The Symbolic Volcano Mistake

25Feb09

Both sides of the aisle today are both praising Obama for his speech, and reprimanding Bobby Jindal (seriously, this guy is the Republican Obama? Then why does no one like him?) for his. One of the more unintentionally comical moments was Jindal’s attempt to mock Obama for appropriating 140 million dollars to a geological survey. Via FiveThirtyEight:

While some of the projects in the [stimulus] bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes … $140 million for something called ‘volcano monitoring.’ Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, DC.

I don’t know what’s more disturbing, Jindal’s attempt at humor or the prospect of an eruption for which we are unprepared. The humor’s pretty bad, but I’m going to give the edge to the volcano. Via Wikipedia, here’s a very brief description of a Plinian eruption, which is what Mt. St. Helen’s was:

Plinian eruptions are usually the most powerful, and involve the explosive ejection of relatively viscous lava. Large plinian eruptions — such as during 18 May 1980 at Mount St. Helens or, more recently, during 15 June 1991 at Pinatubo in the Philippines — can send ash and volcanic gas tens of kilometres into the atmosphere. The resulting ash fallout can affect large areas hundreds of miles downwind. Fast-moving pyroclastic surges and pyroclastic flows together with “nuées ardentes,” are often associated with plinian eruptions.

Sounds fun. Maybe we should start stocking up on highway dividers. Its funny how Republicans only seem to care about massive amounts of people dying if it’s someone else killing them, rather than our own indifference.

Advertisements


No Responses Yet to “The Symbolic Volcano Mistake”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: