Friday, March 11, 2011


Oregon Coast Tsunami

Despite Tsunami warnings up and down the Oregon Coast as well as an evacuation alert for the entire coast, the Japan earthquake did not lead to a catastrophic wave along Oregon, let alone pretty much anything except perhaps a few more higher waves than otherwise.

Although many will suggest it's better to be safe than sorry, this is probably more an example of how media hype gets in the way of clear thinking than anything else. CNN and local networks were breathlessly predicting trouble on the coast ever since the news of the tragedy in Japan hit, yet as the dust settles we're finding that only in the center of activity was this a catastrophic event.

This matters because people are already somewhat desensitized to warnings of impending danger in terms of nature and terrorism. Perhaps we need a system that more rationally defines what we can expect in terms of trouble?

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