Fragile Interconnected Complex Systems

Yves Smith has a post about how Sandy continues to disrupt NYC and how fragile complex systems are.  Now this wouldn’t be a surprise to folks reading The Oil Drum, but should be a wake up call to everyone else as the planet warms because of our own stupidity and greed. As we build systems that are efficient, redundency goes out the window, which will be a serious problem as our planet’s climate gets increasingly chaotic.

The hospital situation is particularly telling as she cited from one commenter:

“The Manhattan hospital system is near collapse. Sounds like an exaggeration? It’s not. How do I know all this? I was hit by a cab on Monday afternoon, and taken to an Eastside hospital, and medical staff told me this.

My visit to the ER was beyond chaos (not normal ER chaos). I and several other trauma patients never received TRIAGE. They had no ICE. They were so short-staffed only cardiac patients received triage. One TBI patient had to wait over 4 HOURS to have a head CAT scan. These are bottom-line protocols that should never be violated, even in an emergency. The entire hospitals network was on the blink; everything had to be done manually (the servers in the flooded basement).”

More on Sandy’s effects on hospitals.

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