We’ve had floods, massive floods that covered half the province. We’ve had snowstorms and blizzards where you can’t see beyond the end of your nose. We’ve had tornadoes that re-allocated real estate from here to there, droughts that caused all kinds of havoc, but three things we’ve never had are sea water flooding our streets, or a major earthquake, or monumental stupidity.
Well, that’s what I wanted to address – stupidity I mean, especially the monumental kind. Natural disasters are Mother Nature’s business, and she does what she does with no questions asked or apologies given. If she decides to do something, you’d better get the hell out of the road or suffer the consequences.
But stupidity is the exclusive domain of humanity. Every time there is a natural disaster of any kind, it becomes more evident, no more so than at the CBC. What I’m talking about is the aftermath of the earthquake in B.C. the other day. Wendy Mesley, one of CBC’s senior reporters had the head of B.C.’s emergency measures organization on the T.V. carpet and was cross-examining her about the lateness of the organization in notifying people about the earthquake and a possible tsunami. Apparently it took the U.S. six minutes to send out warnings while we in Canada waited for FORTY-SIX minutes. Why was that, she wanted to know in no uncertain terms?
The lady calmly explained that people had been educated to recognize the earthquake itself as the warning to get into their cars and hit for higher ground. Makes sense doesn’t it? Obviously a lot of people agreed because the roads were crowded everywhere.
Not good enough for old Wendy. She was hell-bent for election to get the woman to admit that the emergency measures organization was negligent in advising the public. C’mon Wendy, how much more of a warning can you get than to have your house shaking to know enough to get your ass out of there? Gawd, and even Peter Mansbridge fell into that mindset.
I think back to that disastrous tsunami in Indonesia a few years back where hundreds of thousands lost their lives, many needlessly. I remember thinking, why do these people build their businesses right on the seashore? They deliberately expose themselves to danger. That’s their fault. What struck me at that time was that elephants in the area moved to higher ground in plenty of time. Not an elephant life was lost. Hm – food for thought. Those who waited for an emergency measures announcement died. Those who listened to Mother Nature survived.
Well, that’s not the point. The point is that paying attention to these nincompoops and their ideas about doing nothing until notified by emergency measures organizations can easily be fatal. At times like these, nobody gives a rip about entertainment value of the news. I’ll tell you what though. If they were to use all that hot air and energy to co-ordinate rescues, escape routes, directions to shelters and safe places instead of nailing somebody to the proverbial cross for their own self-gratification, they might just look a little less silly. And in fact, they might even be seen as being useful. Hah! That would be a first. At least that’s how it seems to me from up here on the top shelf.