Living Under the Volcano

L-OTPapril2 Nobody ever listens to the doomsayers. We’ve all seen the movie a million times. It starts off with the lone crackpot scientist trying to warn the world of impending doom. Nobody believes them until disaster strikes.

Remember the dumbass mayor who kept the beaches open in “Jaws,” despite the protests of Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider? Or Pierce Brosnan’s boss, who convinced the residents of “Dante’s Peak” that their volcano wasn’t about to explode? How about the poor man’s Dick Cheney who failed to heed Dennis Quaid’s warnings about global warming in time to respond to the cataclysmic events in “The Day After Tomorrow”?

This “It’s-not-going to happen-to-us” mentality is not limited to the movies.

Ever heard of Mount Vesuvius, the still-active volcano that destroyed Pompeii in AD 79 and last erupted in 1944? Did you know half a million people are currently living at its base? Scientists believe a major eruption is long overdue. The Italian government has offered big money to anyone willing to relocate. Hundreds of families have moved; the rest have said, “No grazie.” They have kindred spirits in Los Angeles, where everyone knows the Big One is coming sooner or later, but the residents, desensitized by minor earthquakes, bravely party on.

Well, in the retail automotive industry, our party could be over sooner than we thought.

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