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Bronnen bij Amerika en Katrina: voorspelbaarheid

Een van de meer interessante aspecten aan het Katrina-voorbeeld is de omgang met de kennis aangereikt door de wetenschap. Het idee is dat die kennis altijd gemakkelijk wordt opgenomen - het tegendeel is waar. Die kennis wordt alleen maar opgenomen zolang men, de rest van de maatschappij en met name het ebstuur, er redelijk direct materieel voordeel in ziet. Is dat laatste niet het geval, dan is men op zijn best sceptisch, maar als die kennis een waarschuwing inhoudt voor mogelijke problemen in de toekomst, wil men het doodgewoon niet weten. Ook in het zogenaamde "vooruitstrevende" Amerika, welke omschrijving  ook in dit geval een sprookje is. Zoals Katrina laat zien:
 

Van cnn.com, 02-09-2005, Reuters
 
Experts: Models predicted New Orleans disaster

Virtually everything that has happened in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina struck was predicted by experts and in computer models, so emergency management specialists wonder why authorities were so unprepared.

"The scenario of a major hurricane hitting New Orleans was well anticipated, predicted and drilled around," said Clare Rubin, an emergency management consultant who also teaches at the Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management at George Washington University.
    Computer models developed at Louisiana State University and other institutions made detailed projections of what would happen if water flowed over the levees protecting the city or if they failed.
    In July 2004, more than 40 federal, state, local and volunteer organizations practiced this very scenario in a five-day simulation code-named "Hurricane Pam", where they had to deal with an imaginary storm that destroyed over half a million buildings in New Orleans and forced the evacuation of a million residents.
    At the end of the exercise Ron Castleman, regional director for the Federal Emergency Management Agency declared: "We made great progress this week in our preparedness efforts.
    "Disaster response teams developed action plans in critical areas such as search and rescue, medical care, sheltering, temporary housing, school restoration and debris management. These plans are essential for quick response to a hurricane but will also help in other emergencies," he said.
    In light of that, said disaster expert Bill Waugh of Georgia State University, "It's inexplicable how unprepared for the flooding they were." He said a slow decline over several years in funding for emergency management was partly to blame.   ...
    ... Louisiana State University engineer Joseph Suhayda and others have warned for years that defenses could fail. In 2002, the New Orleans Times Picayune published a five-part series on "The Big One" examining what might happen if they did.
    It predicted that 200,000 people or more would be unwilling or unable to heed evacuation orders and thousands would die, that people would be housed in the Superdome, that aid workers would find it difficult to gain access to the city as roads became impassable, as well as many other of the consequences that actually unfolded after Katrina hit this week.


Red.:   Waarop men achteraf reageert met botte leugens:
 

  In comments on Thursday, President George W. Bush said, "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."

Omdat men vaak welbewust andere en verkeerde keuzes maakt:
 

  Ernest Sternberg, a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Buffalo, said law enforcement agencies were often more eager to invest in high tech "toys" than basic communications.

Al die keuzes tezamen leidende tot:
 

  Underlying the situation has been the general reluctance of government at any level to invest in infrastructure or emergency management, said David McEntire, who teaches emergency management at the University of North Texas.

Leidende tot conclusies als:
 

  "No-one cares about disasters until they happen. That is a political fact of life," he said.

Dat is natuurlijk niet helemaal waar: men geeft wel om rampen, maar men, de irrationele, emotionele, met de onderbuik levende alfa-gemeenschap die de baas is in de maatschappij over de hele wereld , geeft toe aan de irrationele, emotionele onderbuikgevoelens die zeggen dat het gebakje te prefereren is boven de bruine boterham, of de ene mashmellow nu boven de twee mashmellows over twintig minuten .
    Is nog onderbelicht gebleven waarom  dit voorbeeld zo interessant is. Hierom: precies dezelfde processen spelen natuurlijk in de klimaatdiscussie.


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