September 2nd, 2005


Feeling Misanthropic

Back to looking at the sky. It's very reliable, the night sky, remaining much the same even when I can't see it because it is clouded. No clouds tonight, of course. Tonight it was perfectly clear once again. Watching the sparkling dots, I found myself wondering how many delightfully uninhabited planets might exist out there, or how many fortunate worlds there might be on which the cleverest species was about as clever as, say, a cat. Oh, happy, humanless orbs! Once, earth existed in that blessed state. Perhaps it will again, someday. Then, perhaps, it will be filled with un-poached gorillas, and hordes of promiscuous bonobos swinging through the trees (I'd advise them to eschew the process of evolution.) The stars will then shine once again nameless through the pure air, and not be formed by any misguided thought into fictional constellations. It will be a lovely place, forever free of being judged as such but in unfulfillable anticipation, forever unavailable to my non-existent self. As I hear the first birds singing, I can almost imagine that I am standing on the unpolluted soil of that post-human world. At this moment, I believe that it is the most appealing image I can recall ever having experienced.

More of This Stuff

The director of FEMA and his ilk are making excuses about their inability to foresee that so many people in New Orleans would fail to leave the city in a hurricane emergency. Brown is even saying that victims share the blame for their plight. Apparently, Mr. Brown didn't bother to look at the conclusions drawn from his own agency's "Hurricane Pam" exercise, discussed in this post at Unqualified Offerings. An LSU Hurricane Center report on the exercise includes this:
"From the simulation, officials estimate that a storm like Hurricane Pam would... cause flooding that would leave 300,000 people trapped in New Orleans, many of whom would not have private transportation for evacuation...."

Brown is a very inattentive man, it seems. His agency finds that an evacuation of the city is apt to leave 300,000 citizens behind, but when a real disaster strikes and many citizens are left behind when the city is evacuated, he is surprised. This guy has to be one of the all-time champion bureaucratic bunglers. That he has joined the chorus of those who are passing the buck to the victims makes him one of the most repugnant, as well.