Alberto, Al, and what a neuron from George W might have said after Katrina

Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Phillippe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince, Wilma, Alpha, Beta, Delta, Epsilon, Gamma, Zeta...


Not exactly the makings of another Children's Alphabet Picture Book. Rather, these are names of the 27 hurricanes/tropical storms given by the World Meteorological Organization in 2005, the first time in history, where letters of the Greek alpabet had to be used when the predetermined names had run out. A few days ago, the first such storm of the 2006 hurricane season, named Alberto, rumbled and rolled into Florida's Big Bend area.

Actually, I'm a bit surprised the first storm wasn't named Al, after former Vice-President Gore, a dude who has been on a bit of a roll himself with the release of his movie "The Inconvenient Truth." I bring him up because I was fortunate to have a chance to say a hello and pass on a token soundbite about a week and a half ago, when he was at UBC to give his celebrated global warming slideshow. I have to admit that I found both his talk and his general presence quite impressive. Not at all like the "stiff" candidate that the media had painted him to be during the 2000 Presidential election. And his presentation rocked, so I suspect the film (which apparently is based on the talk) is just as good.

Near the end of the talk, our MC (Michael Byers, one of the DIrectors of our Liu Centre for Global Issues) mentioned that he did a bit of Canadian constitutional homework that particular afternoon, and found out that there is actually no legal requirement for our Prime Ministers to be born in Canada. Furthermore, he brought up the fact that the nation's Liberal party actually has an opening of sorts at this point in time. To this, Mr. Gore smiled briefly and asked whether the Prime Minister wins in Canada because he's the one who has the most votes.

- - -

Last year, after Katrina hit and the chaos ensued, I wrote the following silly piece, which I think I submitted to without it making the cut.

You know, it's going to be scary if another Katrina hits again - the devastation seemed all too overwhelming. But ironically, I'll warrant it might also just be one of those tipping points in terms of solidfying public opinion for global warming.


At rest and on vacation. Got myself a Grade A tan. I am the most powerful man in the world. Or is it I am the most powerful man on the Earth? Anyway, I am a powerful man and I have a nice tan.

Katrina? She was a nice lady. Always good for a liquor run. Did she have a nice tan? Don't remember. But I do remember that Louisiana is a state. Yes, I know all fifty states (I think), because I am the President. New Orleans? Is that in the lyrics to Huey Lewis' Heart of Rock and Roll. - I don't think so. Austin is though. What exactly is a levee?

How cool is it that I have my own plane. And it cracks me up how people look like ants up here...

So that's a levee.

Gotta get ready for some inspiring words. Better do a heck of a job. Think my tan may be beginning to fade.

Doesn't smell so good down here. Shit. Too late.

More like this

Very nice, Dave. Is Bush still calling himself President? Or, are people still saying he's the President?

Where are the "Impeach President Cheney" bumper stickers when you need them?

A propos of Katrina, I'm hoping we can collate a lot of environmental justice links -- like this one, by Julie Sze, who's at UC-Davis -- that help make sense of the social dimensions of technological infrastructure, showing that they're integrated, not separate, just as science and ethics are the same subject. Would go well in the Natureland section of the Fair.

That's a great idea. A post which acts as an anthology of sorts would be great. Would you put a token bit of commentary for each piece involved?