2005-09-02 - 9:06 a.m.
...thoughts of Cassandra...
Every thing that has happened to me this week feels like minutia compared what is happening on the Gulf Coast. I've donated money to second harvest and the red cross; and I will probably donate money to the Louisiana Library Fund - one dedicated to rebuilding the libraries. I have such an excess of like-new books in my flat. I wish I had an address where I could send them directly. I still feel helpless.
I have a bit of a Cassandra-esque feeling. In my class I lecture about hurricanes, storm surges, the unpreparedness of our coastal populations, and the inevitable impact of global warming on hurricanes. The frequency of hurricanes are not likely to increase due to global warming, but both the strength of the strongest winds and the sheer amount rain will. And this is exactly what appears to have happened.
Furthermore, the accuracy of the models that projected this damage two years ago is amazing. Yet the demands to reinforce a city under sea-level went unheeded. "It hasn't happened in the past, so why should it happen now"
This is a classic example of comparing the costs of prevention with the costs of cleanup. A few billion to prepare the city vs. 20 billion to mediate the disaster after the fact..
The role of Cassandra is not at all satisfying. There are times when you prefer to be wrong.
It seems to me that the people most affected were the poor, the elderly, and those who chose to stay and help the poor and elderly. People who, sadly, have little say in our political system.
Meanwhile, Bush, Cheney, and our oil industry benefit from the price gouging of gasoline that was undoubtedly purchased back when oil was $55/barrel. And if the US oil supply is insecure, it gives them all the motivation in the world to tromp through the Middle East countries, and drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Or, they feel justified to do away with all environmental restrictions and allow the current working oil refineries to blast away...
Boycott the oil industry, people. Walk to work. Or take your bicycle.
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...they are just words, Suzi... - 2011-08-29