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Differential Vulnerabilities to Hazards

  • By: William James Smith & Young-Doo Wang
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

The term differential vulnerabilities to hazards refers to the differences in impacts of various types of hazards on different segments of society, which are often related to class, gender, ability and disability, race, age, and geographic location. For example, the greatest users of electricity are the wealthy, but the places of extraction and power plants are not normally near them. The same is true of consumption of goods as the wealthy use the most, but landfills and dumps are rarely near them, whether one considers the Cherry Island landfill in Wilmington, Delaware, in the United States or the pile of smoldering trash at Smokey Mountain in Manila, Philippines, that has collapsed and killed the poor people living off its meager resources. Such differential vulnerabilities are ...

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