This morning a newsperson on NH Public Radio spoke of Hurricane Irene headed toward the U.S. and of a small tornado that touched down in northern NH yesterday. Then he said something like "And in other weather stories, parts of the East Coast are cleaning up after yesterday's earthquake." I heard him repeat those lines again later in the morning. I can only hope that this fellow, who is well spoken and seems bright, was reading copy written for him by another and not thinking much about the words. Please tell me he doesn't think a geological event was "weather."
It did remind me of the terrible 2004 earthquake and tsunami off Sumatra, Indonesia. As my wife and I watched the story unfold on TV news, the thought popped in my head, "I wonder how long it will take for some nutty environmental group to blame this on global warming." Well, I didn't have to wait 24 hours for the opportunists to come out of the ecocloset and pronounce just that. Although when other groups convinced them they were wacky, the claim was quickly dropped and the media let it die.
I thought yesterday's 5.8 magnitude East Coast event was thrilling, especially occurring so close to DC. Not that I want to see anyone hurt or serious damage done to structures, I don't. But it is a reminder to us that we live on a changeable, restless planet and not on some static stone. The fact that our planet operates independent of we mortals is humbling and a reminder that we're not in control of everything. And many in DC could use that kind of reminder. Unfortunately, those that need it most were off on recess or vacation and probably missed the message.