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-   -   American Cities and Climate Change: When is Enough, Enough? (http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=240370)

SpawnOfVulcan Sep 20, 2019 12:05 AM

American Cities and Climate Change: When is Enough, Enough?
 
As a geographer, with a focus in urban and regional planning, I wonder why people choose to remain in large, disaster-prone metro areas. I'm talking about extreme natural disasters that occur nearly every year. These extreme weather events, that are exacerbated by impervious surfaces in urban areas are obviously going to continue to occur!

What gives?

Certainly demographics play into certain populations' abilities to move out of hazardous areas, but (aside from denial of the existance of climate change) why do certain demographic groups choose to remain in such susceptible areas?

I, of course, live in a state that is highly proned to natural disasters. However, I love Alabama, I love Birmingham, and I love the Tennessee Valley. None of us can truly escape all natural disasters, but when you see the catastrophic flooding like we're seeing with Imelda, I wonder what coastal residents think when the rebuild time after time.

Is Houston just an exceptional city?

Is Miami Beach just too beautiful?

Is Charleston too precious to sacrifice?

Is New Orleans too important of a port to allow the Mississippi to run its natural course?

Sun Belt Sep 20, 2019 12:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpawnOfVulcan (Post 8692779)
As a geographer, with a focus in urban and regional planning, I wonder why people choose to remain in large, disaster-prone metro areas. I'm talking about extreme natural disasters that occur nearly every year. These extreme weather events, that are exacerbated by impervious surfaces in urban areas are obviously going to continue to occur!

What gives?

Certainly demographics play into certain populations' abilities to move out of hazardous areas, but (aside from denial of the existance of climate change) why do certain demographic groups choose to remain in such susceptible areas?

I, of course, live in a state that is highly proned to natural disasters. However, I love Alabama, I love Birmingham, and I love the Tennessee Valley. None of us can truly escape all natural disasters, but when you see the catastrophic flooding like we're seeing with Imelda, I wonder what coastal residents think when the rebuild time after time.

Is Houston just an exceptional city?

Is Miami Beach just too beautiful?

Is Charleston too precious to sacrifice?

Is New Orleans too important of a port to allow the Mississippi to run its natural course?

Was there a time when these disaster prone areas didn't have disasters?

Or are disasters a new thing in the social media, 24/7 cable news era?

IrishIllini Sep 20, 2019 12:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8692803)
Was there a time when these disaster prone areas didn't have disasters?

Or are disasters a new thing in the social media, 24/7 cable news era?

Maybe the frequency and intensity of storms has become more news worthy?

Obadno Sep 20, 2019 12:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrishIllini (Post 8692818)
Maybe the frequency and intensity of storms has become more news worthy?

Storms seem to come in spurts, the mid 2000's the 1950's, the 1930's, the 1850's You can look up years and groups of years with lots of storms. This year is not particularly extreme. When people with the money to actually develop land stop developing it and move en mass from the coast I will be concerned.

Something tells me, and this is just a hunch, I think Miami and other costal cities will be just fine long after all of us are dead.

JManc Sep 20, 2019 1:44 AM

Houston is just floody and prone to erratic weather. We've had four major flooding incidents since 2015.

Sun Belt Sep 20, 2019 1:49 AM

Today's Houston was once 300 miles inland.

This Climate Change has got to stop right now, or else!

jtown,man Sep 20, 2019 2:29 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by IrishIllini (Post 8692818)
Maybe the frequency and intensity of storms has become more news worthy?

Or they have just become more political. That wasn't a 'thing' 20 years ago, now every story or drought or whatever is a chance to spread the Gospel of Climate Change.

Mind you, I am not someone who thinks people are dumb for thinking we have a major issue on our hands or anything...but really...the media never misses an opportunity to attribute everything on Earth to climate change.

jtown,man Sep 20, 2019 2:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SpawnOfVulcan (Post 8692779)
As a geographer, with a focus in urban and regional planning, I wonder why people choose to remain in large, disaster-prone metro areas. I'm talking about extreme natural disasters that occur nearly every year. These extreme weather events, that are exacerbated by impervious surfaces in urban areas are obviously going to continue to occur!

What gives?

Certainly demographics play into certain populations' abilities to move out of hazardous areas, but (aside from denial of the existance of climate change) why do certain demographic groups choose to remain in such susceptible areas?

I, of course, live in a state that is highly proned to natural disasters. However, I love Alabama, I love Birmingham, and I love the Tennessee Valley. None of us can truly escape all natural disasters, but when you see the catastrophic flooding like we're seeing with Imelda, I wonder what coastal residents think when the rebuild time after time.

Is Houston just an exceptional city?

Is Miami Beach just too beautiful?

Is Charleston too precious to sacrifice?

Is New Orleans too important of a port to allow the Mississippi to run its natural course?

What do you mean "demographics play into certain populations' abilities to move out of hazardous areas"?

But we know the answer to your question:

Money
Family
Jobs
Inertia
Connections
Beauty of area
etc. etc. etc.

Norfolk floods a lot. But like 98% of the time it isn't flooded. So as with anything in life, you deal with the short stints of bullshit to enjoy the other side of the coin. For most people, for most times, life is fine in these areas. My dad's entire family lives in Miami. They seem fine. No one usually cares about crap that rarely happens(even if that "rarely happens" event is happening more).

Dariusb Sep 20, 2019 3:26 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8692879)
Houston is just floody and prone to erratic weather. We've had four major flooding incidents since 2015.

Man I hear you. I was passing through on my way to Baton Rouge and it was like an ocean burst out of the sky. People strandd on the side of freeways. Other freeways like 69 were jammed with people fleeing other roads. I ended up having to go up 69 to 190 and took that into Baton Rouge. A normally 6 hour trip took twice that. I'm beat and this hotel room is like heaven right now. Global warming is most definitely real no matter how much naysayers including the president want to deny it.

AviationGuy Sep 20, 2019 3:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 8692879)
Houston is just floody and prone to erratic weather. We've had four major flooding incidents since 2015.

It's a combination of more extreme rainfall events, and extreme development with associated removal of natural ground cover. The two don't go together with a favorable outcome.

Obadno Sep 20, 2019 4:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dariusb (Post 8692981)
Man I hear you. I was passing through on my way to Baton Rouge and it was like an ocean burst out of the sky. People strandd on the side of freeways. Other freeways like 69 were jammed with people fleeing other roads. I ended up having to go up 69 to 190 and took that into Baton Rouge. A normally 6 hour trip took twice that. I'm beat and this hotel room is like heaven right now. Global warming is most definitely real no matter how much naysayers including the president want to deny it.

Please explain how lots of rain around Houston is because of climate change.

I promise you no climatologist would claim it is.

AviationGuy Sep 20, 2019 4:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jtown,man (Post 8692929)
Or they have just become more political. That wasn't a 'thing' 20 years ago, now every story or drought or whatever is a chance to spread the Gospel of Climate Change.

Mind you, I am not someone who thinks people are dumb for thinking we have a major issue on our hands or anything...but really...the media never misses an opportunity to attribute everything on Earth to climate change.

I think you're overstating. Perhaps that's what some people like to read into it because what they hear doesn't fit their political agenda. Their time would be better spent getting educated on the topic from a scientific standpoint.

"The media" I listen to and read gets it right most of the time regarding climate change. I've seen mistakes, but by and large what the media reports is factual. Except for Fox and a lot of talk radio. As an atmospheric scientist by education and career, I pay attention to the way the issue is presented.

AviationGuy Sep 20, 2019 4:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dariusb (Post 8692981)
Man I hear you. I was passing through on my way to Baton Rouge and it was like an ocean burst out of the sky. People strandd on the side of freeways. Other freeways like 69 were jammed with people fleeing other roads. I ended up having to go up 69 to 190 and took that into Baton Rouge. A normally 6 hour trip took twice that. I'm beat and this hotel room is like heaven right now. Global warming is most definitely real no matter how much naysayers including the president want to deny it.

Warmer oceans do have a cause and effect relationship with higher intensity rainfall events. Such events have complex causes, but warmer water can be a big contributing factor, depending on the relative strengths of the contributing factors.

One thing that continually amazes me is the number of people who think "global warming" must mean every place on earth, at any given time, is warmer than it was. So they think if they're having a cold spell, there can't possibly be any "global warming". They have no understanding of the concept of global averages, or the concept that warmer temperatures in some places (like the Arctic) are much more important than warmer temperatures in other places. Also, the feedback mechanism just compounds the problem. The warmer it is in the Arctic, for example, the more ice melts. The more ice melts, the less reflectivity there is from the surface, which speeds things up.

None of this matters to a president who loves to say that a snowstorm on the east coast "proves" there is no global warming (per some of his Tweets).

AviationGuy Sep 20, 2019 4:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Obadno (Post 8693013)
Please explain how lots of rain around Houston is because of climate change.

I promise you no climatologist would claim it is.

Although any particular storm has complex causes, warmer waters in the Gulf (very likely tied in a big way to climate change) can very well be a contributing factor, and potentially the main contributing factor for some storms.

Kenmore Sep 20, 2019 11:33 AM

all those cities are doomed in my lifetime and no one gives a fuk because the boomer owner class will be dead anyways

Centropolis Sep 20, 2019 12:14 PM

i frequently ship time-sensitive environmental samples and i can’t tell you how many times they don’t make it to the lab on time in houston either due to traffic, weather, or just the system breaking down. i have thousands of dollars worth of samples right now, i guess stuck at dallas, ruined due to flooding in houston. its become a serious problem.

Centropolis Sep 20, 2019 12:59 PM

houston was an honorable attempt insofar as an interesting collection of people.

fleonzo Sep 20, 2019 1:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sun Belt (Post 8692803)
Was there a time when these disaster prone areas didn't have disasters?

Or are disasters a new thing in the social media, 24/7 cable news era?

Excellent point! And the idea that you can “carbon tax” people to change the climate “back” is even more ridiculous. As a species of this Earth we either learn to adapt to the climate changing or we go extinct. It’s been the history of this planet since its creation.

the urban politician Sep 20, 2019 2:17 PM

Chicago is subject to severe weather outbreaks year after year as well too.

It's called January

pj3000 Sep 20, 2019 2:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by fleonzo (Post 8693256)
Excellent point! And the idea that you can “carbon tax” people to change the climate “back” is even more ridiculous. As a species of this Earth we either learn to adapt to the climate changing or we go extinct. It’s been the history of this planet since its creation.

Well yeah, we’ll have to adapt... that’s not debated by anyone. At issue is how we adapt in the best ways possible to ensure our capacity for continued prosperity.

And primary among those ways to adapt is to limit our input of atmosphere-warming gases into our closed system. We have amazing technology - let’s use it.


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