September 2, 2005, 6:57 am
Filed under: uncategorized

This Hurricane Katrina stuff is devastating to watch. With each hour that passes, more people die from lack of water and food, and the helicopters coming to help people are being shot at. It seems like everyone’s angry at someone. It takes the tragedy to another level. We’re far too proficient at pointing fingers. I remember it from the Southern California wildfires a couple years ago. There’s always plenty of blame to go around.

The thing that has me shaking my head, though, is the utter predictability of this situation. I’ve only been to New Orleans once – in 1988. I was there for about 48 hours. During the first 24, we got 16 inches of rain. The people I stayed with told me how screwed they were if the levee system didn’t hold up, given that they’re below sea level. This morning, I’ve seen several articles like this one from Scientific American that predicted this kind of disaster years ago. There’s only so much we can do to prevent this kind of stuff from happening.

When we lived in California we’d get shaken by a small earthquake, I’d hear jokes from around the country about how silly we were to live there, given that the whole state was going to just break off the continent and sink or something. Of course these are the same people who live in trailer parks in places nicknamed “Tornado Alley.” Look, we’re all vulnerable in one way or another. And it doesn’t help much to point fingers. What we do in the meantime is pray and give and respond in whatever way we’re able.


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