Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Global whining

By Aussiegirl

Well, it looks like the cavalry has arrived and things are finally onthe move in New Orleans and Mississippi and Alabama. The people stranded for days at the Superdome and at the Convention Center are finally being moved and airlifted at astonishing speed and with impressive efficiency. I must say that it is reassuring to witness our military in action -- men, materiel, organization and a can-do attitude. There is nothing that is quite so confidence inspiring -- we can be grateful and proud of them all.

President Bush has swept into town and done what he does best -- mingle with the people and get a real sense of what is going on. He has rolled up his sleeves and we see that someone is finally in charge. His appearances yesterday were confident, hopeful and reassuring. Even Gov.Blanco and the formerly hysterical mayor of New Orleans seemed reassured and imbued with a new sense of hope and confidence. The military started to roll and today things are really moving.

What a difference a day makes. Now that we seem to have the grownups in charge, let's take a look at what has been going on and learn some

Predictably the Democrats and usual suspects on the left have wasted no time in blaming President Bush. First Robert Kennedy inveighed that the hurricane itself was not an Act of God but an Act of Bush, brought on by his dastardly failure to sign the Kyoto Protocol last year. Let's
examine this and other lunacies before we go on -- we might also throw into the pot the predictable screeds of Mr. Michael Moore (he who calls the wind Bush, and not Maria).

The global warming issue is completely bogus. The worst hurricanes in our nation's recorded history occurred before 1930, hurricanes even more powerful than Katrina. The difference was that there was not the massive
development and population in those low-lying coastal areas. Obviously hurricanes happen -- and often they are big ones. Oddly enough, the biggest hurricanes early in the century occurred during a time of GLOBAL COOLING -- so weather is a phenomenon that is poorly understood.

Global warming of even greater proportions has occurred in our planet's distant past -- before there were even humans -- we have the fossil records to prove it. Greenland was once green - that's why it's called that. Vineyards existed in areas which are now cold and frigid. Glaciers have advanced and receded in our geologic history before. We have had
ice ages and periods of intense heat well before the evolution of the evil SUV.

Mostly the climate is controlled by the sun, and even if we were to admit to the remote possibility that global warming is due to human
activity, and even if Bush had signed on to the Kyoto treaty, the miniscule reduction in greenhouse gases would have had zero impact on this year's weather. Even if the rosiest predictions of Global Warming believers is to be taken seriously -- their projections are that we could perhaps reduce the increase in temperature by something like 1 degree in the next hundred years -- that is way beyond any ability of any computer model to estimate as to what will happen with our climate in such a length of time. We may very well enter a cooling period and
then everyone will be screaming about a new ice age.

Now let's address some of the problems associated with the response to the catastrophe.

This is ultimately a national problem and that is becoming clear. FEMA and the Dept. of Homeland Security should be properly involved, as should the military. The problem is that no one was in charge -- you
have an incompetent Louisiana governor and an incompetent New Orleans mayor who were part of the problem and not part of the solution. Local officials are charged with disaster planning and for calling in federal resources. Something that was obviuosly not done in this case.

The City of New Orleans declared a mandatory evacuation AT THE URGING of President Bush -- as acknowledged by Gov. Blanco in a press conference prior to the hurricane. Preparations had been made by FEMA, supplies had been prepositioned. What was not anticipated, and perhaps should have been realized earlier, were the enormous dimensions of the
catastrophe, unlike any other in our nation's history.

City officials dithered and complained and failed to call up the National Guard and to declare martial law until too late. They had been warned that a large percentage of the city's population was without transportation, poor, disabled or infirm and would not be able to voluntarily evacuate. No provisions had been made to do anything about that in advance of the storm nor had any contingency plans ever been drawn up when these matters were raised in planning sessions. Common
sense measures like using school buses to evacuate citizens while simultanously saving the bus fleet for future use by taking them out of the city and to higher ground were ignored, so we had the sorry spectacle of unused buses sitting in lakes of water.

But that is all water under the bridge. We must look to the future. The Federal response has much to answer for as well, if, as NRO in an editorial today notes, the FEMA director had less information about what was happening on the ground than the average television viewer, then something is seriously wrong. Perhaps FEMA should not have been folded into the DHS. All these issues need to be addresssed.

After all the billions of dollars spend on Homeland Security -- why has the elemental step not been taken of providing or mandating satellite phones for every major metropolitan area so that the well-known problems of communication can be addressed during an emergency when cell phones as well as land lines become inoperable, and when police, fire and
rescue department use different radio frequencies. One would think that would be such a simple thing to do. But communication was one of the biggest problem.

We must address these issues because the next "big bad thing", as Peggy Noonan puts it, may be a terrorist attack with WMD on several American cities. We will have no warning about those as we did with this hurricane. And we must be prepared to act swiftly. We must cut the red tape that keeps federal help and military help from coming until local officials request it -- when local officials are either too traumatized, dazed, incompetent or lazy -- or perhaps dead or incommunicado as may be the case in a worst-case scenario.

On an individual basis, every American citizen and household must realize, looking at what we have witnessed here the last 6 days, that you are going to be on your own for at least a week, perhaps more, before help can come to you. Be prepared with extra food, water, batteries and other common sense emergency supplies. If nothing else you'll be ready for the next big snowstorm, hurricane or other natural disaster that hits.

Now we have to lay aside all the nonsensical laying of blame which is only a game of politics, and get down to the business of rebuilding our coast, finding homes for all these refugees, and start putting our heads together to come up with creative ideas how all this can be done.

We have the unprecedented case of millions of our citizens who find themselves suddenly homeless, without a job, and with little idea of how they can put their lives back together while those areas are rebuilt.
New Orleans obviously presents the greatest challenge because it may be months and months before that city is even habitable again. How are those businesses going to keep going in the meantime? Where are these people to be housed? What occupations can they be given? Let's have solutions and creative ideas. That's what we need -- the American people can do it -- we carved this nation out of the wilderness. Our
people are of hardy stock -- we are all immigrants to this great land who grabbed a piece of the American dream and made it ours.

Let's stop the Global Whining and get moving!


At 12:47 AM, Blogger Yogi-Twoworlds said...

We have had 24 hrs of orderly evacuation with a reported total of 25000 people. Might the real story be that city dealers need to plan their own escape route for any system proposed by the government will see you blistered before you are gone.


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