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June 14, 2008

Denial After the Flood

My wife is still in a local hospital, an ordeal I intend to blog about at a more appropriate time. Thus this entry is simply a follow up on yesterday and will be similarly short. What struck me most was that by this morning, such a signal event was already being minimized, even allowing for a plethora of other bad news from the nation and world. For example, the NYT gave  Iowa  second billing to mere speculation that Saudi Arabia may be growing nervous enough about the high price of crude oil to pump more. Now that I’m becoming more aware of how important denial is to human behavior and how seamlessly it can be woven into disaster reports, I wasn’t that surprised that a major media outlet featured the opinion of the Army Corp of Engineers, an organization at least partially responsible for Katrina's  devastation of New Orleans. Sure enough, their spokesman was quick to cite the flood of 1993 as worse than yesterday, with no reference to several other factors that clearly make it more worrisome: the rains of
‘93 were probably seeded by the eruption of Mount Pinatubo, while today's is probably related to global weather change. Also, the resultant farm damage and agricultural shortages from yesterday will be superimposed on global grain shortages and food riots.

Most significant of all, yesterday's damage occurred in a setting of global climate change that can't be effectively  addressed while concern over the price of gas and crude oil dominate the national consciousness.

A future entry will describe the cognitive tools of denial and how they have always been used to sugar-coat inconvenient truth and thus facilitate repression.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 14, 2008 10:37 PM