The long view

You mean job-killing regulations actually saved lives? Who’d have believed it?

From seawalls that line stretches of Japan’s coastline, to skyscrapers that sway to absorb earthquakes, to building codes that are among the world’s most rigorous, no country may be better prepared to withstand earthquakes than Japan.

Had any other populous country suffered the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan on Friday, tens of thousands of people might already be counted among the dead. So far, Japan’s death toll is in the hundreds, although it is certain to rise somewhat.

Over the years, Japan has spent billions of dollars developing the most advanced technology against earthquakes and tsunamis. The Japanese, who regularly experience smaller earthquakes and have lived through major ones, know how to react to quakes and tsunamis because of regular drills — unlike Southeast Asians, many of whom died in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami because they lingered near the coast despite clear warnings to flee.

Wow. When was the last time you heard of America spending money to prepare for anything?

4 thoughts on “The long view

  1. Gosh Suze, that’s a tough one. Lemme see, the last time I can remember America preparing for anything was in ’04 when the final tally was being taken to decide who would be the next American Idol!

  2. it’s not about saving lives, it’s about saving profits. no one gives a shit about lives…that’s so 20th century.

  3. Bobby Jindal (and his Republican pals) think that volcano monitoring is a waste of money…

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