Wednesday, June 30, 2010

On "Biblical Proportions"

"This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions."
"What do you mean, 'biblical?'"
"What he means is Old Testament, Mr. Mayor, real wrath of God type stuff."
"Fire and brimstone coming down from the skies! Rivers and seas boiling!"
"Forty years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanoes…"
"The dead rising from the grave!"
"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together … mass hysteria!"
- Ghostbusters

I'm pretty sure the initial thought was placed in my head by something I heard on television. Maybe a joke on The Daily Show, perhaps an awkward comment somewhere, I don't really remember.

What matters is that I don't have the meteorological wherewithal to refute this idea that's gotten into my head:
  1. The Gulf of Mexico is filled with a massive oil spill.
  2. Everyone is worried that as hurricane season approaches relief efforts will have to cease.
  3. Hurricanes have massive lightning strikes.
  4. People are fearing the ocean catching on fire.
Now that's pretty terrifying in general, but we're all pretty aware that heavily polluted lakes and rivers and such can catch fire, and in more fun cases it is actually possible to burn seawater by bombarding it with science- microwaves.
But we all seem to be forgetting something else hurricanes do:
  • Produce water spouts.
Yes, hurricanes suck water up out of the ocean and then rain it down over the course of hours or days. If that water is filled with oil, and if at any point that oily water is ignited by one of the many lightning strikes between the interior of the hurricane and the ocean, we will be getting killed by a giant raging firestorm of fire.


And where do most hurricanes make landfall? The Gulf. Often Louisiana. Don't think this is a likely possibility? Here's a video of oily backwash raining down in Louisiana last week.

Now, I'm not usually one to buy into any of that "God is punishing us for our promiscuity and The Gays and harboring Jews" malarkey, but even I have to admit New Orleans is getting shit on pretty bad by the universe, lately. I mean it's one thing to write off the flooding as being well deserved after you built an entire tourist city below sea level, but the flooding lead to power and light outages, skin irritation and lung damage/death from mold and bacterial, and widespread famine. More recently they've been dealing with tornadoes and now it's fucking raining fire.


Seriously?! So that's flooding, famine, lesions, darkness and fiery death. We were like four plagues into the story of Passover and the universe just skipped straight to Sodom and Gamorrah.

I don't know about you all, but I want to see the government step in and fix this shit while footing the bill to BP before we have to find out if two-month old moonshine counts as a first-born son.

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