For Volcano Watchers

by Jonah Goldberg

This reader has some guidance:


Jonah,

Again, thanks for your visit to Northwestern U on February 28.

I’ve enjoyed your proposals for airborne-laser volcano piercing, but with a very serious subtext, as I have a morbid fascnination for VEI7+ events.

Ever since the December 26 Aceh earthquake (the tsunami-triggering one), and well before the March 29 and April 10 earthquakes, I was nervous about the significance of large earthquakes near Sumatra, which contains several volcanoes of historical significance (Toba, Krakatoa, etc.). Tambora is further down the chain in Sumbawa, between Java and Flores, but still within the area that could be affected by another quake further down the same fault line.

This has apparently been picked up by others.

Now, Talang is erupting today, along with several additional earthquakes in the region.

I’m not going to wait on the government to get my own home and family prepared — wouldn’t hurt to be as prepared as Mormons are — but I think you’d agree we’d like to have options other than just waiting for the worst to happen. I hope they’d at least consider drilling many geothermal wells that could not only generate loads of electricity but also, just maybe, give a volcano an “easy way out” that could be less destructive.

In the meantime, you can sign up on an Australian volcanologist’s website for Email bulletins of breaking news.

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