Fukushima’s silver lining

March 19, 2011

By David Levy
If the triple catastrophe in Japan has any silver lining, it’s the boost to non-nuclear renewables such as wind and solar energy. Japan faces immediate power shortages in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown, and as Geoffrey Styles observes:
As of the end of 2009 Japan already had the world’s [...]

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Is Deepwater Oil Too Risky?

July 18, 2010

Following up on my previous post about the Gulf oil spill, Normal Accidents?, here is a guest contribution by Charles Perrow, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Yale University, and author of the classic book Normal Accidents. This post is adapted from the preface to the forthcoming paperback edition of Perrow’s 2007 book The Next Catastrophe: [...]

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Normal Accidents?

July 12, 2010

As I write, the Deepwater Horizon well in the Gulf is once again gushing unchecked as BP tries to install a new cap that could end the spillage. A recurrent theme in the discussion of this massive spill is that we shouldn’t trust “fail-safe” technologies or the experts who reassure us that catastrophes cannot happen. [...]

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A Tale of Two Meltdowns

August 25, 2009

by David L. Levy
Managing crises in complex systems
Just when the world was beginning to wake up to the climate change crisis, with a flood of new evidence on the accelerating meltdown of glaciers and polar ice caps, the financial crisis struck. Paul Gilding has termed this convergence of twin crises “The Great Disruption.” At first [...]

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