Major coastal cities and terrorism: optimistic or pessimistic?

A statement in this thread actually got me thinking:

I’d like to extract what I think is an interesting discussion from this:

Obviously, many of our most important cities are coastal, where it IS possible, and some say easy, to import the kind of terrorism the quote talks about. So what I’d like to ask, especially of those who actually LIVE in those cities, is how do you feel about the possibilities mentioned in the quote? Is it as inevitable as the poster seems to think? Are YOU ready to die? :slight_smile: Should we, as a nation, slowly start to move more of our financial infrastructure and such inland to guard against such things (to diversify, as it were)? And considering the massive volume of stuff that comes into ports in California and New York every day, is just making contingency plans towards this ‘inevitable’ occurrance the best we can do?

Why would anyone live in Seattle, which Mt. Rainier is going to annihilate some day? Why would anyone live in New Orleans, which a hurricane is going to drown some day? Why do farmers grow grapes on the sides of Mt. Vesuvius?

This is our home. We live here. If the terrorists don’t get us, the next passing asteroid might.

People assess risks in different ways; personally, I’d feel very uncomfortable living downstream from a major dam (Grand Coulee, say, or Boulder.) But I daily drive on the freeways, thus putting myself at a MUCH greater risk!

I agree that there is a risk to our seaports from a terrorist exploit based on a cargo ship. I hope it doesn’t happen…and if it does, I hope that we react intelligently to it, rather than flying into either a panic or a rage.


There’s another good question I hadn’t thought of. If there should ever be massive loss of life in the U.S. due to terrorist attack, is that World War III or global armageddon right there? Martial law nightmare? Or would there be enough level heads?

Terrorists hit New York once, I’m not particularly optimistic that it won’t happen again, since we’re still #1 or co-#1 on the hit list. I don’t know if inevitable is the right word, but it could surely happen again. I’m not there at the moment, but even if I don’t end up living there (I’m a lifelong NYer, minus college), it won’t be for that reason. The chances that an attack would kill me are miniscule, and while it’s unnerving, I’m not going to live my life based on that.

The way I see it, I live in the shadow of Indian Point, and some of my schools had Duck and Cover drills in the '80s.

It’s no worse than the Cold War. Sure. We’re going to get hit someday. But I’m not going to let it change my life in any way, shape, or form. Because I’ve lived through at least two great disasters now in NYC alone, and I know the kind of people who live there, and how we react in a real emergency.

I’m proud to say I wouldn’t work anywhere else.

Last time terrorists hit the U.S., they used internal flights. I don’t see what coastal cities have to do with it.


I’d hate to see all the beautiful art, architecture and libraries of New York destroyed, but whether or not I am blown to smithereens is a matter of indifference to me.