When the volcano blows

Gov. Jindal’s reference to the wastefulness of volcano monitoring has stirred quite a controversy here and in the blogosphere.  The Anchorage Daily News story is here: http://www.adn.com/news/politics/story/702875.html

Many, many millions are spent annually watching the tropics and monitoring hurricanes, something that can actually be done by watching a barometer and watching the sky for “mares’ tails and mackeral scales.”  This is obviously an activity of some importance to coastal states like Louisiana, whose citizenry has shown a remarkable inability to get out of the way of hurricanes.

Well, I’ve never really lost a day to the equinoctal storms we get here, many of which would be the lead story on cable news if they were somewhere else.  I have lost losts of days to volcanic eruptions.  Alaska is very dependent on air transport and when the atmosphere is filled with ash and dust, jet airplanes can’t fly.  In fact, most of the over the North Pole air cargo between Europe, the US, and the Orient has to be re-routed or grounded when a volcano blows in Alaska.  So, keeping an eye on the things is kinda important to us, to people along the West Coast mountain ranges, to Hawaii, and to anybody who flies over the North Pacific.  Somebody should have done some fact-checking on that one, but I’ve simply come to expect this sort of stuff from a Party that has completely lost its way.