Friday, August 26, 2011

Lemming Tracks: Hurricane Irene and Getting a Grip

Hurricane Irene's wind and rain are hitting North Carolina. Massachusetts got declared a disaster area by the President - and the storm isn't even there yet. New York City authorities are evacuating the city: low-lying parts, anyway.

This is going to be an interesting weekend. The Lemming put links to a few news items under - what else? - "In the news," near the end of this post.

Disaster Declaration: Before the Storm Hits?

Irene is a very real hurricane, and evacuating low-lying areas of New York City could save lives. Even that disaster area declaration - before the storm hits - isn't as daft as it might seem. It's a way to make the state "eligible for federal funds to help in cleanup and other needs." (boston.com) Right now, odds are that Massachusetts will have a lot of cleaning to do.

As far as I know, we didn't get that kind of outside help after last month's storm pulled up trees here in Sauk Centre, Minnesota. But there's a lot of city folks in Massachusetts: and they could probably use all the help they can get.

"Things Fall Apart"

Folks getting tense about current events is nothing new:

"...Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world....
"
("The Second Coming," W. B. Yeats, via Poets.org)

That was published a little after WWI - which seems to have shaken up a lot of folks. Understandably, in the Lemming's opinion. Since then, we've had another 'war to end all wars,' Vietnam, and Disco. And yet, somehow, humanity is still here.

So far.

If you believe what you see in the movies, killer solar neutrinos from outer space will blow up the Earth next year. But it won't matter, since we're all really living in an scheming computer's virtual reality.

Finding Fault, Getting a Grip

The Lemming's gotten used to dire predictions: secular and otherwise. Taking pages from several playbooks, here are a few 'reasons' why Hurricane Irene is threatening to trash parts of America's east coast. Remember, the Lemming doesn't believe any of this:
  • Hurricane Irene is the fault of
    • Heartless industrialists
      • Who are destroying Earth's climate
        • With hair spray
    • A secret armada of commie cloud-seeding planes
      • No mention of the artificial origins of Irene is in the news
        • Which proves there's a conspiracy
  • New York City is threatened because
    • They voted for
      • Obama
      • Bush
    • They're wicked sinners
    • The end of the world is at hand
      • Preacher Bob Bombast says so
      • Anonymous experts say so
The 'secret armada' story might have found traction a few decades back.

The storm that flushed a residential area away 'just happened' to have been near a cloud-seeding experiment. Survivors sued the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences. The Institute said it was pure coincidence: and a judge agreed.

Win in Court; Lose Public Support

Maybe the IAS - and victims of the storm - were involved in a wild coincidence. In a way, winning the lawsuit was an empty victory for the weather modification researchers.

Enthusiasm for weather modification experiments waned after the 1972 storm - and the Lemming doesn't think that's a coincidence. Too many folks where too uneasy, and weren't willing to risk more lives.

B-Movie Divine Retribution?

About commies fiddling with Hurricane Irene, or the storm being a sort of B-movie divine retribution? The Lemming doesn't think so. 'End of the world' predictions, secular and otherwise, make nifty stories - and that's about it. The Lemming's posted about apocalyptic angst before:Ending on a serious note, Hurricane Irene is a serious storm: and will almost certainly continue to be, whether it ends by setting new records or not. What's important right now is getting ready, in the case of folks who still have a few hours to work with; or staying out of the way of rain, floods, lightning, and flying debris.

Related posts:In the news:
Background:

2 comments:

Brigid said...

Missing something? "("," W. B. Yeats, via Poets.org)"

The Friendly Neighborhood Proofreader

Brian Gill said...

Brigid,

Oops. Found, fixed, thanks!

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