China's earthquake and Cyclone Nargis: not sexy enough?

  • NickoftheNort...

    Posts: 1416

    May 15, 2008 7:16 PM GMT
    A while ago, we had a a few vigorous discussions and flame exchanges regarding the Olympic torch relay for this year's Olympic Games in Beijing, China, and China's oppression of Tibet.

    Now China is suffering from a massive earthquake that is believed to have killed at least 50,000 persons.

    Prior to this, the Cyclone Nargis struck Burma / Myanmar (which is ruled by a kleptocratic military junta) and has brought about devastation equivalent (in human death toll) to that of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake. The death toll may increase due to the now-contaminated water and the junta's control and misuse of foreign aid to further its control over the state.

    Where's the attention? Is a natural disaster not sexy enough? Are people fatigued?

    Or am I drawing straws and comparing apples to oranges?
  • ShawnTX

    Posts: 2484

    May 15, 2008 7:23 PM GMT
    I think you're comparing apples to oranges. Some people are outraged over having the olympic games held in China, and in my opinion, for good reason. However, it's hard to feel outraged about natural disaters. It's tragic and devastating, worth talking about if people are so inclined, but I don't see it being much of a discussion apart from the usual 'Oh, that's so terrible, I feel for those people' response.
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    May 16, 2008 12:10 AM GMT
    Apples and Oranges. One is man made the other is nature. I don't think we need to go out and protest Mother Nature. I think there has been as much media coverage about these events as the torch protests.
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    May 16, 2008 12:21 AM GMT
    you make an interesting point !!! with issues, we can spread news about what can be done about whatever the issue is, by "complaining" and expounding on the ins and outs of the issue being discussed. These discussions help us decide or alter how we see the issue being discussed. With a natural disaster of these magnitudes, discussing them cannot change a thing, and most of us are helpless to do anything but make a humanitarian donation, or ask/spread news about how to donate.
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    May 16, 2008 12:25 AM GMT
    The Burma Junta's behaviour has been utterly disgraceful, with suggestions emerging today that foreign media and care workers are being kept out of the delta so that the Junta's incompetence cannot be seen. What's more, donating money to the international aid agencies is a challenge because an enormous amount is being stolen for personal use, a large amount being taken by the Junta to show the Burmese that they can care of their people. But at the end of the day, we can be as disgusted as we like about the Junta's behaviour, the freedom on information in Burma is even more limited than in China. It won't lead to a very good debate.

    As for China in this situation - it is sad beyond belief. So many innocent people being destroyed by nature with so much danger to come. Suddenly Tibet and the Xinjiang Uygurs are not news any more and that is truly sad also. Now, if I was a conspiracy theorist...

    Perhaps you are comparing oranges and mandarins in the first instance, but apples and oranges in the second.
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    May 16, 2008 7:45 AM GMT
    Actually after the Xinjiang earthquake, we had a USGS prediction of an magnitude ~5 earthquake happening in the Philippine plates last Wednesday. Nothing happened though, but we were pretty worried for a bit.

    Discussing natural disasters is I dunno, always like a morbid topic to me, unless you can actually do something about it like send help. Because there's absolutely nothing you can do.

    Also I've grown tired of the way religious organizations here pounced on the disasters on two countries as 'God's Wrath' in action. I heard one announcer on the radio on a bus say that this was signs of the end of times. Gawd. Can't the vultures lay off brainwashing for a bit?!