Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Great Review of Warnings

Another wonderful review of Warnings:

More than 100 years ago, Mark Twain wrote, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." Mike Smith is one person who has been doing something about it, for decades now. As he writes in Warnings: The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather, from a "beginning involving spare World War II leftovers, we have developed an effective and highly cost-effective system that saves lives and dollars, nearly every week." He is writing about the system of weather tracking radar, weather spotting persons and equipment, and meteorology professionals that work together to forecast and warn of severe weather wherever (in the US) it occurs.

...and, since this is the 5th anniversary weekend of Katrina,

This thread is strongest in the chapter about Hurricane Andrew and the three chapters devoted to Hurricane Katrina. Andrew showed us just how damaging a Category 5 hurricane could be. Katrina showed us that the "powers that be" had learned nothing from Andrew. Smith is particularly disdainful of the criminally inept performance of the two governors and the New Orleans mayor. Come to think of it, this is the only major piece of writing about the Katrina disaster that puts the blame where it lies, rather than mostly upon President Bush. Though he does get his share of the blame, the President was a lesser player next to those who should have acted and either did nothing or actively hindered those who were willing to help!

The full review is here.

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