| Bookmark and Share

A Maritimer heads to Haiti to help build secure homes / Comments on NS/NB cross-border shopping / Phone-in : Cleo Paskal, author of "Global Warring"; What do you think will be the most likely cause of future conflicts ?

Neil Bauman has left the comfort and security of Saint John for Haiti. Mr Bauman is an architect and takes on the kind of assignment that many of us couldn't imagine. He's a Shelter Co-ordinator with the Red Cross, and flies into some of the most traumatized places on earth to put his expertise and experience to work.  
We asked Mr Bauman about his experiences in dealing with shelter issues after international disasters.

What's a border town to do ? Thursday, we spoke with Randy Smith - head of the Amherst and Area Chamber of Commerce - about the sobering results of a recent online survey he'd conducted. It confirmed what the Chamber already suspected : that most people in the area crossing the provincial border to buy gas more cheaply in Sackville. While they're there, they're picking up groceries or visiting the liquor store or travelling on to Moncton to do further shopping. Mr Smith fears that Amherst's economy is being undermined. But some of you called to remind him that the Trans-Canada runs both ways.
We also played your thoughts following Wednesday's phone-in when we asked "Can governments balance budgets without raising new tax revenues ?"

Imagine that the earthquake in Haiti didn't happen. Even without that catastrophe, Haiti has been an ongoing example of how fragile we all are in the face of disruptive forces. Unfortunately, we just haven't paid much attention.
But extreme events are just one of the forces that can shatter order and civil society and stunt everything from education and health protection to economic activity.
And in case you feel this kind of vulnerability is only present in countries where people  live in shantytowns, ask the people of New Orleans who bore the brunt of Hurricane Katrina. Ask Montrealers who went without heat & lights when their city was shut down in the middle of winter by the Ice Storm. Closer to home, ask people in Maritime communities who were hit by Hurricane Juan or, just three weeks ago, who lost their homes and businesses and institutions in the storm surge.
While these events receive plenty of disaster coverage at the time, what - if anything - are we learning from them in terms of understanding the thin line between security and catastrophe ?        
What friction points are there around the world in which a crisis could be ignited tomorrow by an unpredicted event  - countries which have population growth without adequate natural resources, religious and ideological differences, or gross economic disparities ?
Cleo Paskal has been studying the factors which make the world in 2010 a more fragile place than we tend to assume. She's the author of "Global Warring : How Environmental, Economic & Political Crises Will Redraw The World Map". Ms Pascal is with the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London and has given briefings on environmental change and security issues to CSIS, the British Ministry of Defence and CEOs of global corporations.
Our question : What do you think will be the most likely cause of future conflicts ?



Click to download podcast