Thursday, April 15, 2010

Special “Fee” to Nations Spewing Volcanic Ash


Courtesy of CNN.com

What is a European traveler to do given that most of their airports are shut down and flights grounded due to the volcanic ash in the air from the Icelandic Eyjafjallajokull volcano?  And have you tried pronouncing that name yet?

An airplane’s jet engines, if flown through the stuff, could just …. well…stop, …and then you drop, and that’s not good!  So for those people traveling around the UK, Spain, France, and those even headed across the pond, they ain’t going nowhere today or probably tomorrow.

I’ve been hearing reports all day on KNX NewsRadio of Brits and French who are stranded at LAX airport and have to make other plans.  One Englishman on the radio said that his 40th Birthday is tomorrow in England, and that all of his friends would be at his party without him.  That sucks!  There was also a young man interviewed who had been trying to get a vacation to Italy for months, which kept getting postponed due to one obstacle or another and was finally about to fly out today.  He said dejectedly, “I guess this was just not meant to be.”  I really felt sorry for that guy.  And there are numerous musicians abroad who were headed for the Coachella Valley Music Festival in the next few days who will now be playing a sad tune.

Given that today is April 15th, also known as tax day here in the United States, I think it would be appropriate for there to be created a special assessment tax to any and all nations whose volcanoes spew out enough ash to cause travel delays, heartache, monetary damages or confusion to other nations and their business enterprises.  The underlying reason is that if a nation can’t keep their volcanoes in check, then that nation should be liable.

And, in the spirit of the City of Los Angeles, as well as so many other municipalities trying to slip in various charges in the most palatable way, this tax could be termed a “fee” to help soften the pain felt by the nations having to dig deep into their pockets.  And we all know that Iceland has not had such an easy time of it recently as they have experienced extraordinary economic hardship in the past few years.  So reaching into those Viking helmets and horns won’t be a happy thing.

But all the more reason for such a nations such as Iceland to keep their volcanoes in check.  It’s the broken window theory; if they are allowed to let their volcanoes go unbridled, then there too will go the neighborhood.  Dormant volcanoes in Scandinavia as well as all throughout Europe and the Americas could be allowed to come to life again.

And then what is going to happen when all of that ice lying over the volcanoes melts and huge torrents of water make a B-line to the sea wiping out all pastoral valleys that happen to be in their paths?  The rest of the Western world will have to come to the aid of the aftermath, which will be extremely costly!  And ultimately our global economy will be further damaged if no one could fly anywhere again and spend their dollars and Euros at tourist destinations.

Let's say “yes” to reigniting the global economy, and “no” to reigniting dormant, icy volcanoes.  The powers that be need to incorporate a special assessment “fee” to all nations which allow their volcanoes to spew hot magma and ash all over our planet!

Now let's give it another try….it’s pronounced, “Eyjafjallajokull” volcano.

Courtesy of CNN.com
Fred in Iceland

Fred in the Blue Lagoon

 Magnús in Icelandic Church

A Lighthouse in Reykjavik