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June 20, 2008

What If? (Personal)

Although I’m busier than ever, I did have time to get Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death into my Kindle and begin reading it. Although not exactly in the way I’d anticipated, Becker’s opus is proving both eminently readable and an extremely valuable addition to my understanding of human cognition, one I hope to be blogging about soon.

In the meantime, the news is providing an endless supply of less complicated ideas to write about, especially the pummeling we are now receiving from the weather: record heat on both coasts at the same time the Midwest is experiencing both unusual tornadoes and record flooding. As anyone with a TV set can see (and hear) for themselves, dramatic footage of widespread levee breaks and flooded farmland is accompanied by the usual saccharine voice overs focusing on the heartbreak of the victims and the noble efforts of volunteers (often also victims) to rescue their neighbors and fill sandbags.

It’s in that setting that I’m posing the following hypothetical question: suppose the Bush Administration, in its first two years in office, had taken a more rational course in the two critical areas of climate change and foreign policy? If they had heeded the warnings of a majority responsible scientists, they might have considered the potential consequences rapid climate change posed for the two areas that have been devastated by flooding since 2004: New Orleans and the Midwest. The Army Corps of Engineers has always been under their direct control, as has been funding for repair of long neglected infrastructure. The urgent repair of levees, even then recognized as inadequate, might have avoided the tragedies of Katrina and the current flood (amply foreshadowed by the Flood of 1993, which, although triggered by a different mechanism, revealed the pattern now being followed with a vengeance).

That question becomes particularly pertinent (and poignant) in the light of the manpower, fiscal, and policy bind the Bushies were warned against before invading Iraq at the behest of the intellectually dishonest Neocons, profiteers, and assorted religious whackos now dominating the modern GOP (not that the Dems offer much of an alternative).

If that sounds angry, it is. If the feds want to punish me for my impertinence, it would at least bring some long overdue attention to the damage being done by the nation’s longest running bipartisan folly, a.k.a. the War on Drugs.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at June 20, 2008 05:24 PM