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Monday, 4 September 2017

The behavioral impact of natural disasters

There’s a lot of speculation whether animals can predict natural disasters (eg, link). The word predict is used in the context of feeling or sensing it before humans do. There’s not a lot of information about the impact of natural disasters on changes in human behaviour. Do humans feel or sense that change is on its way? Books and songs seem to confirm this.

Some 70+ of my 1,000+ blogs deal with Change. Some of these 70+ blogs indicate that I think, feel and believe sense that major - including systemic - change is forthcoming (eg, my recent blog, my 2016 blog). My feeling is based on the aggressive and erratic human behaviour that I notice all around. Changing human behaviour is first an effect of and then a cause for Change.

This subject came up in a conversation about the global unrest and its possible direction. My girlfriend feels that human unrest might be the consequence of unrest in Nature (eg, earthquakes, floodings). The more I think about this correlation, the more I am inclined to accept it.

A 2008 study on “Natural Disasters and the Risk of Violent Civil Conflict” by Philip Nel and Marjolein Righarts of the University of Otago is helpful. The introduction already states that "this question that has received remarkably little attention in the voluminous literature on civil war".

The 2008 study concludes: “We find that natural disasters significantly increase the risk of violent civil conflict both in the short and medium term, specifically in low- and middle-countries that have intermediate to high levels of inequality, mixed political regimes, and sluggish economic growth. Rapid onset disasters related to geology and climate pose the highest overall risk [].” Note: all italic markings by LO.

The casual remark in this 2008 study on climate predates the ferocity of the current climate change debate. The erratic climate change debate is probably a significant indicator that natural disasters do indeed affect human behaviour. This impact follows the familiar DABDA sequence: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and – someday - Acceptance.

Animals lack “the burden of consciousness” and use the default behaviour of (moving) life-forms: the fight or flight response. Although migration patterns of early humans were not obstructed by guarded and impenetrable borders, fighting with indigenous tribes was common. In the absence of flight options, fighting seems the only option left for today's humans.

The global unrest suggests a systemic reordering in the first half of this century, with or without a preceding military conflict. The new 2017 book of US historian Alfred W. McCoy predicts the forthcoming fall of USA as a global SuperPower by 2030, and a systemic reordering. In several of my blogs, I have expressed a similar belief (e.g., my 2016 blog).

I think, feel and believe that the cost of another global SuperPower is prohibitive. Hence, several regional superpowers will arise: the Americas (USA), the Arab world (shia Iran & sunni Turkey), Asia (China or India), Europe (Federal Republic of Europe and perhaps a new Soviet Union). Regional superpowers may bring regional stability. Regional stability may bring global stability.

Human Nature (1983) by Michael Jackson - artist, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

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