The Times podcast: Masters of Disasters: Broken records!
In the second episode of the new season of the “Times Radio” podcast series, Times reporter David Enrich and Times political editor Mark Schmitt discuss their recent trip to Haiti.
If you missed our report last week, you can read about it here.
David Enrich: Mark, let’s start with a quote from your opening paragraph, which is to say, “Haiti is a fascinating study of the impact of the natural environment and how it affects human life. It’s also a study of how the nation’s institutions and the human spirit work. And it’s really a study of our own nation.”
Mark Schmitt: That’s right. This country really is a study in contrasts and yet we are all in this together. If you watch the news very closely there is a constant tension between the people in the United States and the people around the world—and particularly in our own country.
David Enrich: Speaking from an island, what role does climate change play in what we’re seeing on the ground in Haiti?
Mark Schmitt: Well, again, it’s a question of perception. You know, maybe you are like me, not only one of those who just sees climate change in absolute terms, but you look at how we deal with such a huge crisis and that we’ve never faced a global crisis of this magnitude before and you have to think: How do we begin to think differently about what we’re doing here in the U.S.?
I mean, just take the fact that every night there is a news headline on some crisis somewhere in the world that we haven’t seen this size before.
That’s an alarming statement, and yet, this is happening. And it’s happening in a country with a long and storied history where we’ve seen a remarkable resilience. They’ve been in multiple empires, including the French. They’ve been in many wars throughout their history. They’ve had to, in many cases, survive. But they’ve also been able to come out the other side of that as well.
And as David said, just like the rest of the world we have to ask ourselves in the United