Skip to main content

Louisiana tragedy

It is heartbreaking to see New Orleans submerged under 20 feet of water. This is one of the loveliest cities in the United States, perhaps second only to San Francisco. I was there in 1992. I spent some time in Texas and I made the trip to New Orleans.

I fell in love with the city that I resolved that I will find the opportunity to do some research work in Louisiana. Last year I was offered to do post doctoral work in marine evolutionary biology at Louisiana State University and was supposed to leave in late July of 2005 until bureaucratic bungles made me decide to put off the offer until next year. If I had gone, then I should be atop a roof waiting for the Louisiana Air National Guard to pluck me out!

Baton Rogue (where the university is located) and New Orleans are among the worst hit of Katrina's wrath. New Orleans is between two mighty bodies of water. One is the Mississipi River and the other is Lake Ponchartrain with its long causeway. The levees that protect the city were breached and thus the deluge.

But should we blame Katrina and her kind? Climatologists predict that hurricanes and typhoons will become more frequent and those of the 5th category wouldn't be rare anymore. Category 5 cyclones that hit land are quite rare. Usually they lose steam before they hit land. By the time they hit land they are just category 3 or so, but still dangerous.

The mean air temperature has been increasing since 1850 and this is presumbably related to our burning of fossil fuels. Cyclones run on heat stored in the oceans. The heat has to redistributed and thus we have these storms. The more heat, the stronger the storm.

The CNN still shot with the crushed SUV under a tree is strong reminder that nature can inflict much damage. Our SUV fetish has contributed to all that increased carbon dioxide emissions.

Another interesting topic for my class.


Popular posts from this blog

President Manuel Luis Quezon's Code of Ethics

Being a denizen of Kyusi, in honour of the man who gave my city its name and for being the most colourful prez the Philippines ever had, I have the pleasure to post Manuel L Quezon's Code of Ethics on his birthday. Let us profit from the wisdom of the Kastila.

1. Have Faith in the Divine Providence that guides the destinies of men and nations.

2. Love your country for it is the home of your people, the seat of your affection and the source of your happiness and well-being. It's defense is your primary duty. Be ready to sacrifice and die for it if necessary.

3. Respect the Constitution which is the expression of your sovereign will. The government is your government. It has been established for your safety and welfare. Obey the laws and see that they are observed by all and that public officials comply with their duties.

4. Pay your taxes willingly and promptly. Citizenship implies not only rights but obligations.

5. Safeguard the purity of suffrage and abide by the decisions of the…

Simoun's lamp has been lit, finally.. not by one but by the many!

"So often have we been haunted by the spectre of subversion which, with some fostering, has come to be a positive and real being, whose very name steals our serenity and makes us commit the greatest blunders... If before the reality, instead of changing the fear of one is increased, and the confusion of the other is exacerbated, then they must be left in the hands of time..."
Dr Jose Rizal "To the Filipino People and their Government"
Jose Rizal dominates the Luneta, which is sacred to the Philippine nation as a place of martyrdom. And many perhaps all of those executed in the Luneta, with the exception of the three Filipino secular priests martyred in 1872, have read Rizal's El Filibusterismo. Dr Rizal's second novel is a darker and more sinister one that its prequel but has much significance across the century and more after it was published for it preaches the need for revolution with caveats,  which are when the time is right and who will instigate it.

Flame trees in bloom

The hottest summer courtesy of El Nino in at least 10 years gave runners and walkers in the University of the Philippines Diliman campus a visual treat. This year the flame trees Delonix regia are in full bloom!
In past summers it wasn't as hot and dry so the trees did not shed their leaves and few blooms were produced.
It is the tropical version of the Japanese Hanami or the Cherry blossom viewing season. While Hanami tells us the fragile impermanence of beauty, the flame tree hanami tells us that summer burns but soon it will all be over.