Disasters in Paradise

Disasters in Paradise : Natural Hazards, Social Vulnerability, and Development Decisions

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Long considered ground zero for global climate change in the United States, Florida presents the perfect case study for disaster risk and prevention. Building on the idea that disasters are produced by historical and contemporary social processes as well as natural phenomena, Amanda D. Concha-Holmes and Anthony Oliver-Smith present a collection of ethnographic case studies that examine the social and environmental effects of Florida's public and private sector development policies. Contributors to Disasters in Paradise explore how these practices have increased the vulnerability of Floridians to hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts, frosts, and forest fires.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 268 pages
  • 160 x 228 x 23mm | 621g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified; Tables; Halftones, Black & White including Black & White Photographs; Black & White Illustrations
  • 0739177370
  • 9780739177372

Table of contents

Chapter 1: Natural Hazards, Social Vulnerability and Development in Florida
Chapter 2: Eye on The Storm: Development & Disaster in The Sunshine State. Hurricane Opal. A Case Study
Chapter 3: Twisted State: Patterns of Resilience and Vulnerability in the Osceola County, Florida 1998 Tornadoes
Chapter 4: Disaster in Apalachicola: Storms, the Oyster Industry and Development Decisions
Chapter 5: Drought, Unsustainable Water Practices and the Social Construction of Risk in Glades County
Chapter 6: Needed and Feared: The Unavoidable Vulnerability to Forest Fires in Florida
Chapter 7: humaNature, Citrus and Disaster in North Central Florida: Frost in the Sunshine State.
Chapter 8: Climate Change, Disasters and Development in Florida
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Review quote

In this edited volume, Amanda D. Concha-Holmes and Anthony Oliver-Smith document the confounding elements of weather, climate, and a market-driven society as they wreak havoc on the sunshine state's complex ecosystems. It is a must-read for anyone interested in Florida or any of America's other 49 states. What it portends affects us all. -- Steve Kroll-Smith, University of North Carolina, Greensboro This book fills a vital gap in our understanding of natural hazards and the socially constructed concept of disaster. By drawing on a number of weather and climate influenced events of modest size, the authors adroitly describe how societies have altered the environment at our peril, providing a set of powerful cases that should serve as a wake-up call for other communities and states that have valued development above all else and can only attempt to recover from the predictable disasters that result. In an era of climate change, the lessons drawn from this book are increasingly prescient, requiring meaningful policy change in spite of the difficulties of doing so, recognizing that the status quo is unsustainable and will ultimately destroy the very characteristics of the places we call paradise. -- Gavin Smith, North Carolina State University This fascinating and compelling set of case studies documents the relationship between development policies and disasters. The accessible and lucid style of Disasters in Paradise will appeal to readers from a wide range of interests and expertise. -- Linda Whiteford, University of South Florida
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About Christopher Berry

Amanda D. Concha-Holmes is cofounder and codirector of the Institute for the Study of Somatic Communication.
Anthony Oliver -Smith is professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Florida.
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