ISSUE 18: Term 3 Week 6, 02 August 2017 If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. Exclusively brought to you by the ~ John Quincy Adams~ AES Humanities Department EXCLUSIVE NEWS TODAY ALL ABOUT THE BIG WORLD WE LIVE IN
Asia under water: How 137 million people’s lives are being put at risk Khorsheeda Khatun had been left with nothing -- then that too was washed away.
Figure 1 Khorsheeda whose hut was damaged by Cyclone Mora in June 2017.
The 28-year-old fled her home country of Myanmar in January with her two daughters, escaping the latest outbreak of violence, and was living in the Kutupalang Makeshift Settlement in Bangladesh when cyclone Mora arrived five months later and
displaced up to 500,000 people. "My house was shattered. It broke the wooden planks supporting my hut and blew away the polythene rooftop. The wind and water destroyed whatever little possessions we had," she told UNICEF workers in June. Several weeks later, across the Himalayas in South China, over 12 million people were forced to flee their homes as flood waters rose for yet another year.
Increasingly severe weather, triggered by climate change, is putting hundreds of millions of people at risk across the rapidly developing countries of southern Asia. In the next 30 years, it is projected that heavy rainfall events will be increasing ... in Asia, by about 20% for sure," climate scientist Dewi Kirono at Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) told CNN. Southern Asia is already the wettest area on the continent and one of the wettest regions in the world, receiving an average of at least 1000mm of rainfall a year. As the rains fall harder, more than 137 million people in India, Bangladesh and China will be put at risk of coastal or inland flooding, more people than in the rest of the Asia-Pacific combined, a study in 2012 found. Aggravating flooding through poor drainage and short-sighted planning is the sprawling, rapid urban growth across South Asia, built to accommodate the millions of rural residents moving to cities. "You still have to have proper draining. It was a green field and now it's an urban area. Quite often, if you don't do that, (because) you've concreted everything the flood run-off is so much higher and the deaths are much worse," Oxford University visiting fellow and WWF advisor Paul Sayers told CNN. 2
Flooding in urban environments is more costly in terms of lives and loss of property because without a natural way to disperse the floodwaters they can cause damage "beyond the scope of the actual (flood)," experts say. Of course the huge rush of rural residents to China and India's cities hasn't helped, as cities expand deeper into floodplains and build hurriedly to accommodate their citizens. "City level decision makers now (love) concrete, they like to invest in hard infrastructure, but what we realize is that part of the problem of urban flooding is that you need to get the balance right," Jha said. As natural drainage, such as open green spaces and wetlands, are covered in cityscapes and replaced with inadequate artificial alternatives, heavy rain has nowhere to go. And the rains are getting heavier. The expected impacts of climate change on the world's weather are well documented. Hotter temperatures, higher sea levels and heavier rain should all be expected, Kirono, the CSIRO expert, said. But rather than more days of rain in a year, she said climate change will just cause more severe, torrential rainfall.
"A heavy rainfall event means unusually high precipitation over the course of one day or one hour, which increases the chances of flooding," she said. "Of course, heavy rainfall does not cause floods per se, because it depends on the topography and the infrastructure of the city."
William Farquhar and Singapore: Stepping out from Raffles’ shadow
Some seven years ago, Melbourne-based author Nadia Wright came across an article on bad bosses in Australia's The Age newspaper. The 69-year-old recalls: "The article said, 'Is your boss a psycho?' and I ticked, ticked and ticked for Raffles. Question 1: Does your boss take credit for everything you do? Yes. Oh, Raffles ticked all the boxes." By Raffles, she means Singapore's founder, Stamford Raffles of the British multinational East India Company (EIC). He was on her mind because his mistreatment of his subordinate William Farquhar, who shaped Singapore as a trading post between 1819 and 1823, was the subject of her book. While Wright does not deny Raffles' contributions to Singapore, she takes issue with what she considers his giant smear campaign of Farquhar, his No. 2, whom he left to shape and run the settlement of Singapore. Among other things, he labelled Farquhar as lazy and obstructionist and accused him of encouraging slavery, cockfighting and gambling here. 5
Wright says: "Raffles was deceitful and pretentious. Raffles’ claims about Farquhar were full of hints about Farquhar’s poor character, which he couldn't back up." In her book, she sketches Farquhar as being of the "do first, talk later" type, which rubbed Raffles the wrong way. "He claimed that Farquhar opposed him the whole time, but Farquhar said, 'If you are unhappy, why didn't you tell me? I would have corrected things.' "And when Raffles started selling off land in Singapore, Farquhar was so upset. He said, 'You cannot do this, this land is not yours to sell, we are leasing it from the Temenggong and the Sultan (of Johor).' And Raffles said, 'Look! More of your opposition.'" Her reason for restoring honour to Farquhar's memory resonated with Singapore's ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh, who wrote the book's foreword. In his foreword, he was careful to preface his view of Farquhar thus: "I do not wish to be a revisionist and criticise Raffles or take him down from his pedestal. After all, every country needs national heroes and myths." He then wrote: "It was Farquhar who did all the heavy lifting in Singapore. If Raffles was the visionary, Farquhar was the pragmatist and man of action." In the end, she notes, deeds mattered more than words to Singapore's early settlers. When Raffles' smear campaign resulted in his superiors recalling Farquhar back to Britain in 1823, Singapore's many communities gave him effusive send6
offs, presenting him with, among other things, specially crafted silver that then cost 3,000 Spanish dollars. In contrast, she adds, there was "no fond farewell" for Raffles when he left in 1824, heavily in debt. Worse, the EIC refused him a pension, which she says is significant because the EIC was famous for pensioning off its staff generously, in some cases with a total of £600 for life. Wright says she is puzzled as to why, with hindsight, Raffles continues to dominate most narratives of early Singapore. Sources: First Article: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/24/asia/climate-change-floodsasia/index.html Second Article: http://www.straitstimes.com/lifestyle/was-raffles-a-psychoboss
INSTRUCTIONS: Dear students, Another Minion out of the five has been caught last week! Did you manage to catch the Minion? Three of them are still on the loose! Here’s a new challenge this week! Here’s what you need to do: 1) Each week, there will be one Minion that you need to find. 2) Read the Humanities Weekly article carefully. 3) You are to “unlock” the number codes from each week’s quiz and find the minion. 4) Take a photo with the minion. You can claim cute gifts from the minion. 5) If you manage to find all the 5 minions (for 5 issues of Humanities Weekly Reading articles) you will be featured in the final issue of our reading article together with the 5 minions. Not forgetting, an attractive gift to be won at the end of it. This week’s code: You are to circle the codes with the correct statements (based on the reading article) and decipher the codes to find the minion in school. Statements:
Khorsheeda Khatun was one of those displaced by Cyclone Morain. Rapid urban growth in South Asia is aggravating flooding through poor drainage and short-sighted planning. Flooding in urban environments is less costly, in terms of lives and loss of property, than flooding in rural environments. Farquhar was denied a pension from the East India Company. Farquhar shaped Singapore as a trading post from 1819 to 1824.
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