Haiti Earthquake

Hopefully what happens in the wake of the terrible earthquake will show the positive side of globalization. Almost immediately after the catastrophy everybody could know about it anywhere in the world, because the world today is interconnected by the news media as well as on an individual level via the internet, mobil phones, satellites etc.

But not only that. Very fast help was organized and soon installed at Port-au-Prince, arriving from all over the world again. Help was organized by governments, by celebrities (think about the calls for donations in Germany or look at the “Help for Haiti Now Concert”) and by individuals (e.g. via their own personal blogs).

I believe that everybody who has watched these pictures wants to help or contribute to the help.

But of course some of you might say, there are so many places in the world where people are poor, get tortured and murdered or are simply starving – whatever. And who is to say where the media set their focus, and what we are to realize and what we are to forget because something else gets into the focus of the globalized news? And I have got no answer.

aid worker in Haiti / http://www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/fotostrecke-51025-3.html

All I know is: this has happened now and we know and we must help. And we must not forget Haiti in a few weeks or next year, like the poverty of Haiti had been forgotten or neglegted before the earthquake. My admiration is for those who are there and work until exhaustion in order to help.

Read “Exhausted Aid Workers Among those Leaving Haiti” from the English site of  “Der Spiegel” here, and look up blogs on wordpress or blogger or whereever …

To support my arguments about the positive side of globalization through the development of communications, let me remind you of this example: the first catastrophy which had an almost global response (though not in terms of help) was the eruption of the Krakatau in 1883. This response had only been made possible by the new  telegraph cables from the years 1870 and 1872 which ran on the bottom of the oceans and connected the eastern and the western world.

Only half a century before a much stronger volcanic eruption – the one of the Tambora in 1815 – had passed without notice in the western world, although the whole northern hemisphere felt the consequences one year later, as 1816 became the “Year without Summer“.

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