[Marxism] Re: Tsunami

acpollack2 at juno.com acpollack2 at juno.com
Tue Dec 28 15:49:40 MST 2004

The day after the hurricane the Times ran an abysmal editorial whose tone was “that’s Nature, couldn’t have done anything.”  The very next day they said:
"No human power could have stopped the wall of water that washed over low-lying coasts from Indonesia to East Africa on Sunday. But human foresight could, and should, have mitigated the resulting tragedy…. That death toll could have been cut at least in half if the affected region had had the same kind of international warning network the United States has set up to protect the adjacent Pacific basin.  
"Of all the world's vulnerable regions, only the Pacific has such a warning network in place. Sunday's events suggest the value of extending such a system. Within 15 minutes of the earthquake, the Pacific warning center in Honolulu issued alerts to its member countries. These included Thailand and Indonesia, which were unfortunately so close to the original epicenter that towering walls of water were already claiming their first victims. But another two hours remained before 40-foot seas crashed into Sri Lanka, and three to four hours before the huge waves reached southern India. That could have given people in danger time to escape to high ground - if they had been told in advance and evacuation plans were in place. Such an avoidable tragedy should never be allowed to happen again.

“In a 21st-century age of global Internet, satellite and cellphone communications, there can be no excuse for failing to make sure that lifesaving information reaches everyone in the path of these killer waves. Once a strong earthquake has been detected and analyzed, the waves' trajectories can be reliably predicted, and timely and specific warnings can be transmitted to those areas lying in their expected paths. 

“There are certain to be additional tsunamis in this region in the future, although the historical record suggests that it may be several decades before the next one strikes. That time should be used to create a reliable warning system that reaches all coastal areas. Washington, which has already offered "all appropriate assistance" to the affected countries, is uniquely qualified to provide the needed technical and humanitarian help.” 
(end of Times quotes)
Will such changes happen?  Well, look at the total lack of changes since the August 2003 blackout in the US.  We can only be sure something will change if working people take up this cause, if unions, farmers’ groups, etc. make common cause and demand across borders that the data -- and resources to act on that data -- be shared and used for planning to save lives and homes.

Let the newly reunited world union federations, the Social Forums on every continent, the antiwar movements, raise their voices together and demand an end to the genocidal policy of economic and environmental anarchy (i.e., of capitalism)!

More information about the Marxism mailing list