Friday, February 4, 2011

Life without engineering

Yikes.  During my previous posts I made a few insensitive jokes about Cyclone Bianca, as it did not really have any impact on Perth.  But on the other side of the continent, cyclone Yasi has been raging like an angry dictator with bad indigestion.

This mother of a storm was a category 5 cyclone and caused a lot of havoc around those parts.

The amazing part of this story is the fact that no one was seriously injured or killed during this storm so far, apart from a man who was killed by the fumes of a generator in his room. 

This is all due to the fact that there was enough early warning and that people had enough time to prepare for the worst.  Right across the world everyone was watching expectantly.


Imagine in the old days when the only warning you had was the birds that disappeared and the ants that started going Rambo on you.  According to some of my friends over East, on the day Yasi reached the continent, it was still a clear bright sunny morning and you would have thought it to be a great day to hang around the beach.

All this early warning is due to modern technology and the marvels of electronic engineering, combined with a few other sciences of course.  Without the reliable instruments and communication systems no one would have known what was coming.  Without the satellite footage and the radar images, combined with pressure, wind and temperature measurements this would have been a disaster and thousands would probably have been killed. 

Without great communication tools like radio, TV, phones and the internet, people out in the country would have been sleeping with the barn windows open when the cyclone hit.  We would have seen a lot more flying cows and a few people would have thought their mother-in-law turned into a witch because she was flying around on a tree trunk.

All thanks to the geeky nerds who became engineers and scientists.  Those same geeks who were bullied by the redneck jerks in school now saved those same brainless muscled idiots.  They always win in the end.

Unfortunately there was a huge material loss for many people.  Farmers lost crops and people lost their homes and cars.  People’s jobs and sources of income were wiped out over night.  Not a laughing matter at all.

But thanks to engineering, it was not as bad as it could have been.

Unfortunately this also means that these climate change nuts will gain a lot of support with their fear-mongering.  They still seem to think that man can actually control weather like this.  All of this was apparently caused by my 3.8 liter V6 engine guzzling fossil fuels and spewing carbon dioxide into the air.

I’ll think about that while I drive out to the beach this afternoon.


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