The Pakistan Earthquake: A Wake-up Call for Mid-America?

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006
4:00 pm

Third Floor, Levis Faculty Center
919 W. Illinois St.

Event Description

Destructive hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods and tsunamis have occurred throughout human history and often cause vastly more loss of life and disruption of human activities than events orchestrated by terrorists. "Creeping megacatastrophes" are new phenomena that affect the future of civilization itself: water is becoming globally scarce and contaminated; our atmosphere is changing; losses of soil threaten the global capacity of agriculture to feed us; and critical terrestrial and oceanic ecosystems are disappearing. These natural and creeping megacatastrophes will become increasingly devastating socially and economically because the population of the planet is rapidly increasing and because of human actions and policies.We invite you to participate in a series of informal public forums on these timely topics. We have convened experts from campus and the local community to address the scientific issues involved in predicting such events, how these events reveal preexisting social and economic disparities, and practical aspects of implementing policies to cope with them based on our experience with natural disasters.

Participants include:
Susan Kieffer (Geology), moderator
Irfan Ahmad (Center for Nanoscale and Science and Technology)
Robert Bauer (Illinois State Geological Survey)
Max Edelson (History)
Amy Gajda (Journalism and Law)
Jerome Hajjar (Mid-America Earthquake Center)
Rob Olshansky (Urban and Regional Planning)

Cosponsorship provided by the Walgreen Endowment, courtesy of CAS Professor of Geology Susan Kieffer.

This event is the second in a series of panels included in the Megacatastrophe initiative. In September 2005 CAS presented Katrina and Other Megacatastrophes.