Volcano Monitoring Criticized as "Eruption of Spending"

Eli is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine.

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The Daily Beast covers Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal's attack on the U.S. Geological Survey's monitoring of volcanoes. The speech was the Republican Party's response to the president's address to Congress last night.

After Jindal used the monitoring as an example of excessive congressional spending, volcanologists erupted in outrage:

"Apparently the governor of Louisiana doesn't remember any of the major volcanic eruptions in recent history,” said a professor of geology at Yale University who has studied volcanoes around the world, Mark Brandon. “Volcanic monitoring right now is absolutely essential for protecting lives and property. The amount of money invested compared to the amount of money returned is trivial. It's not just some hobby—if the governor were in a volcanic eruption he'd realize that the people who do that work are very useful in protecting you from direct hazards.”

(Hat tip, Andrew Sullivan)

PHOTO: USGS

Posted in Climate