Wednesday, October 26, 2011

... Now What?

The film Deep Impact ends on a bit of a hopeful high note. President Tom Beck assures the public that  life will go on. It's all very inspiring, and then the movie pulls out to show what is left of the U.S. Capitol.

Actually, it's probably not fair to say that this is what's left of the Capitol. This is what's left of the Capitol, plus they've been rebuilding it, so it was probably in even worse condition than this.

Washington D.C. is completely mobbed with people to see the president speak first hand, though we can't help but wonder how everyone got there. The city was pretty much wiped out. Everyone who happened to be in D.C. when the asteroid hit, as well as anyone else who happened to be within about 500 miles of the Atlantic Ocean was washed away.

How did they all get there? The megatsunami must have done some damage to the roadways and train tracks. Okay, maybe they flew. Where are they staying? Clearly, there are no hotels for them.

Maybe this cataclysm makes way for the 21st century answer to the Hooverville.
So... Beckville?
Anyway, nitpicking the final scene aside. What will happens to the U.S. as it recovers from this disaster? According to Beck's speech, water from the Atlantic made it as far West as the Ohio and Tennessee Valleys.
So, let's say roughly to the blue line. We should probably add the Gulf Coast as well, but we should exclude the Appalachians, because people appeared to have survived up there. Everyone in that area has been lost, except for people who got out of the danger zone in time and for the one million people who were lucky enough to get a spot in the limestone caves in Colorado. We'd have to imagine that the infrastructure of this part of the country is, for the most part, wiped out. Maybe some stretches of road survived. Parts of power plants may still be standing. The place will be a mess, and we'll be pretty much left starting from scratch.

Now what happens?

Tony: America is so, sooooo screwed. I mean, did the asteroid wipe out China? Russia? India? No, no it did not.

Doug: Yeah, I guess the only ones who really have our backs (usually, anyway) are just on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. They're pretty much inundated with their own problems to be bailing us out (puns totally and completely intended).

Tony: Also, consider that the Atlantic is probably now a massive garbage pond. Certainly that wouldn't have dire consequences!

Doug: Right. All of those buildings that should be around the U.S. Capitol, but aren't went somewhere, and there's a good chance most of it went back into the ocean. Okay, so the Washington Monument is now in the ocean, so what? We'll build a new one, bigger and better.

Tony: And that's not the half of it. Quick-- how many nuclear power plants are within range of the tsunami wave?

A few, it turns out.
Tony: Think back to the post-earthquake tsunami in Japan. First of all, the tsunami didn't really damage the Fukushima reactors, per se, but it did knock a lot of systems off-line, leading to a series of meltdowns. The damage in the area is going to take hundreds, maybe thousands, of years to clean up, and there's still a 20-km restriction zone around the plant itself. So, now look at that map again. The Deep Impact tsunami is going to obliterate several dozen nuclear facilities, and given the circumstances, I doubt many of those plants are going to store their plutonium somewhere safe until after the dust settles. So, when the wave hits, it's going to get ugly, fast.

Doug: And, researchers have found debris from the Japan tsunami in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Tony: Exactly. So when you put it all together...

Doug: You've got a shit ton of radioactive water and debris floating around in the Atlantic. Or, think about the hazardous material that didn't quite make it back to the ocean. There's a possibility that a good portion of the land is dealing with unimaginable pollution issues.

What the hell is Beck doing in D.C.? He shouldn't be there, and he certainly shouldn't be encouraging people to travel there in droves to see him. Denver should be made the temporary capital — assuming that's a constitutional move — before we figure out if people should even be stepping foot on the East Coast.
"Those clowns in Denver don't know what the hell they're doing!"
Tony: And ocean currents are going to carry all of that pollution alllll over the globe. So even though I said before China wasn't hit by the tsunami? Well, they're still going to feel the effects, as will Europe, Africa, South America... and that doesn't consider the weather. Wait until a hurricane plows through all that junk.

Doug: Jeez.

Tony: So, thanks for the happy ending there, Deep Impact, but I'm calling bullshit.

The Chief: Well speculated, gentlemen. Readers! There's still a fight to attend to! Vote on Beck vs. Ryan, leave some juicy comments, and we'll be back on Friday.

No comments:

Post a Comment