Everyone’s Explaining Eyjafjallajokull

I haven’t said any more about Iceland’s eruptions since everyone else is already explaining everything you need to know.

If you want to hear about the Worst Case Scenario, that’s covered (and I still peg Yellowstone as a more likely candidate for a flood basalt eruption, and that as “not very likely”). If you want to get a more reasoned approach, that’s covered, too. I even like the writeup on how this isn’t a big-league eruption.

The only I feel a need to emphatically restate is about the claims by commercial airlines that a few successful cargo flights count as “empirical evidence” that flying is safe showing a fundamental (and I suspect willful) ignorance of risk. You can’t dodge what you can’t see, you can’t mark a corridor clear when the winds are constantly shifting even a little bit, and you can’t tell me that gobules of glass in a jet engine are an acceptable risk. Ask any aeronautical engineer, ask any airplane mechanic, ask anyone who knows how the mechanics work, and they will agree that this counts as a Very Bad Idea. But allowing flights after wind disperses ash? I’m completely fine with that!

If flights do go out through the ash, I hope their passengers won’t need to remove their shoes for terrorist-screening.

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