The capitalist news media of the United States is on a full-court press to scare the crap out of tens of millions of workers along the eastern seaboard of the United States over a third-rate tropical storm that barely rates as a hurricane. ‘Hurricane’ Sandy is currently sporting 75 mile-an-hour winds according to the “National Hurricane Center”‘s latest bulletin (no. 25A). This Category 1 storm, while it is certainly capable of causing severe property damage to homes and businesses located on the actual shores of the Atlantic Ocean, is of no real concern to anyone who lives more than a few miles inland, and should cause very few fatalities beyond those caused by foolish people who go down to the beach to see the waves and get too close to the surf. This is another case of the bourgeois press crying “wolf” in order to sell more newspapers and make more money off Internet ads by terrifying the public into believing that their lives are in immediate peril. It is a load of nonsense.
Terrified by their own propaganda, the idiot Democratic and Republican party mayors up and down the East Coast are actually conducting mass evacuations of the population from coastal towns which will see only moderate damage from this extremely weak hurricane. The usual coastal communities will face the lion’s share of the effects of the storm, which, as always, can be expected to rapidly weaken as soon as it hits land – which it has already done.
Monitoring the hurricane using both the National Weather Service sites as well as the excellent and fascinating “National Data Buoy Center” website, we are seeing wind speeds being reported by ships and buoys closest to the “eye” of the storm of well under 40 knots, or approximately 40 miles per hour!
“East Coast Braces for Worst” screams the Wall St. Journal. “Delaware Coast Empties Out as the Water Moves In” fulminates the New York Times. It’s all a lot of bull. Hurricane Katrina this ain’t.
The six data buoys closest to the storm are, at 4PM Chicago time, reporting top sustained winds of just under 40 miles per hour. Wave heights are high, but again, unless you live on the immediate coast this is not going to affect you at all.
Why does the bourgeois press make such a big deal out of these things? To sell newspapers and ads. They almost always get the science wrong whenever they report any kind of science news. Everything is going to be the end of the world. Last week they were freaking out over an X-class solar flare that was so weak it didn’t even create an increase of auroral activity. Every winter storm of any magnitude is always compared to the worst storms ever. 90% of the time, their big scare turns out to be a big flop. But, hey, who cares if the public is needlessly terrorized so long as they make money off of it all?
Obviously, the bourgeoisie of the United States, all too conscious of the total lack of support from the working class it “enjoys” feels that the only way to keep the masses in check is to constantly push the notion that if it wasn’t for the massive US military buildup and the growing numbers of heavily armed cops on the streets of the US, the citizens would be utterly helpless and at the mercy of Mother Nature and the tiny gang of pathetic punks of the so-called “Al-Qaida Network” who are supposed to be poised to bring the US to its knees with another pathetic stunt like the 9/11 attacks. Bad as those attacks were, it would take dozens of them launched every year to even begin to make a serious dent in the US population. Compared to Gettysburg, 9/11 was a skirmish. And as Katrina showed, the US ruling class is totally incapable of protecting the citizens of the US from any kind of REAL natural disaster. The incompetence and corruption of both political parties shown in the Katrina disaster was not a fluke – it happened because the US capitalist class couldn’t care less about protecting the poor and the workers from even the most obvious natural hazards. And by scaring the crap out of everyone over “Tropical Cyclone” (that’s what they’re calling it now) Sandy, they set the stage for an annoyed public to completely ignore their NEXT warning, which could actually be issued in the face of a much more serious emergency than this one.
Fear is how the US ruling class keeps its dominant position over the workers of the United States. So long as the working class remains in thrall to every idiotic pronouncement of the lying bourgeoisie and its wholly owned politicians and news media, the capitalist class will remain firmly in the drivers seat and continue to brutalize the working class of the US as well as our working class brothers and sisters all over the world – for the sole purpose of slaking the insatiable thirst for ever greater profits of the US capitalist class. They want to terrify you with this weak tropical storm, which barely reached hurricane strength, at the same time they totally ignore the very REAL dangers posed by global warming. They don’t care what happens – they plan to make money off it whether it happens or not. They thrive on human misery, make bonanza profits off wars, commit mass murder over oil deposits – the US capitalists are the most cynical, greedy and bloodthirsty ruling class in the world.
If you live near the seashore, you have seen storms like this every year of your life. By now, you’ve boarded up the cottage and headed inland for a couple of days – no big deal. On Cape Cod, we body-surfed in storms like this almost every year. That was perhaps foolish, but no one ever died that we heard of. And we had a hell of a lot of fun. Most hurricanes peter out the moment they hit shore and immediately turn into bad, windy, extended rainstorms.
A bit of common sense is all you need to possess in situations like this. And the shrill hysteria of the capitalist press screaming “FRANKENSTORM!” at you should not scare you any more than those kids that will be knocking on your front door in the next couple of days yelling “Trick or Treat”!
If you want to follow the storm, check out the weather links on this site. The National Weather Service local weather forecasts are being modified downward as we write this. The National Data Buoy Center is a fascinating website that gives near-real-time reports of wave heights, wind speeds and more from ocean buoys and ships at sea. Check it out and then compare what you see there with the Weather Channel’s weather-idiots trying desperately to keep you tuned to their silly live broadcasts featuring weather-models doing stupid human tricks in near-hurricane-force winds.
PS: (5:19 PM Central US time): The National Data Buoy Center is displaying the alerts sent out late last night by several of their buoys in the Pacific Basin that detected the small tsunami generated by the huge 7.7 earthquake that occurred last night in British Columbia, Canada. The largest tsunamis we’ve seen reported were a little less than half a meter in amplitude, observed in Alaska and in the Hawaiian Islands. Currently, there are no warnings of a major threat of imminent tsunamis on the US west coast or Hawaii, although aftershocks of this major earthquake could occur at any time and produce a tsunami. The NDBC is an amazing resource for tracking tsunami waves as they propagate outwards from the epicenter of an undersea – or in this case, near-sea earthquake. Check it out!
PPS: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center reported that a tsunami of 2.5 feet (0.76 meters) was observed in Maui last night, so they did get to be a bit larger than what we had seen reported earlier when we wrote this article. The Vancouver Sun showed an image of the range of the tsunami generated by the 7.7 quake in British Columbia: it streaked out across the Pacific like an arrow! The image, whose source we do not know of is reproduced below. – IWPCHI