Greta: Sit down, watch, and learn

Regarding the Australian bush fires, Saint Greta of Thunberg thinks the government should jump and go because that's what she wants to do.  She doesn't take into account that initial reports of any catastrophe commonly contain more errors than actual facts.  The government has to sort out, first of all, what is actually going on as opposed to what the many impatient people like Greta, full of apocalyptic fears, think is going on: the wrong reports, the conflicting reports, the lack of reports, the rumors, the speculation.

Then meetings of informed, trained people have to take place to discuss what's known, what's not known, what are the priorities and possibilities, the physical limitations, the geographical complications, the weather conditions.  It's more than just dumping water on fires.  Resources have to be marshaled, routes laid out, people notified, people tasked, hospitals alerted, traffic control established region-wide, communications networks put in place, first responders of all types put on notice, air resources alerted and briefed and tasked — on and on and on.

Apart from all that, there are legislative requirements that have to be met before any action can take place.  It may seem common sense to bail out yonder sheep station, but there may be good reasons, legal and moral and contractual and practical, to do that much farther down the list of priorities.  You may think it's common sense to head out for that SOS call 100 miles away when the same resources could save many more people in that same time on other calls.  What legal obligations obtain? what statutory requirements? what about the military?

Greta, foolish little girl, there's a whole lot more to this than contemplated in a high school brain.  You don't just jump and run.  Cities, counties, departments, provinces, states, territories, and nations all have emergency planning procedures in place to make all this work as smoothly as possible.  It's called coordination, and it needs smart, experienced, knowledgeable people in all the many key organizational posts to make things work effectively.

What it does not need are ill informed, uninformed, self-important little girls throwing public tantrums because none of it is going fast enough to suit them.  None of all this happens at the snap of a finger.  Going in without proper preparation is the surest way to get people killed and precious resources wasted.  If you're not part of the vast organizational response to a catastrophe, the best help you can give is to get out of the way, let the established system work without interference, and keep your mouth shut.  You don't know enough to contribute in any helpful way to what's going on.

Watch and learn, kid.

Regarding the Australian bush fires, Saint Greta of Thunberg thinks the government should jump and go because that's what she wants to do.  She doesn't take into account that initial reports of any catastrophe commonly contain more errors than actual facts.  The government has to sort out, first of all, what is actually going on as opposed to what the many impatient people like Greta, full of apocalyptic fears, think is going on: the wrong reports, the conflicting reports, the lack of reports, the rumors, the speculation.

Then meetings of informed, trained people have to take place to discuss what's known, what's not known, what are the priorities and possibilities, the physical limitations, the geographical complications, the weather conditions.  It's more than just dumping water on fires.  Resources have to be marshaled, routes laid out, people notified, people tasked, hospitals alerted, traffic control established region-wide, communications networks put in place, first responders of all types put on notice, air resources alerted and briefed and tasked — on and on and on.

Apart from all that, there are legislative requirements that have to be met before any action can take place.  It may seem common sense to bail out yonder sheep station, but there may be good reasons, legal and moral and contractual and practical, to do that much farther down the list of priorities.  You may think it's common sense to head out for that SOS call 100 miles away when the same resources could save many more people in that same time on other calls.  What legal obligations obtain? what statutory requirements? what about the military?

Greta, foolish little girl, there's a whole lot more to this than contemplated in a high school brain.  You don't just jump and run.  Cities, counties, departments, provinces, states, territories, and nations all have emergency planning procedures in place to make all this work as smoothly as possible.  It's called coordination, and it needs smart, experienced, knowledgeable people in all the many key organizational posts to make things work effectively.

What it does not need are ill informed, uninformed, self-important little girls throwing public tantrums because none of it is going fast enough to suit them.  None of all this happens at the snap of a finger.  Going in without proper preparation is the surest way to get people killed and precious resources wasted.  If you're not part of the vast organizational response to a catastrophe, the best help you can give is to get out of the way, let the established system work without interference, and keep your mouth shut.  You don't know enough to contribute in any helpful way to what's going on.

Watch and learn, kid.