a thoughtful web.
Share good ideas and conversation.   Login or Take a Tour!
comment by steve

well... not exactly the point I was making... or the tone in which I was making it... I understand there is a climate change part of this story... but there is also the fact that this town was built in the smack middle of a geological funnel...

kingmudsy  ·  194 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    The National Weather Service said the flood had been a “1,000-year event” caused by extreme rain.


    The trend of extreme rain will continue in the coming decades.

The point I'd like to make is that, "known flood zones" are expanding, and they're only going to expand faster - If all we have to offer is irrational anger, we're going to be very angry at a lot of dead people who couldn't escape due to financial burden, limited mobility, or because they've been misguided by someone else.

That's the point of the story - They lived in this geological funnel that wasn't a problem for a long time. At the beginning of the story, it wasn't a known flood zone. After the first flood, it still isn't a known flood zone, it's just a place where a flood happened. The second flood happened less than two years ago, and has thus only recently been acknowledged as a "known flood zone."

So, fine, we finally get the data and discover that it's a place that floods now due to climate change. Maybe they should move away now, but what about the people who can't afford to? What about the people who aren't healthy enough to move? Of course they should get out of dodge, but your irrational anger isn't helpful because it doesn't save any lives or offer any sympathy to victims of a freak accident. It doesn't accomplish anything.

I'm not trying to admonish you here, and I honestly intended the TPUSA image as a light-hearted jab rather than an insult! But homes in Kansas, Iowa, and Nebraska were some of the largest victims of catastrophic flooding last year, and I think it's important to ask how we defend against wide-spread flooding when the "known flood zone" is an entire region:

If your metric for outrage is, "People who live near bodies of water," I've got some bad news for you: There are estimates that 150 million could live below the high tide line by 2050.

I'm really, really not trying to be a dick when I say this, but irrational anger doesn't solve anything. It doesn't answer the big question: How are we going to deal with this? We don't answer that question by pushing the blame onto victims of catastrophic flooding.

steve  ·  194 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Well stated, and well received. I think we're up against a multiple faceted problem that will require a multi-faceted solution. One of those solutions (IMHO) isn't subsidizing flood insurance to allow people to rebuild exactly where they were before. We should use those subsidies to move them to a place out of those zones, and far above sea level (subtle jab at the re-building of New Orleans). It's not that I'm suggesting people move at their own expense... I'm suggesting we don't allow people to use subsidies to rebuild where we know they're screwed. EDIT: These two floods were not the first time this town has been flooded. 2011 they flooded and homes were damaged/destroyed. A little digging is showing me flooding issues the've known about since at least the 70s. It sucks that this happens. It's frustrating that these storms happened so closely together - caused by climate change. It all sucks...but this place doesn't look like a great place to have a city.

We should also be attacking climate change at every opportunity.

kingmudsy  ·  194 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Ahhh, I think I might have carried some angst against comments made by relatives over the holiday season into this conversation! Sorry Steve - well said. I agree, we shouldn't be subsidizing new development in danger-prone areas where possible.

My addition is this: Part of the multi-faceted solution is going to require some solvency for the vast swathes of land that are going to begin flooding regularly. We can't relocate entire regions of the heartland. A huge part of the problem here is that we lack adequate infrastructure to handle flooding on the scale we've been getting it, and the infrastructure that does exist is crumbling. Attack climate change, and mitigate the results of it where necessary - and with this, I believe it is necessary.

steve  ·  194 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I might have carried some angst against comments made by relatives over the holiday season

I hear that my friend... and my half-thought out comment this morning from my phone was a "too early to formulate a proper comment" comment.

kingmudsy  ·  194 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It happens! If every comment needed hours of concentrated thought, Hubski would've died long long ago.