5/07/2007

What would we do if Yellowstone blew?



Times-News: Magicvalley.com, Twin Falls, ID




The brief bulletin above documents the subtle but notable series of minor earthquakes between Yellowstone National Park, which may have been imperceptible to the average individual, but this geologic activity coupled with other indications that the volcanic activity has intensified might shake the ground under the heretofore disinterested media and bureaucrats. It is remarkable that we know, without question, that Yellowstone Park is a super volcano and it is believed to be thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of years overdue for a major eruption.



Nobody has even attempted to go beyond apocalyptic prophecies to consider what man should do in the event that the earth buries them from beneath. The Discovery Channel did an interesting expose on what it would be like to live in a world after a worst-case size eruption, and the History Channel has done some interesting informative specials about the emerging science underlying the impact of previous Yellowstone eruptions.




Some estimates of the damage a massive eruption would do to the American Heartland indicate that the "bread basket of the world" could be buried under feet of ash that would render the Earth's most arable land desolate. The ability of the US government to meet the costs of recovery and guaranteed security would be instantly jeopardized, unless there is a doomsday scenario action plan, or disaster aversion strategy which offers hope for social and civilizational sustainability through the preservation of the rich soil of Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and all other states that wish to work with them to solve long-term food crisis.



My personal feelings are strongly behind the notion that first, the government's responsibility in this matter should be simply that of building a consensus within the scientific community in terms of a risk assessment and reasonable expectations for how an effective strategy could be crafted with the knowledge we currently have at our disposal. As in all matters of inter-state commerce, the federal government would also play an important role as coordinator of logistics and distribution networks, but under no circumstances should any plan be built on the dime of a country that has other crisis of far greater and less speculative importance, such as Social Security, defense and education.



Human suffering and global famine are matters that we all, as Americans (particularly Midwestern Americans), have a stake in, so just as current strategies to combat global warming have been built upon markets for trading carbon emissions, it should appear to a reasonable person that there is a market in crafting the fail-safe plan for saving millions, perhaps billions of humans from dying in a global famine.



My initial thoughts on what I think should be done to subvert destiny, involves adding a layer to the agricultural landscape of Illinois which would make the rapid implementation of a layered tarping system to be deployed within the amount time we should reasonably expect under a real life scenario. As the ash falls upon the tarp, layers would be removed and the ash relocated while the soil was treated and preserved, thus providing for an instant resumption of planting when no threat of contamination is any longer posed. This would of course be just one step in what would be a massive and coordinated effort, but since it is clear to me that the worst-case scenario of a Yellowstone eruption is the collapse of the food chain throughout North America, it seems like tending to Mother Nature is good place to start looking for solutions to problems born from her hellfire and brimstone.







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