Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Searching for Voltaire II

Auditions have been extended:

Does anyone think that if the wave had been in the Atlantic, heading toward Europe, the warnings would have failed to reach the countries at risk?

Martin Cohen
St.-Julien-sur-Sarthe, France


... "one of the few places in the Indian Ocean that got the message of the quake was Diego Garcia, a speck of an island with a United States Navy base." Contacting "appropriate people in Sri Lanka or India was harder."

I can imagine how loud the reaction would be if more than 40,000 Americans had died because of the lack of an early warning system. The fact is, the United States and other countries in the West regard the lives of those in developing countries as cheap and expendable.

While globalization is regarded as something that must be exported, there is silence with respect to the export of precious information that would save lives in other parts of the world.

Sujatha Byravan
Cambridge, Mass


It's easy for George W. Bush to express sorrow and to send condolences and even some aid for the Indian Ocean tsunami devastation, since he appears to bear no culpability, as he does in other situations in other parts of the world.

But the next time there is a severe offshore earthquake and resulting tsunami, the sea level will be just a little bit higher, and the water and destruction will go a bit further inland and kill even more people. And for that, he will bear some culpability for not even wanting to consider global warming, much less do anything about it as the leader of the country most responsible for man-made warming and ice-cap melting.

Pierre E. Biscaye
Palisades, N.Y., Dec. 27, 2004
The writer is a special research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

The Academy's Committee on Absolutely Clueless, Unintended Humor, reports that we live in the best of all possible worlds.

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