Saturday, April 17, 2010

Eyjafjallajokull


Eyjafjallajokull is the name of the glacier over the volcano currently disrupting air travel across Europe. I must tune into a world news program video to see if anyone dares try to pronounce it. Few reporters seem to attempt to spell it. I went to Wiki to see what they had to say:

Eyjafjallajökull (pronounced [ˈɛɪjaˌfjatlaˌjœːkʏtl̥], translated as "island-mountains glacier") (About this sound listen ) is one of the smaller glaciers of Iceland. It is situated to the north of Skógar and to the west of the larger glacier Mýrdalsjökull.  Easy for them I suppose. I listened four times and am no wiser. But I feel that a volcano under a lessor glacier on an island that can totally shut down air traffic in Europe and disrupt everyone's travel plans deserves some respect. But that is not what this blog is about.

This blog is about what happens after the ash stops spewing -- though volcanologists say they see no end. What will happen if history is any indicator is all the airlines effected by this will claim they are on the verge of bankruptcy. All the countries where they are based will panic about the collapse of an essential transportation/communication (mail) link and bail them out. It is what happened after 9/11 because airplanes were grounded for two weeks.

What should happen is the same amount of money and effort should be expended to lessen the dependency on air traffic. Geologists tell us we have just been through a 200 year period of relative quiet on earthquakes and volcanoes. We have already seen an uptick in quakes and there are here in the United States no fewer than five volcanoes being closely watched especially since recent activity on faults could increase the chances of eruption.

The world needs to stop putting all its eggs in one basket. Coordination of alternate forms of transportation and use of alternate routes needs to be a top priority of the G8.