Thursday, July 5, 2007

Mutiny at the National Hurricane Center

Thunder and lightening politics at the National Hurricane Center should frighten all of us after watching the Justice Department's soap opera meltdown. Is there any place in the Bush administration where peace and tranquility reign? Maybe Cheney's undisclosed bunker.

Now we have whistleblower senior forecasters versus the whistleblowing head of the National Hurricane Center versus the NOAA posse that descended from the administration. The Sturm und Drang is a bit much in light of the fact that we are in the midst of Hurricane Season, admittedly, a calm one for now. No one will ever forget it was the dog days of August that brought us Andrew in 1992 and August 29, 2005 was the infamy of Katrina and our national shame of being unprepared.

The National Hurricane Center needs to have its head on the radars and other prognostic tools. If they are throwing spitballs in gale force winds at each other while we look aghast at that spectacle, then we are indeed, in an Age of Incompetence. The effects of Katrina were cataloged in the before and after stages in film, When the Levees Broke, and books like The Storm: What Went Wrong and Why During Hurricane Katrina (out this month in paperback) by the marine scientist and disaster preparedness expert, Ivor van Heerden with Mike Bryan. Breach of Faith is poignantly written by Jed Horne and it echoes that which we would not want to endure, ever again.

Preparation matters and we are relying on the National Hurricane Center.

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