American Elephants

Send Some Grateful Thoughts To Those Who Provide the Warnings We Need. by The Elephant's Child
October 4, 2022, 9:44 pm
Filed under: News, Politics | Tags: ,

How important to you is the news of the day? I suspect that for a great many of us that the answer to that question is all over the map. Partly, it depends on how you were brought up. I grew up very, very rural in the mountains of Idaho, a fairly long time ago, Getting the news was a very big deal. We had our own U.S. Post Office, and the mail was delivered every week day on the week-day train. We had radio, but that was before the age of television. We subscribed to Time, Life, Fortune, Reader’s Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, The Idaho Daily Statesman, and the little local weekly, and I think I’m leaving one or two out.

We forget the vast steps that put us in touch with the place we came from. Here I am in Washington State. and at least moderately in touch with events all around the world, watching the Russian invasion of the Ukraine, and reading about Japan’s reaction to shells fired at their ships in international waters. It’s not that I am deeply informed about what is going on across the world, but that the technology available allows me to find out almost immediately should I so desire. Think that over for a moment, and then realize that it wasn’t all that long ago on the scale of things that we were celebrating the Pony Express that allowed news from the nation’s capitol to reach West Coast in a matter of weeks rather than months. For that matter, consider when news traveled “around the Horn” by sailing ship down around the tip of South America to reach the new towns on the West Coast. There was a time when the building of the Panama Canal was a very bug deal indeed, because it cut the time it took for news from our East Coast to reach California. We seldom take time to appreciate the vast steps that made today’s nearly instant news possible.

We just had a major hurricane in Florida. We don’t know thoroughly yet just how much damage there was, but everybody was warned. well in advance .We knew it was coming, when it would arrive, how to prepare, and what damage resulted. Sorry for those folks who had major damages, but it wasn’t all that long ago that there would have been no warnings, no preparations, and far, far more grief and damage.

This offers no comfort to those whose house was just flattened by a natural disaster, of course But to offer a moment’s gratitude to those who are making advance warnings possible and giving us a chance to prepare. Here on the Northern West Coast, we have a very occasional major storm or volcano eruption with lots of warning, and even some mild earthquakes. We owe a major debt of gratitude to those who have allowed us to progress to dangers that we mostly get advance warnings about. Life is uncertain the old saying goes, take a moment to send a kindly thought to those who devote their lives to developing the warning systems that save so many lives and so much grief.

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