the public, with sound data, that they are not trading the possibility of terrorism in the cabin for a greater likelihood of catastrophe in the cargo bay.”


LA Times (February 14)

2017/ 02/ 15 by jd in Global News

“California’s majestic Oroville Dam is currently in danger of spillway failure in a season of record snow and rainfall. That could spell catastrophe for thousands who live below it and for the state of California at large that depends on its stored water. The poor condition of the dam is almost too good a metaphor for the condition of the state as a whole; its possible failure is a reflection of California’s civic decline.”


New York Times (July 14)

2015/ 07/ 14 by jd in Global News

The EU’s tentative deal “may avert an immediate catastrophe, but there is little to celebrate since it will do little to address, much less repair, the slow-moving disaster of the Greek economy.” For that matter, “in forcing Greece to submit they have not resolved the crisis of the monetary union or advanced the European project.”


USA Today (September 24)

2014/ 09/ 24 by jd in Global News

27 years after the Montreal Protocol placed restrictions on chlorofluorocarbons, “the ozone layer is beginning to heal and is on track toward full recovery by the middle of the century.” This suggests hope in the fight against global warming. “Collective international action, even at a time of global tensions, can head off environmental catastrophe. And the sooner action is taken, the better, because the atmosphere can take decades to recover.”


Newsweek (February 24, 1964)

2014/ 02/ 24 by jd in Global News

Visually the Beetles “are a nightmare, tight, dandified Edwardian-Beatnik suits and great pudding bowls of hair. Musically they are a near disaster, guitars and drums slamming out a merciless beat that does away with secondary rhythms, harmony and melody. Their lyrics (punctuated by nutty shouts of “yeah, yeah, yeah”) are a catastrophe, a preposterous farrago of Valentine-card romantic sentiments….”


The Economist (September 7)

2013/ 09/ 08 by jd in Global News

“There may be no new Lehman-sized catastrophes on the near horizon. But plenty of smaller crises-in-the-making dot the landscape—and a potentially big one continues to threaten Europe. Five years on, global finance is a long way from safe.”


Los Angeles Times (August 28)

2011/ 08/ 29 by jd in Global News

“Politicians who dismiss the risk of climate change like to talk about the uncertainties of the science.” They’d spend less time talking and more time working to halt climate change if they took their cues from professionals who deal with risk. “The real economic costs of mispricing this risk have caught the attention of a good segment of the business community, from commodity traders to insurers. Reinsurers in particular (companies that insure the insurers against catastrophe) see risks on a global scale.”