Two major subjects at the end of the year.
One is a primary concern for the country I live in, one we need to solve to form a more perfect union, provide for the common defense of its people and to promote their general welfare.
The other was a storm.
I will not write of the massacre–I have nothing original to say and little in the way of comfort to offer to those affected by it.
I will write briefly of the storm, and a perfect storm it was.
Tropical Storm Sandy was not unusual in terms of strength. What made it perfect was its combination with an extra-tropical storm and its arrival on land at the wrong time of the month and the worst time of day.
It is being hyped after the fact because of several reasons. Those who didn’t prepare adequately for such a storm would love to picture it as a storm of demonic proportions–it would absolve them of responsibility. Maybe we’ll all forget that fools chose to put back-up generators for public service buildings in the basement. Well, maybe not.
Those who have seized on the latest theme in the never-ending saga of global warming–that extreme weather today is caused by global warming–were happy to assign Sandy’s destruction to climate change. One would have to ignore plain logic as well as history to accept this, but these activists seem to think if they shriek loud enough the point will be hammered home.
But there have been dozens of stronger, more destructive hurricanes and tropical storms in the history of the American East Coast. There have been dozens that integrated with subtropical storms to strengthen their punch. There have been storms with higher sea surge, storms causing ten times as many fatalities, storms that lasted longer and storms that came later in the year.
And of course there are the insurance companies, waiting for a post-facto declaration of the status of Storm Sandy. If they get the right call, then many of their policies won’t need to pay out, due to force majeure (act of God or Nature).
It’s much easier to write about Storm Sandy than about Sandy Hook. Although more than 100 lives were lost due to the storm, they were lost in a familiar way, to circumstances that have taken tens of thousands of lives within living memory.
But hell, who am I kidding? Writing about the aftermath of both–it’s the same story. Politicians, lobbyists and power groups manipulating the facts and creating competing narratives to push existing proposals or long-held plans one step closer to completion. If they could climb on the bodies of the slain to better make their point they would do so cheerfully.
Build better and safer. Control the possession of firearms. May 2013 be a very good year for all.