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06:37:16 PM
Written By : Richard SchwartzCategory : News And Comment
Location : Nashua, NH

As Rita churns through the Gulf of Mexico toward Galveston... or toward wherever she decides to go, acutally.. these Blue Oyster Cult lyrics seem appropriate. "Katrina!" even scans properly as replacement for the refrain "Godzilla!".

The death toll from Katrina officially passed 1000 today. That's a far cry below what the worst fears were, but still incredibly tragic. And the cost of cleanup and reconstruction will be immense. Rita's destructive power could be even greater, though it's a sure bet that the death toll will be far lower. Still, unless something extraordinary happens, this will be the first time in recorded history that two storms this strong have made landfall in the US in one year. Does anyone not believe that global warming is a factor in this? Does anyone not believe that we are paying for our folly?

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Comments :v

1. Nathan T. Freeman09/22/2005 04:26:54 AM

"Does anyone not believe that global warming is a factor in this? Does anyone not believe that we are paying for our folly?"


2. Carl09/22/2005 02:39:58 PM

I believe it. Sadly the people that can affect this and help educate us better, don't believe it.

3. Richard Schwartz09/22/2005 03:15:15 PM

@Nathan: How about the Flying Spaghetti Monster? Surely you believe that His Glorious Noodleness must be a factor

4. Gregg Eldred09/22/2005 05:00:54 PM

Looking at just the numbers, what was the cause of the 10 major hurricanes to hit the US coast in the decade 1941-1950?

5. Richard Schwartz09/22/2005 05:21:15 PM

@Gregg: A complex question, but if you look only at the storms that make landfall in the US, you're not looking at the whole picture. There are loads of factors besides ocean and atmospheric temperature that affect where the storms go. Ocean and atmospheric temperatures, on the other hand, are the key factors in the formation of the strong storms in the first place. Here's an article that indicates that the frequency of category 4 and 5 storms worldwide has doubled in the past 35 years, but also that the total number of tropical storms has actually gone down in the past ten years... so while there are fewer total storms, the severe ones make up a much larger percentage.


6. Gregg Eldred09/23/2005 09:52:15 AM

Rich: Here is a podcast that helped me to understand the science of hurricanes better:

Global warming is one of those topics that for every case made for it, there are cases against it. I, frankly, don't know what to believe. But I will say this - we are either lazy or pushing hard decisions to future generations. The politicians certainly don't seem to want to tackle this issue (or other hard ones, like health care, education, social security) as they most certainly will end up losing their cushy, high paying jobs. And for that, we all suffer. Especially my kids.

Thanks for listening.

7. Richard Schwartz09/23/2005 10:14:56 AM

@Gregg: Thanks. I'll check it out.

Also, couldn't agree more w/r/t politics-as-usual. Wish I were smart enough to come up with a better system, but deep down I think that the true meaning of the Arrow Paradox is that there's no possible system for making choices that could do any better.'s_paradox

8. Keith Andersen10/30/2006 01:56:59 PM

A correct application of the BOC quote in this context would be to understand that no matter what man attempts, he cannot affect "mother nature". Hence, man's folly is his arrogance in believing in his own supposed power. Which is why I, for one, am not listening to the "Chicket Littles".....

9. Richard Schwartz10/30/2006 04:52:03 PM

Well, it's certainaly an application of the quote, but not IMHO the best fit for the "correct" application given the context of the song "Godzilla". The better fit for the actual lyrics of the song would be that man's folly is his ignorance of the effects that his technologies have on mother nature, whether it is ignorance of the effects of nuclear radiation on our friends the reptiles , or of the effects of greenhouse emissions on climate.

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