Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Don't Panic

I know, I know. Everyone is freaking out about Rita. Taking precautions is obviously necessary, but panic leads people to make irrational decisions. And in our current fragile economic state, panic (fueled by a full week of pre-storm suspense) might have really bad, far-reaching effects on the national -- and even international -- economy.

I'm not saying any of the current evacuations are panicky. No, evacuation is smart. Panic, however, is reflected in the plunging stock market. Or what I fear I will find tomorrow when I go to fill up gas.

Scientifically speaking, I gather that there's a decent chance the storm may weaken considerably before landfall. A couple of models I've seen suggest the storm is likely to drop to Category 2 or 3 status, because of the shallow water, changing wind conditions, and the fact that storms simply don't hold together at Category 5 intensity for very long.

Still bad, but hopefully not a situation where the entire city of Galveston is wiped off the map (as one 'worst-case scenario' has predicted). I'm no meteorologist, of course; if anyone who knows more about these things than I wants to 'school' me on this, I would welcome it.

Let's cross our fingers, shall we? And maybe turn off the TV: watching that angry red donut on its savage westward dance can be addictive. But it fuels the panic.


Suvendra Nath Dutta said...

Say, did you notice something? All that ballyhoo'ed claims that race and poverty were now front and center have disappeared entirely. The national obsession with the weather channel and radar pictures continues unabated, while all threats of a discussion on class has receded away.

On another note, you know its a bit of a relief when you have non-{music or literature} related items on your blog, right? My expenses have gone up significantly since I discovered your blog.

11:42 AM  

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