The tidal wave which struck coastal areas throughout across South and South-East Asia earlier today was unquestionably a tragedy for those it affected. At the time of writing the death-toll has already reached 10,000 and is certain to rise. Nonetheless the interest which the phenomenon and its horrific consequences have attracted seems to me to raise some troubling questions. According to the World Health Organisation, nearly 30,000 children under the age of five die every day with preventable and treatable diseases being responsible for 70% (21,000) of these deaths. Why does this tragedy - which we could do something about, unlike an unpredictable natural disaster like a tsunami - not attract a proportionate amount of attention? Perhaps because it would compel us, and those who organise the global system which allows this to continue daily, to do something about it.
As an aside, regular readers may recall that the US military base of Diego Garcia which I've written about at leangth, is located in the Indian Ocean, presumably in the path of the wave. I have heard nothing about it in the news, however, and a Google News search failed to turn anything up. Was the island (and the others in the Chagis Archipelago) - which we are told is too low lying to allow the return of the indigenous people because of the effects of global warming - affected? How seriously? I don't know, perhaps someone visiting this site does, in which case I'd be interested to hear.