High Development Follows Disasters

Mark Carey

in In the Shadow of Melting Glaciers

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780195396065
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199775682 | DOI:
 						High Development Follows Disasters

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The Control Commission of Cordillera Blanca Lakes, which was established in 1951 to prevent glacial lake outburst floods caused by climate change and glacier retreat in the Andes, had far-reaching effects on the economic development of Ancash and the Callejón de Huaylas. Engineers who examined glacial lakes brought development interests that had long inspired Peruvian policymakers and developers. They hoped to exploit Andean natural resources to promote national economic development and modernization. Glacial lake flood prevention programs provided a springboard for the expansion of hydroelectricity, road building, tourism, and wage labor. This process whereby disaster spurred economic development is referred to as "disaster economics," which the Lakes Commission carried out after 1951. Economic development directly and indirectly followed the science, technology, engineering, and policies implemented after catastrophes to prevent additional disasters, thereby revealing the social construction of science and engineering.

Keywords: climate change; Cordillera Blanca; disaster economics; glacier retreat; Andes; tourism; hydroelectricity; road construction; labor

Chapter.  8757 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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