It seems like I’m all over the map to people who don’t know me when I’m describing the subjects I’ve written about on this blog over the years. And, yet – all of those subjects have to do with only one thing really.
Where there are natural and man-made disasters that impact the health and well-being of many people, now and in the future and I can say something or offer something that might help, even if it is only information, then I should. And so should anyone else who can. Maybe then, the knowledge and common sense about some of these things will spread and ideas for solutions will be inspired and awakened (and used).
Without information and the application of some common sense, people die or are permanently maimed changing their lives forever in terrible ways. And, in many cases, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Whether it is the lack of storm shelters for safety during tornadoes as in Oklahoma, or the leaking nuclear reactor cooling water of Fukushima, the dead zones in the ocean off our Gulf Coast, or now, the horrific killing and mass genocide of the people in Syria – they all have one thing in common. These are all preventable, changeable and some things can be done to make these situations better. And, each of these situations affect millions of people’s lives in negative, horrific ways that last long after our one generation when it happened.
I grew up with a dad who is an engineer and a very conscientious one as are most engineers who design things affecting millions of people. He taught me a way of thinking that applies intelligent application of common sense along with knowledge applied outwardly to many different things.
Since I am alive today, I am a part of this society because of being alive in it and because I can see and know some things about these situations that might be helpful, I can choose to say something that can make them better.
I can write something about it and include information that I can find so others can have it easily available to them. I can think it through with applied intelligence and that information to understand it better, to be more educated generally and in order to apply that information to common sense solutions for those situations, then write it out for others to see. Together, we can make a difference in doing things in better ways that save lives, correct things that can be made to stop damages that are occurring, stop maiming and deaths of people from happening, and generally solve things that are nearly impossible. It is the only way that I know which can yield new solutions that apply specifically and are tailor-made for very difficult, complex questions and real-life problems.
What I have is an operational risk management style of thinking about things. And, in this blog, that is the type of thinking that has yielded these writings. I absolutely know that:
Buildings do not have to be built to pancake on their occupants.
Radioactive water does not have to be placed or stored in containers inappropriate to it.
Homes built where tornadoes are known to be common occurrences do not have to be built without storm shelters
Corners do not have to be cut here and there that yield danger and even death to those using whatever it is – whether a public space or building, a bridge, a pharmaceutical, a food, a product, a vehicle, a home or anything else.
And, when there is a disaster that is natural or man-made, information and applied intelligent common sense thinking can be added to the discussion where it can be used along with other styles of thinking to solve the problems (or issues).
One style of thinking commonly used today which has yielded many dangerous and untenable situations is a budget focused, finance-centric process of thought.
It has certain benefits but cannot be the only option or approach. Alone, that thinking yields results that are often complicated and extremely complex in real life, real time ways as it impacts the lives of everyone affected by its negative outcomes.
I mean, that to only consider the money when making decisions as a bridge or anything else is built for instance, yields cost-cutting and corner cutting choices that sooner or later impact everyone’s lives around that bridge or using it, in negative and often, damaging life-threatening ways.
That is the problem at Fukushima right now today. It is what caused them to decide that single-walled welded tanks intended for other industrial purposes and rubber seal seamed tanks of the same type would be used to store highly radioactive water that is now leaking. In fact, many of the finance-centric blinders yielded the massive disaster at Fukushima Daiichi in the first place. Who would put generators for backup power below sea level or only provide for them to run 8 hours of backup – for a nuclear power plant?
That same thinking caused both homeowners and local officials across Oklahoma and other states to allow houses and public buildings such as schools and hospitals to be built without storm cellars, storm shelters or basements in areas known to house people’s lives who would eventually only be protected from tornadoes by getting in those shelters.
And, budget focused thinking was the same and only thought process used to apply cost cutting measures to five- and ten-story buildings around the world which have since killed many people when they pancaked into a pile of rubble destroying all the lives once housed or working in them.
The list goes on and on. In fact, many of those budget oriented decisions which caused these horrible outcomes ended up being more costly than if they had simply decided to do something else better in the first place.
Sometimes, I’ve written about natural and man-made disasters around the world simply to add information resources to those affected by it, as well as to decision-makers, to family members around the world to understand what is happening and to budget makers of NGOs and International Response teams so they can make the best decisions possible in handling the situation and its aftermath. That way, a lot of information sources can be found then placed in one place for reference and make them easy to refer back to when decisions are being made or information is being sought for some reason. And some of the time, the information I’ve curated and offered on my blog about these situations is used that way.
But often, when there is a situation, event or problem that impacts thousands or even, millions of lives – I make the effort to find helpful information about it, try to think through some of what might be done to make it better and offer it here on my blog. The fact is, I can do that much. I’ve never figured out how that could make money for me – which I always need, so I just do it anyway. I’m here and, I can.
Right now, aside from wanting to add a little more on the blog posts about Fukushima that I made a few days ago to add new information that came out today about them using the wrong machines to measure the radioactivity (meaning it is higher than first reported,) I want to say something about the Syrian genocide. The world cannot afford to stand by while chemical weapons and other inappropriate military heavy handedness are used against neighborhoods and communities of women, children, babies, elderly, grandmothers, grandfathers, disabled, young people, men and schools, hospitals, workplaces, homes, apartments buildings and neighborhood spaces. It cannot be tolerated.
And I was outside my apt thinking about making a post about the information I’d found on Syria when I started talking to my neighbor. He has never seen my work and only met me recently. We’ve never had a chance to talk before today more than a few passing words.
And, he didn’t understand why I write about these things on my blog or why those things seem to be so different from each other thing and “all over the map”. But, they are really the same thing. Nearly every one of the posts I’ve written about these current world events and situations in the US and the World – are affecting millions of people’s lives. Even the economic disasters of these last five years that I’ve written about – have done that – they have literally destroyed people’s lives and entire families and communities as well as affecting several generations beyond us. That is why I wrote about them and looked up information about it and posted it here. It is what made it worth doing it too.
It is the same risk management thinking being applied to world events and situations that are currently affecting the people that live when I live, that are in the world that I am a part of and that matter.
We are the fittest who have survived. It does matter. Each life is the product of thousands of years of surviving pestilence, disease, wars, famine, nature’s worst disasters and human’s greatest stupidities. The people alive in the world today wherever they are, regardless of what they know or do not know, regardless of the party affiliation they may have, religion or color of their skin – are here today because they are the fittest or they simply wouldn’t be here today and that matters.
For us to intervene in negative and horrific ways on those lives is untenable. For finance-based decisions being made that destroy those lives – is unacceptable. For political or control driven leaders to decide on excluding entire populations from survival or using whole scale genocide to destroy entire peoples – is not working. It is untenable and absolutely unacceptable.
As much as accidents do happen anyway and stupid decisions will sometimes be made as I have done and as everyone of us do (which includes our leaders and decision-makers doing as well, in ways affecting great numbers of people by their decisions), much can be done to not make that a common occurrence but rather a rare one. And, we can always do better.