Atlanta “Snowpocalypse” 2014 – Give Me A Break . . .

I just became aware today, of the mess that is the traffic situation in Atlanta, and in many areas of the south, today (and for the last day or so). I got a little bit of back ground information (and I admit, a chuckle) out of reading an article posted by someone on facebook.

But it was not until I turned on CNN a few minutes ago (oh, why did I go to channel 15 . . .), did I get a more accurate picture of what was happening. Or more importantly, what the mindset is about the whole situation in the area.

The whole thing looks a bit like what we are used to as our first snow fall here on the Canadian prairies, and other northern climates. But to be fair, I understand the climate of Georgia and Atlanta, and as such, can have some compassion. They are not used to this weather, nor are many other areas in the south, so its as much a shock to them as 2 or 3 (or more) feet of snow is to us.

But that compassion only goes so far.

When I turned on CNN, the first thing I heard was blame shifting. Though it was mostly spoken by the reporters, one can only assume that its the majority mindset in the area.

The first thing I heard, was total blame for the entirety of the situation, falling on the politicians of the area. Mostly on the mayor of Atlanta, but I imagine also others in the area (including the state). People were angry with the mayors office, for apparently not being prepared for this in advance, despite knowing this was coming.

But then came the rantings. Blame was put solely on the mayor for not closing the schools, and otherwise telling the people of the city to just stay home. There was much animosity about the city not having (it seems) every street plowed by today. And the most irksome rant, about the lack of sanding and salting on many of the cities roadways. This being said, all the while they are talking about (or showing photos or footage of) gridlock and/or abandoned vehicles on major thoroughfares all over the city.

Think about it. How can salt and sanding vehicles (nor plows) clear up a road clogged with traffic? And even if its not, how can a road clogged with abandoned vehicles be cleared?

Kudos to the supermarkets, hardware/department stores, churches and all other businesses, residents and organizations  that took in stranded people during that whole mess. Its always nice to see others reaching out to the desperate, in their time of need (I admit, in that situation, I can’t think of a better place to be stranded then a supermarket lol).

But that said, I have to point a finger in a few directions.

In the area, the finger seems to be pointed squarely at the local politicians, for apparently not being prepared. Maybe that might be part of the problem.

But first thing I have to acknowledge, is a big part of this is at the hand of the business community and the school districts in the area. The mayor was right in that the decision should have been made to close the schools, and at the same time, businesses should probably have better thought though there release of employees. The mayer was correct, in his observation that releasing the populace of a city of that size all at the same time, in those conditions, was a recipe for disaster.

But there is also a personal component to this. It is not like the mayor, the schools, and all the businesses are the only ones with accessibility to the forecast for the upcoming days. Today, we are all more connected to information then EVER before. Most of us have cable TV services, broadband, or mobile smart phone devices, all of which can give us access to the forecast. And as such, we should be able to see these things coming.

Basically, this argument that its ALL the mayor’s fault for not telling people to just stay home, is ridicules. Adults should be able to make the judgment THEMSELVES, of whether or not its safe to go out or not.

I can understand that there will be situations where someone has to go to their job out of necessity (health care services, utilities etc), and some employers are just assholes, but by and large, I can’t see that ALL of the business community are as ignorant and self serving  as to put the whole city at risk.

When I hear about school buses being stuck in gridlock all whole night, and babies being born in the gridlock, I do not put all the blame on politicians. I put most of the blame, on the people that did not have to be there. Those that very likely could have stayed home, but didn’t. Not only are you delaying the clean up efforts that your bitching and moaning isn’t happening, your also presenting a public safety hazard, by driving up emergency service response times.

Everyone is talking about the gridlock baby, but consider this.

What happens if someone is having a health complication, and needs to get medical attention right away? What if there is a fire (a home can be engulfed in 5 minutes)? What if there is a domestic (or other) disturbance that warrants immediate police presence?
All of those situations can turn very nasty, very quick, if all of the personnel are stuck IN, or behind, a wall of gridlock and abandoned vehicles.

This is why I am forced to say, wake the fuck up people. And I am not just pointing out the residents of Atlanta, or the south either. When the weather turns nasty, and you don’t need to be out. DON’T GO OUT!!!

Its not just you and the other commuters that are being inconvenienced. You are a very probable threat to public safety, and could be an unnecessary threat to lives.

Selfishness – The Biggest Problem With Humanity Today?

WSJ

In my travels in the world of twitter, I came across this tweet from the Wall Street Journal, asking a simple question of their followers (and presumably, readers). A look down the list of peoples reply tweets, shows most people answering the question honestly, using both options listed.

But when I read this, it struck me that there is a 3ed option that seems to have been missed by all of the above, and an option that seems quite important.

Basically, your being asked if you base your college choices around your passion, or your monetary goals. Which both are centered around the individual. Option #3, is a path  that benefits the species (humanity) as a whole.

Though its hardly surprising that most people would not realize this, it seems important that they do. The reason that people in modern society’s can for the most part, pick and choose their careers based on their personal passions and characteristics, is because all the variables of personal survival were largely removed by the advent of agriculture. When you do not have to worry about where your next meal is coming from, how your going to heat your house etc, then you can concentrate your energy in other areas. Which has been great for science, the arts (of all kinds), and any number of other subjects.

But in todays world, it is becoming more and more apparent, that the world that we have thrived in right from past generations to today, is changing. Whether you see it as a natural event, or a mankind driven event, is irrelevent to the fact that, the change is happening. Though climate change is the first to come to mind (and arguably one of the most dangerous), it is certainly not the only factor.
The various resources that blanket and make our modern world possible, are drying up. These are resources that most now are heavily reliant on for survival, and also resources that have no known replacements. Oil is the one that comes to mind first, in this case.
A large part of the conundrum lies with figureheads from decades past putting all their eggs in the basket of petroleum. Even though literally every other aspect of life was changing, the combustion engine was not to be one of those things. The same could be said for almost anything associated with the fossil fuel industry. Why would you want to change, at the expense of your profits?

And so, you have the world we live in today.

The greed of the petrol industry has largely squashed research into sources of post-petroleum energy, leaving us nearly at the bottom of the tank, 25,000 miles from the nearest station. The affects of the combustion of all those fossil fuels, becomes more and more evident with each passing week, assuming you choose to see it for what it is. And on top of that, we keep on chugging along with our rampant resource consumption, even though those are also drying up.

Some people see the iceberg, but choose to deny it, or to look away. Some see it, and think “Fuck it. Whats done is done” (me, I admit).

But the vast majority, are blissfully unaware. Their parents, and the society around them, has taught them that self preservation and fulfillment trumps all else, and so they go about their daily lives as such. Since the resources keep flowing into the cities, its easy to see why someone can become so immersed in the life. A holographic life, if I use a term once used by a respected online friend of mine. Though mother nature gives those city folk a kick in the ass and makes the changes come to life every so often, for the most part, the delusion is unbroken. I see it in the media, online, even in my own family (dwellers in Manitoba‘s capital).

Which is a scary thought. When one considers that the only thing that may break the delusion, is the whole system gradually unraveling before all our eyes. Which is a day late and a dollar short, or put in simpler terms, to late.

Though the problems that face us all (whether you agree or acknowledge them or not does not change there status  as facts) are seemingly gargantuan, all problem resolution begins with small steps. The first being with the collective attitude of humanity. Though personal growth and fulfillment was possible in past years and decades, it is no longer so.

Its time to become less of a city full of individuals, and more of a community. The first step is looking out for one another. Then you can work on ways of being self sufficient, and on building networks of communities to purchase/trade/barter for items that can not be procured in your area.

Selfishness is not good for anyone. And collectively crashing and burning, is certainly not going to do anyone any good. So why not start now?

The change is on the way, whether you like it or not.

A Dream – Edition 3

I just woke from, to say the least, an interesting dream.

in the dream, we (me and I’m unsure who) were traveling somewhere in the US, and we had arrived at an airport. I had found out however, that I could not bring my 3 big bags of chips home on the plane, so I left and ended up in some day camping spot, where I left them.

Next, I found myself in a mall type if place (airport terminal?), looking out a window, watching a storm. Then I seen 2 small incoming twisters, so I ran into the mall and yelled “TORNADO! GET DOWN!”, and dropped flat on my stomach on the floor.

This mall had a huge long glass roof, and I remember seeing the “Tornado’s” gliding harmlessly over it.

And then, I recall somehow seeing one of those plastic bus shelters outside (how, I’m unsure. Its a dream lol). I looked, and I seen it collapsed to the ground, as of being hammered by a down burst.
Then I seen the down burst get stronger, which was when I rolled out of the “Big glass room”, figuring it safer NOT to be under the glass (same applies for tornadoes fyi, though I didn’t follow that lol).

Anyway, this “downburst” was HUGE, in my dream world, it was like a freight train. I then seen a portion of the glass give way in the middle of the room, and heard the cries of people who were still on the floor (being pelted by glass).

I remember panicking and being horrified by what I seen. Then I thought “OMG climate change is entering free fall”.

And I woke up, with the climate change thing still fresh in my mind (it took a couple seconds to realize that the dream wasn’t real lol).

What a strange dream.

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