Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lessons Not Learned

Trees and power lines. Every year the same story. A storm blows through somewhere, and people being what they are, haven't removed any of the trees that endanger their power lines or homes. And the power companies, hell  bent on saving money, haven't buried the lines.

Apparently, many people love their trees more than their comfort or survival, and in many cases, more than their homes, businesses or lives, since every year trees go crashing through roofs destroying stuctures all across the country, taking down the power lines as they go, smashing and electrocuting folks in the process.

What this repeated destruction guarantees is  - guess what? - higher insurance costs and higher power costs for everybody.

The power companies, in a repeated demonstration of total short-sightedness, won't go the one-time extra cost to bury their lines in places where trees loom over them. They seemingly prefer to endlessly rebuild the same lines the same way and in the same places, over and over.  So which way will cost less? Bury them once, or rebuild them every time a storm blows through?

It seems insurance companies will eventually have to base insurance premiums in these areas on how close you let trees grow to your home. The closer they are, the higher the premium.  If you are taking the risk, then you pay for the privledge.... not me. Perhaps insurance companies will do what they did with flood insurance, pawn the stuff off on the government and the taxpayer.

These recent storms demonstrate another dismal fact: How totally unprepared we all are for nature's normal tantrums. People in places like Iraq are building  their homes out of poured concrete - roof and all - and they don't even have tornados shredding their communites, or floods washing them away, ot trees falling on them. Even a direct hit from an M1 Abrams tank has a problem demolishing one of  those places.

Try that with one of our flimsy stick-built structures.

We all take our chances that our home will never suffer from nature's fury, and most of us have dodged the bullet so far.

But when your neighbors house goes up in flames from a  forest fire, or shredded by an F-5 tornado, or smashed flat by a twenty-ton tree, or washed away by a swollen river, we still have to pay the price. We all pay for the insurance.

We all  have to pay, one way or another.

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