Thursday, October 06, 2005

Storms and the US economy

Pile of Our Stuff
Originally uploaded by Editor B.
After the hand-drawn map quiz on NYC today, students are reading and taking icon-based notes on the NY Times storm overview article, "Imagine 20 years of this."

They are learning to take notes on an article - so as to understand and absorb the article - by using graphics and brief phrases.

Among the items they are to add to a map of the Gulf rim:
* hot Gulf water and a storm cycle that encompasses decades.
* marshes eroded and sunken.
* Gulf oil pipelines vulnerable to oil spills.
* Oil platforms / rigs, which are pumping stations, are damaged by mega storms.
* Oil refineries (land-based factories which process crude oil into gasoline, diesel and plastics) are slowed by storms.
* Trucking is hampered by spikes in gas prices.
* Airlines are stressed by high fuel prices.
* One third of the US oil & natural gas supplies are associated with the Gulf.
* Investments in the future of the US (and Louisiana) are limited by the enormous bill to be paid in repairing storm damages. Will the modern version of the wealth-providing Erie Canal be built by the US while it is bearing the estimated $200 billion debt for the storms of 2005?

* Finally, we learned from Channel One that the background of these super storms is cloudy: scientists don't agree on the blame due to
a) global warming
b) normal cycles of high storm activity.

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