Thursday, April 22, 2010

What Does the Iceland Volcano Ash Crisis Tell Us?

The crisis, IVAC, for short, has a variety of implications, both good and bad, depending on how you look at it.
  • Social media seemed reduce the stress and help some people find the resources they needed (beds, trains, whatever).
  • We now have learned how dependent Europe is on air travel, much like the US, despite a much better rail infrastructure.  
  • We have seen one possible future--when fuel prices make air travel nearly prohibitive.
  • The EU does provide a valuable service--as a target. 
    • Since airlines were compelled to lose money, they can approach the EU and governments for compensation.  If the airlines were allowed to decide for themselves, they might have made the same or similar decisions, but then would not have anybody to blame and from whom to demand a bailout.
  • No PANIC!  That is, there was heaps of frustration, but no real panic in the streets for all of this disruption.  Despite the dramatic inconveniences and uncertainty, people reacted more calmly than they do to their team winning or losing in the playoffs (I don't plan on being downtown for any of the next Canadiens playoff games).  
Of course, what we really need to figure out is what does the IVAC imply for a future Zombie outbreak.  I guess we will have to wait for Dan Drezner's next book to tell us.  

No comments: