Nature not 9/11 is the Major National Security Threat to Watch Out For!
By Hwaa Irfan
As we approach the end of 2011, the U.S. has had to face many challenges’ to the world it once knew, on many levels that question the notion of security. The most well known date 9/11 that the corporate media and those who follow suit is focused on is that of 9/11, not 2008, the year that marks the beginning of the global economic crisis. As of that year, the notion of personal security has taken a brutal knock on the head demanding a review of all that has been taken for granted not just on the human level, but also the earth beneath our feet that helps us stand up in the world.
Nature has been playing her part throughout the year from floods, earthquakes, blizzards, wildfires, hurricanes, tropical storms, and tornados since New Year’s Eve, which began with a tornado. After 2008, 2011 breaks the record of disasters for the U.S. Prior to Hurricane Irene, an earthquake of 5.3 hit Colorado which could be felt as far as New Mexico.
With the most significant event being Hurricane Irene, followed by tornadoes for many Americans this would put the event of 9/11 into its proper context. Time to put 9/11 behind, and to stop punishing the rest of the world for what was clearly a product of the U.S. its self, the country was brought to a standstill for two days at a total loss of U.S$25bn – U.S$30bn at a time of increasing unemployment, and a national budget crisis deficit. Contact with the rest of the world was seriously compromised as connections were cut, and 10,000 flights were canceled. With storms that reached up to 11 feet high in North Carolina, 4 deaths, 580,000 customers without power, and 18 counties under evacuation orders suffering an estimated U.S$100mn loss in crops. In Washington D,C, 200 trees were felled by Irene In Virginia there were 152 car crashes, 2 reported deaths, damaged homes, 11 communities evacuated, and 600,000 customers. Florida reported two deaths, and 200 roads were closed in Maine. In New York, the home of the Twin Towers attack, and Wall Street had to have all public transport had to be shutdown. In New Jersey nuclear facility Oyster Creek was closed, while areas within New Jersey turned into islands, as water inundated the streets, and farmland that was subject to continuous new developments. In Maryland, nuclear facility Calvert Cliffs 1 had to be shutdown as a transformer was hit by a loose, but large piece of aluminium.
It was nature’s handiwork behind the estimated cost in damages at U.S$7bn. In Delaware 16, 000 chickens died in Kent County due to flooding. In Massachusetts, bridges were dislodged, and cornfields were flooded. In Vermont, a dozen bridges were washed away by the floods, and in Brooklyn 3,724 trees were damaged.
As much as floodings can be disastrous the impact on human life was minimal, and the blessings from a flooding compensate for the period of drought that the U.S. has been going through, but how ironic to be followed by a wildfire, the largest that Texas has ever had in a week of 200 fires, destroying 1,000 homes filling the air with pine and cedar. Totaling the loss of acreage to 3. 8mn since November 2010, at a cost of U.S$5bn to the agricultural industry. In all, the disasters before Hurricane Irene have racked up:
- Upper Midwest flooding (summer): An estimated U.S$2bn
- Mississippi River flooding (spring and summer): An estimated U.S$2bn – U.S$4bn
- Drought, heat wave and wildfires in the Southern Plains and Southwest (spring and summer): An estimated U.S$5bn
- Tornadoes (May): An estimated U.S$7bn in damage in central and southern states
- Tornados (April): An estimated U.S$9bn in damage in central and southern states
- Tornadoes (April): An estimated U.S$2bn in damage in central and southern states
- Tornadoes (April): An estimated U.S$2.2bn in central and southern states
- Tornadoes (April 4-5): An estimated U.S$2.3bn in damage in central and southern states
- Groundhog Day Blizzard: An estimated U.S$2 bn in damage after a massive winter storm dumped snow across the central, eastern and northeastern sections of the country.
On August 23rd Hurricane Irene, there was an earthquake in Virginia that was far from uniform around the epicentre adding to a list of 3053 earthquakes at different ranges on the Richter Scale. Felt as far as Toronto, Canada, there were 19 aftershocks. Cracks were made in the 126-year old obelisk, the Washington Monument, and the National Cathedral where three of the four spires fell onto the roof. The impact from the Virginia earthquake reached Washington where cracks appeared in the interior walls of the prestigious Smithsonian Institute building, and a gas leak from the Washington Reagan National Airport. In all, there have been 600 reports of damage from the earthquake at an estimated cost of U.S$17.5mn. This is in addition to the estimated U.S$60mn loss in crops from Hurricane Irene.
We as humans have only lived just over 100 years doing things our own way without any connection to the earth, and a decreasing sense of the unity of all life. That unity includes the land we stand on, all that emanates from it, and all that lives above, in and below it. It is a symbiotic relationship that we have interrupted as a right to do as we please without consequence. We have led a life aggressively and in excess as the earth spits up and churns out showing its mastery. As we take our own mastery for granted, may we be humbled, and grateful for what we have been given as a long outstanding lesson in harmony.
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