Monday, January 18, 2010

A deal with the devil

Pat Robertson has made the news by calling the suffering in Haiti the result of a deal with the Devil.

If we assume any of this can be taken metaphorically, maybe there is a deal with the devil to the extent that the people of Haiti are throwing their support behind kleptocrat dictators and renouncing policies that would have promoted wealth on the island. As James Peron points out at The Freeman, poverty kills.

The earthquake in Haiti was a magnitude of 7.0. According to Wikipedia, the 1989 Loma Prieta quake in San Francisco was either 7.0 or 6.9 depending on which scale is used. In other words, the intensities were fairly similar. Haiti is devastated. If the New York Times is correct, the death toll could be in the tens of thousands. The death toll in the 1989 quake was 63, if you include indirect deaths due the quake.

The difference is wealth. San Francisco is one of the wealthiest areas in our part of the world, while Haiti is the poorest. Poverty makes natural disasters worse. Wealth mitigates natural disasters.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Devil Sues Pat Robertson for Breach of Contract