Gustav Line

Via Galrahn, the Department of Defense at least is ready for Hurricane Gustav:

The command has activated four defense coordinating elements at the regional FEMA headquarters. The command provides unique DoD capabilities for disaster response. Rowe said three active-duty military installations have been designated as FEMA logistics points: Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala.; Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.; and the Naval Air Station at Meridian, Miss. 

The 10th Mountain Division’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team in Fort Drum, N.Y., is the quick-reaction force for the homeland. “They are provided with situational awareness and provided with prepare-to-deploy orders if needed,” Rowe said. 

In addition, Fleet Forces Command in Norfolk, Va., has given direction to three amphibious ships — the USS Bataan, the USS Nassau and the USS Ponce — to be prepared to sortie if needed. The command also has at its disposal additional communications, engineering, and aviation units.

Unfortunately, it looks like they’ll be needed:

Sustain This

The Economist, talking about a controversy surrounding the development of tar sands in Canada, asks the right question about today’s most overused buzzword and comes up with the right answer:

Sustainability is a hopelessly subjective concept. The most widely accepted definition— “development which meets the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” — is little help, as need is also subjective, and the future unpredictable.

But that does not make sustainability meaningless, it just makes it a political battleground.

The standard definition is a non-sequitur because both the needs and abilities of future generations are unknowable.

Midasize It!

Someone needs a catalytic converter …

Enviro Blowback

Some softness in the willingness of Americans to call themselves environmentalists I don’t think has anything to do with a sudden desire on their part to go chopping down redwoods. But it probably is a reaction to the environmental movement’s constant naysaying. When you have people from that side of the fence inveighing against wind farms and solar projects, it’s gotten a little out of hand.

Look Out Below

The western drought isn’t really getting any better.

Update: A couple scientists at UCSD say there’s a 50 percent chance of Lake Mead running dry by 2021. Yes, this dates from February.