I didn't begin blogging for political reasons, but every now and then I hear a politician say something so ludicrous, so ignorant, that I feel a need to comment. Especially in reference to geology and geological hazards.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal gave the Republican response to President Obama's speech tonight, and and suggested that it was a waste of taxpayer of money to spend "$140 million on something called volcano monitoring". If you don't really know a lot about volcanoes in the United States, follow the link for an effective explanation. In a nutshell, the U.S. has the third highest number of active volcanoes of any country in the world, including several that are uncomfortably close to major population centers. This month alone, activity began at a volcano near Anchorage, Alaska. And has anyone forgotten what happened at Mt. St. Helens in 1980 (pictured above, along with Mt. Adams in Washington)? The volcano was also erupting from 2004-2007.
I am appalled at the scientific ignorance displayed here; perhaps Mr. Jindal (of Louisiana, as you may remember) thinks we could also save money by turning off the weather satellites that monitor hurricanes in the Caribbean. I mean, really, what are the chances of a hurricane hitting the Louisiana coast?
I'm glad that a different party is in charge of the government now...
Immediate Update: Green Gabbro is on the topic already....ditto, I say.