Bob Ellis writes on ABC’s Drum Unleashed:
Fewer deaths occurred in Hiroshima in August 1945 than in Port-au-Prince last week and more people will die there soon than in Rwanda in 1994. Yet the modern global world was unprepared for it, so busy were they with Terrorism, which has killed fewer people in the last thirty years than quarrelsome Americans with handguns in the last eight months.
When are we going to get the arithmetic right, and distinguish what threatens us mightily from what threatens us barely at all?
Cuba, a socialist state, is well-prepared for natural disaster and few die there in the hurricane season, and rebuilding happens quickly. The United States, a capitalist nation, was ill-prepared for Hurricane Katrina though experts had warned for years of broken dykes, inundation, chaos, disease and looting, and its response was an international joke.
China, a socialist state, handles earthquakes well. Australia, a social democratic state, handles floods and bushfires fairly well. Yet on the US’s back doorstep a million people may die soon, thirsting to death under piles of bricks or in those rapidly-spreading diseases that follow earthquake, unhelped by America whose borrowed billions were that day bombing Kandahar not funding ambulance teams in Port-au-Prince.
When will we get our priorities right, and realise our biggest foe is wild nature not militant Islam and do such things as we can to survive it?
Read More of Bob Ellis’ essay on ABC’s Drum Unleashed