Sunday, September 25, 2005

Imagine 20 Years of This - New York Times

…if science is correct, we will be repeatedly reminded what "a force of nature" implies. Meteorologists argue that we have begun a new era of Atlantic storms pumped up by hot gulf waters, a cycle that oscillates in decades. The devastating hurricanes of the 1960's like Betsy and Camille were followed by a lull from 1970 to 1995 as cooler waters stifled the wrath of adolescent tropical storms. Now the streams of warm water that encourage rapid evaporation and spiraling winds are back.

If these are just the first dark puffs of a new kind of summer weather that will prevail for the next 20 years, can we possibly be ready for what is to follow?

“The absurdity is that a dangerous squall can now be tracked almost from its birth off the coast of Africa, but its victims still cannot get out of its way. Despite our amazing ability to foretell the meteorological future, greed and sloth may have overpowered most sane efforts to plan for it.

Highways have clotted as families flee, and some of those without cars end up with nowhere to go but their rooftops. Evacuation plans for hospitals and nursing homes have been washed away by worst-case scenarios that no one envisioned - buildings marooned by deep water and beset by gunfire.

Encouraged by federal flood insurance, islands whose very existence is ephemeral have been lined with vacation homes. Low-lying urban neighborhoods with their asphalt toes resting in swamps have been built below levees too fragile to hold. Hurricane-resistant houses have been designed, but their squat forms have proven unpopular with customers craving ocean vistas.

We imagine ourselves to be a can do people. Elect a won't do administration that doesn't even believe in the job it campained so hard for. Why are we surprised that it creates can't do bureaucracy. It doesn't believe government has a right to life. What the market doesn't do shouldnt be done.

Marshes that once absorbed storms have been allowed to die off and sink, leaving stretches of open water that can be flung shoreward by storm surges. Pipelines designed to flex have snapped - Katrina's damage may include 10 major spills.

Even the economy, unable to flee, has become a victim. The nation's refineries have been concentrated in the threatened hurricane belt. Gas-guzzlers and rising prices are beating into the heads of drivers the nature of the laws of supply and demand. Insurance companies have been rocked, struggling airlines have gasped at their jet fuel bills. The damage so far already could reach $200 billion. ”
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…As a society,I'm afraid our imagination fails. Again, and again, and yet, despite evidence, against all reason, again. We imagine ourselves to be a can do people. Elect a won't do administration that doesn't even believe in the job it campained so hard for. Why are we surprised that it creates can't do bureaucracy. It doesn't believe government has a right to life. What the market doesn't do shouldnt be done

Alfred Ingram…

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/25/weekinreview/25mcne.html?pagewanted=all
con·cept: Imagine 20 Years of This - New York Times