Citing the work of organizations like Global Witness in conflict zones worldwide, Selina Gallo-Cruz, associate professor of sociology, points out that a significant part of the violence on this planet comes from the North's "extraction of natural resources through mining or deforestation—palm oil plantations are a big one—and mega-, mega-agricultural projects," all of which lead to "outbreaks of very violent conflict."
What is clear is that the Canadian wildfires are a product of man-produced climate change and climate disasters are going to become more commonplace, says Jacob Bendix, professor emeritus of geography and the environment.
"Before this week, it was easy for those of us in the East to think that suffocating wildfire smoke was solely a West Coast problem. But no longer. The smoke clouding our skies, scratching our throats and watering our eyes shows we’re all Westerners now," writes Robert Wilson, associate professor of geography and the environment.
How can governments properly prepare now for when the next disaster strikes? Chris Mihm, adjunct professor of public administration and international affairs, provides six steps that give leaders a practical approach to emergency preparedness in a report published by the IBM Center for The Business of Government.