‘Primitive Attitudes’ and Traditional Practices
Authors: De Sylva, Shenuka; Vale, Brenda ; Vale, Robert
Global warming, even with a 2oC rise in temperature as per the Paris agreement, will mean more
flooding events, as warmer air holding more moisture leads to greater rainfall. Human settlements have grown up by water, whether sea or river, as this gives access for trading. Such settlements in both the developed and developing world will have to learn to cope with more and greater flood events. Many poor communities are already forced to live on flood prone land that those with more money avoid. The global increase in flood disasters related to natural hazards, and the massive economic costs of these, gives the opportunity for a deeper interrogation of the issue. This paper summarises the link between global warming and flooding and then uses two empirical case studies of vernacular communities to contrast their ways of living with flooding with western attitudes of trying to avoid it. As it becomes more obvious that rapid urbanisation and the vast infrastructure developments that support urban lifestyles play a major role in these disasters, there is no better time to look back in time and beyond westernised worldviews for future solutions that are favourable to both people and environment.