Sunday, January 02, 2005

Novel solutions for tsunami terror
And you thought that greater investment in early-warning systems was one of the solutions to future natural disasters. Well my friend, you haven't spent enough time reading wingnuts. Because of course the problem in Asia was that people weren't rich enough. Those poor, silly brown people and their tendency to live in "ramshackle" housing near the ocean! What trouble will they get themselves into next?

Dear wingnut: if a giant wall of 500-mph water slammed into Miami, we'd have plenty of dead people too. The reason we can afford to calculate the odds of asteroids slamming into the earth instead of preventing tsunamis is because the U.S. doesn't have much to worry about in the deadly tidal-wave department. The question is what can be done about natural disaster prevention between now and when poverty is miraculously stricken from the developing world by neoliberalsim. And how exactly, pray tell, would being rich protect us against that 1-in-42.5 chance of being struck by a killer asteroid? I would think that even non-ramshackle housing would be fairly vulnerable.


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