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Thursday, July 27, 2006


Hidden deaths

Following a week of 100+ degree heat, nearly a hundred confirmed and suspected heat-related deaths have now been reported in what many would consider the most technologically advanced state in the most technologically advanced country in the world -- California, USA (both points are arguable, but suffice it to say this is assuredly a first-world country). There haven't even been any power failures to blame.

In Gaza, Lebanon, and Iraq, temperatures are in the same range. But all three countries are suffering from power shortages, either because of Israeli bombing of power stations (Gaza and Lebanon) or U.S. bombing of power stations (and failure to reconstruct them after 3+ years of occupation) in the case of Iraq. And, just as critically, power shortages means water pumps don't work, so it often means water shortages as well, and water is the one thing you absolutely cannot live without. Particularly in the case of Lebanon with its bombed roads limiting traffic and bombed ambulances intimidating health care workers, a shortage of available health care is also a critical issue at this time.

So...how many people have died, scratch that, been killed, in Gaza, Lebanon, and Iraq, not with bombs or bullets fired at them personally, but because they, like the 100 Californians, have died in the heat because they didn't have a fan, didn't have water, or didn't have access to a doctor? I wouldn't even care to guess. I will make one guess though. I'll guess you won't be hearing anyone else even raising the question.

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