Wednesday, October 07, 2009

After the Storm

A monstrous typhoon has passed through the country. A few unfortunates lost their lives; many more people suffered injuries, several dozen lost their homes. The power went out in many places as wires ripped from their moorings. Most of the country's jets were grounded; most of the express train runs were cancelled. Yet much of the country's transportation and distribution network still functioned, despite the heavy rain and the wind. A staggering percentage of the labor force commuted work. Television crews, sent out to document the projected devastation, had little to capture in the way of storm dramatic storm damage. The slathering of the coastlines and riverways in concrete, the aesthetically asinine replacement of wood frame houses and public buildings with steel-framed, ceramic tile encased strongholds, lamented often enough here, seems to have preserved the populace from suffering catastrophic losses.

As, I suppose, they were designed to do.

Would it not be ironic that in the aftermath of the defeat of the Liberal Democratic Party, whose passionate intertwining with the construction sector led to the birthing of uncounted thousands of public works projects costing uncountable trillions of yen transforming Japan into a fortress against nature, leading to the party's being shackled to reputation of environmental and fiscal nihilism -- that the purportedly wasteful and pointless flood-control and wave-action defenses actually turned out to be crucial to beat back rising seas and supertyphoons?

That Japan, courtesy the LDP, would turn out to be the only country prepared for the consequences of climate change?

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