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Saturday, August 27, 2005

Who's the doomer now?

I hope I haven't dwelled too much on he doom and gloom, in contrast to the opinionated claim of many oil-supply optimists in regard to the depletionists. But having a gander at the latest hysteria from the right, we still have a long way to go before the doom becomes much more convincing than a run-of-the-mill disaster film.
Imagine they're planning that on the same day in the not-so-distant future, they will set off nuclear suitcase bombs in six American cities, including Washington, which will take the heaviest hit. Hundreds of thousands may die; millions will be endangered. Lines will go down, and to make it worse the terrorists will at the same time execute the cyberattack of all cyberattacks, causing massive communications failure and confusion. There will be no electricity; switching and generating stations will also have been targeted. There will be no word from Washington; the extent of the national damage will be as unknown as the extent of local damage is clear. Daily living will become very difficult, and for months--food shortages, fuel shortages.-Peggy Noonan, excerpt from "Think Dark"

James Walcott had this to say about former Reagan speech-writer Noonan's doomsmanship:
It's one thing to think up a nightmare story arc for 24, another thing to present this as a plausible scenario looming on the horizon. Hell, why stop with six suitcase nukes? Why not go for seven, eight, nine, and throw in the dynamiting of Mount Rushmore too?
Walcott nails it on why you don't want to play these games; you really don't have an exit criteria for idle speculation.


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