I’m out of state this week, having flown out of LAX. This flight – and another one two weeks ago – took me out of the familiar confines of Southwest Airlines’ Terminal 1.
I had forgotten what a dump most of the place is. Small, dirty bathrooms. Unreliable baggage claims that are wide open to thieves. Claustrophobic and confusing corridors. You wish someone could demolish the place and start over.
So my heart leapt this week at the news that no less authority than our governor, Jerry Brown, believed that LAX was not long for this world. In discussing the effects of climate change on California, he declared that if rising sea levels from melting Antarctic glaciers could flood LAX, forcing at the very least its relocation. “If that happens, the Los Angeles airport’s going to be underwater,” Brown told reporters. SFO, where I can’t remember the last time I had a flight that was not delayed, also could go.
Now, the governor said this in a way that made it sound like a bad thing. I think I was supposed to rend my garments. But instead, I felt like celebrating. LAX, washed away by the ocean? Can you guarantee that ending, Governor?
Alas, he could not. Brown had to correct the statement. LAX sits on bluffs high above the ocean, and isn’t about to be washed away by sea levels. Darnit.
The correction might have been the opportune moment for Brown to show bold leadership, and call for the end of LAX, and the construction of an entirely new airport in its place. He didn’t, of course. So I’m left to rely on the lingering hope that some other cataclysm could rid us of LAX, and force us to build a new airport.