Posted by: Kevin | September 26, 2005

My Thoughts on the World

It’s really bothering me that I feel uninformed despite the amount of time I spend on the internet. That said, and for no particular reason, I’d like to register my thuoghts on the following:

Hurricanes – To paraphrase Jon Stewart, God, what part of “God Bless America” aren’t you getting? I’ve always been fascinated by the raw power of nature and I’ll admit to a guilty sort of disappointment when Rita started to decrease in strength prior to making landfall. However, I am all set with the 2005 Hurricane season. The poor people of Louisianne need a break and the rest of us in the US needs a break.

Some part of me wants to tie this in to a larger disatisfaction with the way this country is being run, as if these storms wouldn’t be so bad if McCain or Kerry was president, but that would be bullshit. The fact is you cant prepare for storms that huge and nasty hitting the same state in the same year. The shit is going to hit the fan in those instances. Add to that the stupidity of not doing more to protect New Orleans and this was bound to happen. That stupidity, BTW, was shared by Democrats and Republicans alike.

I’ve got some beefs with the cleanup and rescue efforts but when all is said and done, the lion share of damage to people and property was the result of things that would have haven’t regardless of how efficient FEMA was. The looting made for great TV and some individual horror stories but the real damage was done by the hurricane and the broken dykes.

What good can come out of this? People will take Hurricanes a lot more seriously. The massive evacuation proved that. The evacution itself, which wasn’t a catastrophe only because Rita weakened and spared the Houston area, could teach some valuable lessons. It takes more than the mayor saying, “Allright everyone, get the hell out of here.” to make a successful evacuation.

What if Rita had made a direct hit? What if Rita had been a weak storm which strenthened suddenly before plowing into Houston? Either of those cases would have resulted in a disaster. The problem in these cases is convincing one group of people, those in low lying areas, to flee while convincing another group of people, those in more secure structures inland and at higher elevation to stay put. It always seems like the opposite happens.


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