Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Who could have foreseen..."

"...that our air travel network would be brought to its knees by a volcano in Iceland??"

A refrain I have heard several times by jabbering voices on the radio lately. The answer to this question:

ANY competent vulcanologist, hell, any geologist of any subspecies, along with millions upon millions of better-informed lay people could have told you that this was not just a possibility, but an eventual inevitability! This is up there with "who knew the levees would fail?" It still boggles the mind how deep the capacity of human societies is to imagine that their infrastructure is divinely ordained, immortal, and invincible, and therefore they need not waste a passing thought on what happens if some "act of god" (i.e. entirely ordinary and fully anticipatable natural phenomenon) interferes with it. Even in the face of breakdowns, it is all viewed as freaks and special cases, without the larger picture (society ultimately is at the mercy of nature, it does not have dominion over it) and lessons (if you can't function without one of your major social subsystems, you better do something pretty f-ing quickly to change this!) ever being noticed by any but the "fringes."

5 Comments:

At 3:57 PM, Blogger cyberthrush said...

well, yeah, but tell us what you reeeally think, Bill... ;-)

 
At 4:15 PM, Blogger John said...

This marks the second time that our air travel network was brought to its knees in the last decade.

 
At 8:41 AM, Blogger Frank said...

Has anyone done any correlative data to see if the average temperature spiked or plummeted with the suspension of so much air travel? I read a study that for the few days after 9-11-01 while air travel was pretty much nil, that the overall global temperature spiked by as much as a degree or two. Bill or CT or John, do any of y'all remember anything like this?

 
At 1:06 PM, Blogger Michael said...

Not to get political, but didn't Bobby Jindal attack money being spent on volcano monitoring?

 
At 2:38 PM, Blogger Mark said...

Regarding September 11, it spiked:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020808075457.htm

Seems likely that volcanic activity would diminish that effect, but to what to degree?

 

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