Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A letter to Bobby Jindal

I highly encourage anyone who might read this blog to let Mr. Jindal know how ignorant his "something called volcano monitoring" statement was by writing him a little email.. My letter is below my piece of art.

Mr. Jindal,

I cordially invite you to join my Turlock High School geosciences education classes as we embark on a seven day study of the volcanoes found within the United States and throughout the world. The United States ranks third in the world for having the most active volcanoes within its borders. It is imperative that my students can identify the hazards that our nation’s volcanoes produce so that they can plan for, and prepare a means of evacuating volcanic hazards should the need arise.

I was dismayed to have read your recent disparaging comments toward the stimulus money slated for volcanic observation and monitoring. As a an elected government official whose home state was devastated by a horrible & predictable natural disaster just three years ago, one would think a person such as yourself would be very interested in life-saving data that could be obtained through scientific monitoring. A USGS study has shown that a $1.5 million dollar investment to study Mt Pinatubo (Philippines) prevented over $250 million dollars in property damage.

With many National Parks & metropolitan cities in the west situated near or on historically active volcanoes, it is imperative that the government do its best to inform its citizens of the risks associated with those areas, as well as provide a planned coordinated response in the event of an impending eruption. The $140 million slated for “something called volcano monitoring” will create many geology-related jobs to monitor, interpret and maintain data sources for the volcanic observatories. Geologists’ spending their income stimulates the economy just as much as any other professional’s spending.

My students will have a full understanding of the concepts I have just presented within a week. I hope the same time frame is applicable for your improved understanding of the benefits that are provided by the USGS Volcanic Observatories. If not, the invitation is always open to visit my classroom.


Ryan J Hollister

Geosciences Educator

Turlock High School

Turlock, CA

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