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Isaac S Storm

Author: Erik Larson
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 0307874095
Size: 29.87 MB
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At the dawn of the twentieth century, a great confidence suffused America. Isaac Cline was one of the era's new men, a scientist who believed he knew all there was to know about the motion of clouds and the behavior of storms. The idea that a hurricane could damage the city of Galveston, Texas, where he was based, was to him preposterous, "an absurd delusion." It was 1900, a year when America felt bigger and stronger than ever before. Nothing in nature could hobble the gleaming city of Galveston, then a magical place that seemed destined to become the New York of the Gulf. That August, a strange, prolonged heat wave gripped the nation and killed scores of people in New York and Chicago. Odd things seemed to happen everywhere: A plague of crickets engulfed Waco. The Bering Glacier began to shrink. Rain fell on Galveston with greater intensity than anyone could remember. Far away, in Africa, immense thunderstorms blossomed over the city of Dakar, and great currents of wind converged. A wave of atmospheric turbulence slipped from the coast of western Africa. Most such waves faded quickly. This one did not. In Cuba, America's overconfidence was made all too obvious by the Weather Bureau's obsession with controlling hurricane forecasts, even though Cuba's indigenous weathermen had pioneered hurricane science. As the bureau's forecasters assured the nation that all was calm in the Caribbean, Cuba's own weathermen fretted about ominous signs in the sky. A curious stillness gripped Antigua. Only a few unlucky sea captains discovered that the storm had achieved an intensity no man alive had ever experienced. In Galveston, reassured by Cline's belief that no hurricane could seriously damage the city, there was celebration. Children played in the rising water. Hundreds of people gathered at the beach to marvel at the fantastically tall waves and gorgeous pink sky, until the surf began ripping the city's beloved beachfront apart. Within the next few hours Galveston would endure a hurricane that to this day remains the nation's deadliest natural disaster. In Galveston alone at least 6,000 people, possibly as many as 10,000, would lose their lives, a number far greater than the combined death toll of the Johnstown Flood and 1906 San Francisco Earthquake. And Isaac Cline would experience his own unbearable loss. Meticulously researched and vividly written, Isaac's Storm is based on Cline's own letters, telegrams, and reports, the testimony of scores of survivors, and our latest understanding of the hows and whys of great storms. Ultimately, however, it is the story of what can happen when human arrogance meets nature's last great uncontrollable force. As such, Isaac's Storm carries a warning for our time. From the Hardcover edition.

Emergency Management

Author: Claire B. Rubin
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 146655908X
Size: 78.10 MB
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Following in the footsteps of its popular predecessor, the second edition of Emergency Management: The American Experience 1900–2010 provides the background needed to understand the key political and policy underpinnings of emergency management, exploring how major "focusing events" have shaped the development of emergency management. It builds on the original theoretical framework and chronological approach, but improves on the first edition by adding fresh information on older events such as Hurricane Katrina as well as a new chapter covering the BP oil spill in 2010 and the unprecedented characteristics of the disaster response to it. The final chapter offers an insightful discussion of the public administration concepts that constitute the larger context for consideration of emergency management in the United States for more than a century. Some praise for the new edition of this award-winning book: The first edition of this book filled a serious gap in the literature by providing historical context for present-day emergency management. This edition goes further to flesh out that context, detailing the political and practical underpinnings of emergency management organization and practice. —Professor William L. Waugh Jr., Department of Public Administration & Urban Studies, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University ... a must-read for both undergraduate and graduate students who want to learn from our past and join a growing professional field committed to enhancing community resilience and sustainability. — John C. Pine, director, Research Institute for Energy, Environment and Economics, Appalachian State University

Through A Night Of Horrors

Author: Casey Edward Greene
Publisher: Texas A&M University Press
ISBN: 9781585442287
Size: 39.21 MB
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In this work, witnesses to this deadly disaster describe, in many never-before-published accounts, their encounters with this monstrous storm.

Disasters And Tragic Events An Encyclopedia Of Catastrophes In American History 2 Volumes

Author: Mitchell Newton-Matza
Publisher: ABC-CLIO
ISBN: 1610691660
Size: 11.84 MB
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From the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 to the Sandy Hook school massacre of 2012, this two-volume encyclopedia surveys tragic events—natural and man-made, famous and forgotten—that helped shape American history. • Covers a wide range of topics, from the infamous to the obscure • Places each event in context, giving it deeper meaning and showing its impact • Includes primary source material from U.S. Supreme Court cases, presidential speeches, eyewitness accounts, state and federal legislation, and federal government investigations • Brings the events it covers to life through photos and illustrations

The Oxford Handbook Of Environmental History

Author: Andrew C. Isenberg
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199394474
Size: 61.72 MB
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The field of environmental history emerged just decades ago but has established itself as one of the most innovative and important new approaches to history, one that bridges the human and natural world, the humanities and the sciences. With the current trend towards internationalizing history, environmental history is perhaps the quintessential approach to studying subjects outside the nation-state model, with pollution, global warming, and other issues affecting the earth not stopping at national borders. With 25 essays, this Handbook is global in scope and innovative in organization, looking at the field thematically through such categories as climate, disease, oceans, the body, energy, consumerism, and international relations.

Women And Children First

Author: Robin Miskolcze
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 0803209878
Size: 69.66 MB
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At a crucial time in American history, narratives of women in command or imperiled at sea contributed to the construction of a national rhetoric. Robin Miskolcze makes her case by way of careful readings of images of women at sea before the Civil War in her book Women and Children First. Though the sea has traditionally been interpreted as the province of men, women have gone to sea as mothers, wives, figureheads, and slaves. In fact, in the nineteenth century, women at sea contributed to the formation of an ethics of survival that helped to define American ideals. This study examines, often for the first time, images of women at sea in antebellum narratives ranging from novels and sermons to newspaper accounts and lithographs. Anglo-American women in antebellum sea narratives are often portrayed as models of American ideals derived from women’s seemingly innate Christian self-sacrifice. Miskolcze argues that these ideals, in conjunction with the maritime directive of “women and children first” during sea disasters, in turn defined a new masculine individualism, one that was morally minded, rooted in Christian principles, and dedicated to preserving virtue. Further, Miskolcze contends that without the antebellum sea narratives portraying the Christian self-sacrifice of women, the abolitionist cause would have suffered. African American women appealed to the directive of “women and children first” to make manifest their own womanhood, and by extension, their own humanity.

Rising Seas

Author: Vivien Gornitz
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231519206
Size: 69.10 MB
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The Earth’s climate is already warming due to increased concentrations of human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and the specter of rising sea level is one of global warming’s most far-reaching threats. Sea level will keep rising long after greenhouse gas emissions have ceased, because of the delay in penetration of surface warming to the ocean depths and because of the slow dissipation of excess atmospheric carbon dioxide. Adopting a long perspective that interprets sea level changes both underway and expected in the near future, Vivien Gornitz completes a highly relevant and necessary study of an unprecedented age in Earth’s history. Gornitz consults past climate archives to help better anticipate future developments and prepare for them more effectively. She focuses on several understudied historical events, including the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Anomaly, the Messinian salinity crisis, the rapid filling of the Black Sea (which may have inspired the story of Noah’s flood), and the Storrega submarine slide, an incident possibly connected to a sea level occurrence roughly 8,000 years old. By examining dramatic variations in past sea level and climate, Gornitz concretizes the potential consequences of rapid, human-induced warming. She builds historical precedent for coastal hazards associated with a higher ocean level, such as increased damage from storm surge flooding, even if storm characteristics remain unchanged. Citing the examples of Rotterdam, London, New York City, and other forward-looking urban centers that are effectively preparing for higher sea level, Gornitz also delineates the difficult economic and political choices of curbing carbon emissions while underscoring, through past geological analysis, the urgent need to do so.

To Conquer The Air

Author: James Tobin
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439135495
Size: 47.76 MB
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James Tobin, award-winning author of Ernie Pyle's War and The Man He Became, has penned the definitive account of the inspiring and impassioned race between the Wright brothers and their primary rival Samuel Langley across ten years and two continents to conquer the air. For years, Wilbur Wright and his younger brother, Orville, experimented in obscurity, supported only by their exceptional family. Meanwhile, the world watched as Samuel Langley, armed with a contract from the US War Department and all the resources of the Smithsonian Institution, sought to create the first manned flying machine. But while Langley saw flight as a problem of power, the Wrights saw a problem of balance. Thus their machines took two very different paths—Langley’s toward oblivion, the Wrights’ toward the heavens—though not before facing countless other obstacles. With a historian’s accuracy and a novelist’s eye, Tobin has captured an extraordinary moment in history. To Conquer the Air is itself a heroic achievement.

Weathering The Psalms

Author: Steve A. Wiggins
Publisher: Wipf and Stock Publishers
ISBN: 163087731X
Size: 68.25 MB
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The weather is all around us all the time. From ancient times people have attributed the weather to the work of the gods. Ancient Israel shared this perception. The book of Psalms reflects theologically significant views on the weather that have not, until now, been fully explored. In this meteorological survey of the Psalms, whimsically called "meteorotheology," every reference to the weather is translated in accordance with the known climate and weather of ancient Israel. Each verse is discussed with particular attention to the function of the weather in the hymnal of ancient Israel. This book will be a resource for translators, clergy, and scholars with an interest in how the weather impacted religious outlooks in ancient Israel. Readers will learn that some expected associations, such as thunder and lightning, did not influence Israelite views on the natural world in the same way that they do today. Yahweh was God of the weather, and the Psalms frequently use this paradigm as a reason for both praise and fear of the Lord.

Water From Heaven

Author: Robert Kandel
Publisher: Columbia University Press
ISBN: 0231507755
Size: 18.58 MB
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From where—and what—does water come? How did it become the key to life in the universe? Water from Heaven presents a state-of-the-art portrait of the science of water, recounting how the oxygen needed to form H2O originated in the nuclear reactions in the interiors of stars, asking whether microcomets may be replenishing our world's oceans, and explaining how the Moon and planets set ice-age rhythms by way of slight variations in Earth's orbit and rotation. The book then takes the measure of water today in all its states, solid and gaseous as well as liquid. How do the famous El Niño and La Niña events in the Pacific affect our weather? What clues can water provide scientists in search of evidence of climate changes of the past, and how does it complicate their predictions of future global warming? Finally, Water from Heaven deals with the role of water in the rise and fall of civilizations. As nations grapple over watershed rights and pollution controls, water is poised to supplant oil as the most contested natural resource of the new century. The vast majority of water "used" today is devoted to large-scale agriculture and though water is a renewable resource, it is not an infinite one. Already many parts of the world are running up against the limits of what is readily available. Water from Heaven is, in short, the full story of water and all its remarkable properties. It spans from water's beginnings during the formation of stars, all the way through the origin of the solar system, the evolution of life on Earth, the rise of civilization, and what will happen in the future. Dealing with the physical, chemical, biological, and political importance of water, this book transforms our understanding of our most precious, and abused, resource. Robert Kandel shows that water presents us with a series of crucial questions and pivotal choices that will change the way you look at your next glass of water.