Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Heat Wave Lifeboat Ethics: an L.A. vignette.

This sums up the dichotomy between the haves and have-nots in our city of teeming masses panting to breathe free, our f&%^#-d up planet that we eighteen million (and rising) in this barren microclimate occupy in this era of global warming, and even a bit of sympathy I as a dog-lover can muster up despite my curmudgeonly mien.

Garrett Hardin, the kind of conservative who argued pro-abortion in 1960 since by reducing unwanted births you'd save money for welfare moms and prisons (as argued by Freakonomics' Stephen Leavitt & Steven Dubner forty-five years later), pioneered at UCSB the field of Human Ecology. He proposed the Tragedy of the Commons as we all seek to maximize our share of what's held as a public trust for our equal use, and Lifeboat Ethics to rationalize that when the First World's threatened by the hangers on the lifeboat, you whack with the oars and keep rowing. Visit for more on such contrary scientific chums, contrary thinkers, and no-nonsense egghead types, Cassandras instead of Pollyannas.

L.A. Times, below from an article on power outages. Blame the plasma HD-TVs that suck up a third of an air-conditioner's needs on half-century-old transformers, while you're at it. And that in the past century as we concretize the dirt that once cooled the air, the night temperature has risen 7-9 degrees in the Southland basin, as the weather prophets call our niche on the Pacific Rim. Meanwhile, the open space around our home continues to be paved under. Water ran down the street from the mini-lawn that was sprinkled prior to the open house last Labor Day weekend. Hope it never sells.

Around the corner on La Jolla Avenue, marketing executive John Wagner, 48, was packing up his three bichon frise dogs to evacuate them to his second home in Palm Springs.

"It's ridiculous. I'm going to have to drive 113 miles to a place where it's probably 115 degrees to get some relief," said Wagner, adding that he spent 90 minutes on hold Tuesday morning when he called the DWP, forcing him to recharge his cellphone in his car.

Image: "three Bichon Frise dogs." Jeesh. I wonder what car it was? A Miata? Beemer? At least it wasn't a Hummer. Talk about stereotypes for WeHo & Poodle Springs-- as Raymond Chandler renamed the infernal gully of Frank S, G. Ford, B Hope, & Palms.

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