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‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies and Pose an Overseas Threat

NEW YORK TIMES --by Gardiner Harris                                                                                 Dec. 4, 2014

AMRAVATI, India — A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, and among its many victims are tens of thousands of newborns dying because once-miraculous cures no longer work.

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Structural Adaptivity, Before and After Thoughts

 

As a means of concluding these writings on Structural Adaptivity and Resilience, following are some of the background thoughts, with recent revision, that led me to my proposals. Originally, my writings were directed at city and regional planning. However now I realize they are also about resilience.  I hope my submittals will be helpful.  I will try to write more soon.

 

Time.  Planners, resilience makers, and all other leaders and professionals dealing with the built environment must focus on long time spans.  In order to have significant impact on the future of our world, we must recognize that only by looking at big chunks of history and big chunks of future time can we really see the reality of what is going on.  Likewise, we need to do so in order to see the reality of what needs to be done.

 

Typical urban or regional plans target a future some 20 years ahead.  Moreover, they typically are based on past trends of 20 years or so.  However, our world does not change in 20-year cycles.  Twenty years is a very short time period in the flow of transformation.

 

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U.S. lacks a single standard for Ebola response

USA TODAY                                   Oct. 12, 2014

by Larry Copeland

ATLANTA — As Thomas Eric Duncan's family mourns the USA's first Ebola death in Dallas, one question reverberates over a series of apparent missteps in the case: Who is in charge of the response to Ebola?

The answer seems to be — there really isn't one person or agency. There is not a single national response.

The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has emerged as the standard-bearer — and sometimes the scapegoat — on Ebola.

Public health is the purview of the states, and as the nation anticipates more Ebola cases, some experts say the way the United States handles public health is not up to the challenge.

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http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/10/12/examining-the-nations-ebola-response/17059283/

CDC workers analyze Ebola details in the CDC's Emergency Operations Center in Atlanta.(Photo: David Tulis for USA TODAY)


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Structural Adaptivity Facilitation Examples - Part III

Here are my last three Facilitation Examples, proposed activities by planners and others to influence the development of the built environment toward structural adaptivity and resilience as we progress into an ever more uncertain and unpredictable future. 

 

Rethinking Homeownership.  Conventional owner-occupied land and buildings in the US many times tie the owners into long-term tenures.  It makes moves, to other locations, overly cumbersome even when such moves are in the occupants’ best interests.  Adaptivity requires the ability to make quicker changes than in the past, including the self-initiated movement of people and businesses to other locations when beneficial.  Alternative types of ownership or tenure must be facilitated, types which are more adaptable to quick change.

 

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THE FEAR THAT KILLED 8 EBOLA WORKERS

 

 

The Daily Beast September 20, 2014
By Abby Haglage     

They were sent in to help educate villagers about how to ward off the lethal virus. Then fear took over and the machetes came out.

At the time of Wednesday’s announc

ement out of Guinea that seven of nine missing Ebola workers had been found dead, we knew little. Men with knives had abducted members of a group sent there to spread awareness about the disease. Two relief workers were missing; the rest, dead. Six suspects were in custody.

By Friday morning, we knew more. These details, the stuff of horror films. A local government group of relief workers—a mix of doctors, religious leaders, and journalists—had arrived Monday to educate the remote southeastern village of Womey about Ebola. Just 24 hours after their arrival, violence broke out, allegedly sparked by the false belief that a disinfectant being sprayed was actually the disease itself. An angry mob brandishing machetes, stones, and knives lashed out.

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With Ebola crippling the health system, Liberians die of routine medical problems

By Lenny Bernstein - Sep 20 2014 - washingtonpost.com

MONROVIA, Liberia — While the terrifying spread of Ebola has captured the world’s attention, it also has produced a lesser-known crisis: the near-collapse of the already fragile health-care system here, a development that may be as dangerous — for now — as the virus for the average Liberian.

Western experts said that people here are dying of preventable or treatable conditions such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia and the effects of high blood pressure and diabetes, such as strokes. Where services do exist, Ebola has complicated the effort to provide them by stoking fear among health-care workers, who sometimes turn away sick people or women in labor if they can’t determine whether the patient is infected. And some people, health-care workers said, will not seek care, fearful that they will become infected with Ebola at a clinic or hospital.

(READ COMPLETE ARTICLE)

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Risk and Risk Underwriting

In writing about the importance of promoting private enterprise, as well as in many other sections of my work, I suggested an almost near certainty that the risk management industry eventually will facilitate resilience and structural adaptivity in our built environment.  In my larger draft, I included a short section about this, which I am posting below (somewhat revised).  I believe it is beneficial to share this section now in order to explain my optimism for resilience. (I also wrote short sections on Time, Rapid Change, Optimism, A Futurist Perspective, and The Human Factor but do not necessarily intend to post them here.)

 

The future will be all about risk and trying to find protection from the rapidly increasing threats to our world as we advance in population size, social/cultural/economic complexity, and cutting-edge science and technology.  Risk underwriting will play a big role in how well or how poorly we adapt to accelerating change. 

 

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Ebola outbreak 'could top 20,000'

Published on Aug. 28, 2014

An outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa could amount to 20,000 cases, the World Health organisation says (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention/PA) 

 

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Some Examples of Structural Adaptivity - Part II

Here are some more examples of how I propose that structural adaptivity could be applied as a leading principle for resilient development in the US over the next 20-50-100 years.  These are intended to support my conviction that structural adaptivity is the only logical approach to advancing our built environment for a rapidly changing, uncertain, unpredictable future.  I am hoping that others will review these concepts and propose their own personal and team-researched applications of the principle.

 

In re-balancing our nation, do so by major watersheds.  I propose that the re-balancing of our nation’s urban development (as I discussed before) should be based on the locations and characteristics of our major watersheds.  All major urban development regions should have a long-term dependable natural source of fresh water. 

 

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Conflicting Scenarios Exercise

I have been proposing that, rather than trying to foresee the future, we consider accepting and conducting further research on a much more fundamental, all-encompassing and long-term-resilient approach to our built environment.  I have been proposing that such an elemental approach should be structural adaptivity.  I believe that our world must and will give maximum adaptivity to the basic elements of our built environment to adjust to and meet our needs for the unpredictable, rapidly changing world over the next 50-100 years. 

 

 

In working on this, I conducted an Exercise.  I experimented with a number of different future conditions, or scenarios, that I think are quite possible.  The first two that drew my strongest concern were the conflicting scenarios of: (1) how planners might address our urban areas after global warming has abated – and the problem is continuous hot weather and more storms – as opposed to (2) how planners are now addressing the need to stop or slow down global warming.  I also experimented with additional scenarios that I do not think we are able to, presently, forecast accurately.  Most of them, however, I believe will surface eventually, in one way or another, and cause huge problems.

 

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