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View Diary: Why We Need to Monitor Volcanoes in the US (189 comments)

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  •  I live on a volcano. (21+ / 0-)

    It's called Kilauea, and is touted as the world's most active. The land my house sits on is solid, hardened old lava. If you want to plant a tree, you have to use a pneumatic hammer to do so.

    In the meantime, there is lava flowing less than 25 miles from my house as the crow flies. Hawaiian volcanoes are generally known for their docility, but they are capable of great violence. Studying what volcanoes do and when and how they do it is a science, and a worthy exercise in its own right.  

    But for the people who live on the Island of Hawai'i (about 185,000 of us) and the hundreds of thousands of visitors, it is not a purely academic exercise.  And a highly explosive event could have an effect on not just this island, but on Oahu (and Pearl Harbor and our naval facilities) a couple hundred miles away.

    Right after I bought my house, the lava which had been flowing to the sea so tamely and consistently suddenly shifted -- and started heading in the general direction of my very large, rural subdivision.

    I paid very close attention to the reports from those that were monitoring Kilauea. Fortunately for me, the lava shifted and once again headed harmlessly (and spectacularly) to the ocean. Thanks to volcano monitoring, the residents of this island will have some warning if the volcano goddess decides to reclaim some land.

    Jindal's comments were clueless. I have also lived in New Orleans and endured Hurricane Gustav and had property there during Katrina (make what you will of my attraction to these edgy places!). Would he suggest we not monitor hurricanes? Of course, not. He is being guilty of the same indifference shown to the people of New Orleans by the Bush administration. His indifference and stupidity is ironic.

    At base, what Jindal is trying to say is that government SHOULD NEVER PROVIDE ANY SERVICE EVER. We saw how that worked out in Katrina. We also saw what happens when we let the oil industry regulate itself in the Gulf of Mexico.

    Government can have a positive role in our lives. It can warn us of hurricanes, provider better controls on oil drilling in delicate ecosystems, it can deliver the mail (if we quite sabotaging the post office) and it can monitor the many volcanoes within our borders (and advance the technology to monitor volcanoes outside of the United States that might nonetheless pose a threat).

    Of course, we should monitor volcanoes. We also need to be monitoring these radical Republican fools that want to destroy every single function of government.

    If you hate government, don't run for office in that government.

    by Bensdad on Wed Feb 20, 2013 at 10:31:25 PM PST

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