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Sudden unusually intense squalls

Dear Friends and readers,

I see people around the US and elsewhere are attributing what happened on the east coast and across the mid-west on Friday night as a natural calamity.  But it's not wholly a sheerly natural calamity. In Old Town, a central core of Alexandria City (Virginia) where I live the electric poles are underground. No one in Old Town is suffering today. The problem is the electricity companies won't spend the money to put cables underground and now that we are having global warming and far more intense weather patterns (which is what global warming does, not just make the place hotter), such methods of coping with nature are necessary.  What happened to New Orleans during Katrina did not have to happen: the Bush son cut funding for the levees and as a direct result the levees were far weaker and the Mississippi simply flooded the city.  Yes the Mississippi has been moving for years (Congress funnily enough made a law in 1954 saying that the Mississippi should not move) but nothing has been done by anyone to cope with this understood reality.

Individuals make unwise decisions too.  They insist on building expensive houses near the seacoast, high on mountains which have slides (California near LA). They build communities out in the desert.

You can't utterly change natural forces but you can cope better, and you can control them, you can add to them and make them worse. I again invoke Rousseau on the Lisbon earthquake; his brief essay showing it was social and economic arrangements that made the death toll much higher than it need have been is to the point today. A man named John McPhee writes about this; one is called _The Control of Nature_. He's originally a geologist. This is also the result of social and economic arrangement. We can't alter nature but we can cope better, control it to a larger extent by planning as groups.

See DemocracyNow.org:  the attacks on the public sector partly responsible for these worsening conditions; who do people turn to in these emergencies: the public sector, fireman, policemen, public shelters, libraries, precisely the people and places the Republicans would cut.


More people are back with power over the east coast and midwest but not until Friday it is estimated will something like 90% be back. But what then? suppose we have another sudden big squall. There is a fancy name for what happened: a hurricane wind without a hurricane, but I don't know it so I'm calling it a big squall.  Squall is the term used down south when very swiftly the skies go dark and we get big swirling winds and sudden drenching downpours and are common in much of the southern US -- except where it's desert.
Sylvia

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