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The Dark Side of Technology$
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Peter Townsend

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198790532

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198790532.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 05 August 2021

Natural Disasters and Civilization

Natural Disasters and Civilization

(p.26) 3 Natural Disasters and Civilization
The Dark Side of Technology

Peter Townsend

Oxford University Press

There is a fascination with naturally occurring events such as volcanoes, floods, tsunamis, and earthquakes. Their timing and magnitude are unpredictable, but in a technologically based world these apparently local effects can have global impact via loss of specialist factories that supply the entire world with advanced products. Examples are given of inhibition of air traffic from Icelandic volcanic ash, and printer component manufacture destroyed by earthquakes. Other natural examples of meteor impact, plagues, and climatic excesses are discussed. Most are unpredictable, although climatic increases in storms and changing weather patterns are partially understood. The damage caused can be considerable and so preparations are needed to minimize such natural events. Natural catastrophic events, and their role on global trade and advanced technical societies, are highlighted.

Keywords:   earthquakes, plagues, tsunamis, floods, volcanoes, climatic excesses

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