Thursday, February 26, 2009

Monitoring the Stimulus

Monitoring is an important aspect of practice for engineering geologists, geologists, engineers, and other geoscientists. It is often a key component of our designs and solutions and as most owners know, it can be a bit pricey at times.

Now my goal is to keep this blog politically neutral, though I will happily discuss issues of potential interest to Arizona AEG members, other AEG members, and the rest of the people who follow this blog. I missed the speech by President Obama to a joint-session of Congress the other day and I missed the Republican response. It seems that a part of the Republican Response by Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal included specific mention of the inclusion of 'volcano monitoring' in the Stimulus bill that we've heard so much about. Apparently he mentioned it as a waste of tax-payer money.

This has raised a bit of an uproar from people in the geologic community. This response at the Magma Cum Laude blog takes Governor Jindal to task on the issue. This response by the Green Gabbro blog discusses how volcanic hazard monitoring does create jobs and stimulate the economy (in addition to being a good idea). There are many more responses linked at the Magma Cum Laude blog. I can't help but wonder if Governor Jindal considers hurricane monitoring a waste of tax payer money.

Anyway, I found this unfortunate example of science becoming political (an all too common thing these days) that may be of interest to those following this blog.

Edit: I just heard from a friend of mine who works at the Hawaii Volcanoes Observatory (HVO). His response - 'Governor Jindal has done more volcanic hazard awareness in 15 seconds than the USGS has done in 15 years'. Perhaps it was all a bit of reverse psychology.

No comments: