On December 26,2004,a massive earthquake occurred in the Indian Ocean,creating a tsunami
:a 500 Mph tidal wave,that crashed ashore in 8 southern Asian nations,and that hit Sudan,on the Horn of Africa.
As of today,the death count from this disaster is hovering at the 68,000
level,and it is anticipated at least twice
this number will perish from other causes-notably disease and starvation.Millions are homeless,and the long-term effect on Asia's often fragile economy is impossible to assess.
For all that,before the surging waters had a chance to recede,
the "Tsunami Tsurfers"
were jostling for a place before the video cameras of the "Mainstream Media": rushing to take advantage of the disaster to promote themselves and/or their causes (mostly the former).
One "environmentalist" opined the disaster was the result of global warming. Because of global warming,he explained,more people had built homes,set up vacation resorts,etc. along the Asian coastline-where they were vulnerable to tidal waves.
Nobody had the nerve (apparently) to point out the fact people who depend on the sea live as close as possible to it: something that has been the case for tens of thousands of years.
Another "environmental group" decided the earthquake must
have been caused by sonar pinging
-used by oil companies to locate undersea oil deposits. They pointed out as "evidence" the fact certain marine mammals had beached themselves: conveniently disregarding the fact there had been an earthquake in nearby Australia a few days earlier.
A reporter on Fox News
got all glittery-eyed over the possibility an early warning system might have saved lives-if it had been in place.This rather fatuous line of questioning was squelched very quickly by the amused expert who was being interviewed.He noted,had such a warning network been in place,there would have been no way to warn potential victims in time;that such a warning would only have served to add panic as an additional death cause.
The NY Daily News
made the tsunami tragedy a front-page item...sort of. Some reasonably photogenic "supermodel" had been injured badly by the tsunami (broken hip,legs,etc.) and had suffered the loss of her boyfriend,who was swept away.The News ran a provocative photo
of the young woman as their cover picture,and made her
story the center of their coverage.(One of the TV networks did likewise.)
,in the person of Norwegian-born Jan Egeland
, decided to get in a few "cheap shots" at the US (Nothing new there !) Egeland,who clearly has an exaggerated notion of his worth,sneered at the initial US contribution,and inferred it was stingy. (Never mind the fact that it exceeded the total contribution of the 21 member European Union !)
This little faux pas proved a bit embarassing-even for the UN-and Egeland slunk back in front of the cameras the next day-looking very put upon -to announce he had been "misunderstood".(Hey:
I understood him VERY clearly the first time !)
In days to come,we may expect some further "tsunami tsurfing".
There is no tsunami warning network on our East Coast (we apparently have no real need for one) so we may expect some of our sharper-elbowed Senators to begin demanding a warning network be installed (at a cost of billions) on their side of the nation.
(Look for Chuck Schumer (D,NY),Hillary Clinton (D,NY),Edward Kennedy (D,Ma),Frank Lautenberg (D,NJ) and Jon Corzine (D,NJ) to kick off the opening chorus !
"TSUNAMI TSURFING" - IT'S WONDERFUL !!