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  #1  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 12:05 AM
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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?
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  #2  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 12:28 AM
Sun Belt Sun Belt is offline
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Originally Posted by SpawnOfVulcan View Post
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?
     
     
  #3  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 12:44 AM
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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?
     
     
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 12:54 AM
Obadno Obadno is offline
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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.
     
     
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 2:29 AM
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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.
     
     
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 4:04 AM
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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.
     
     
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Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 1:58 PM
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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.
     
     
  #8  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 2:26 PM
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Originally Posted by fleonzo View Post
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.
     
     
  #9  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 2:56 PM
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Um ok, I don't even know where to start off... I'm just freaked out by these conversations.

Bon, first off, to all those who think scientists who've been warning us all about environmental issues and potential disasters - that's just about all of them scientists today - have actually sold their asses to green lobbies, just actually think for a second.
If you were a scientist with a Ph.D. trying to make a load of money out of propaganda and brainwashing, who would you sell your talents to? Shit like Green Peace or similar environmentalist NGOs? BWAHAHAHAHA, are you kidding? These poor guys have peanuts. You certainly wouldn't make up any fortune by standing by them.
Obviously, you'd go to an oil company or something like that well established, cause those can afford to pay you millions of dollars a year to serve their financial interests.

Second, you watch their data and graphs, then you start to realize something has probably been wrong for real, because all natural stuff around us has been changing much faster than ever in recent Earth's history (mind you, we're literally nothing compared to Earth itself, that's 4.5 billion years old).
Floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts... All these extreme events are said very likely to go more and more frequent, at a freaking rate, worse ever seen before in human memories.

Third and finally, you've got 2 options.
Going back to mere rough nature like a caveman. That's what the cynical communists want me to do to weaken me, so they can take control of the world more easily. But of course I'm no retard, so I say fuck the communists.
Or advocate innovation, clean tech (and by "tech", I don't mean your pitiful iphone that's just a fashion item; tech should mean serious things), new entrepreneurship and better leadership, and just screw oil companies and all fossil fuels.

That is how I would summarize it. There's something sure. If you have kids and don't want them to struggle from atrocities, you'd better think twice, right now, because there's actually no shelter in the world.
No one would be spared if things had to gradually go really wrong. Not even 'Murika baby.
That must be clear enough.
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  #10  
Old Posted Sep 21, 2019, 4:04 AM
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Floods,
Do et al. (2017) computed the trends in annual maximum daily streamflow data across the globe over the 1966–2005 period. They found decreasing trends for a large number of stations in western North America and Australia, and increasing trends in parts of Europe, eastern North America, parts of South America, and southern Africa.

In summary, streamflow trends since 1950 are not statistically significant in most of the world’s largest rivers (high confidence), while flood frequency and extreme streamflow have increased in some regions (high confidence).


IPCC SR15 3.3.5.1

Quote:
hurricanes,
Numerous studies leading up to and after AR5 have reported a decreasing trend in the global number of tropical cyclones and/or the globally accumulated cyclonic energy (Emanuel, 2005; Elsner et al., 2008; Knutson et al., 2010; Holland and Bruyère, 2014; Klotzbach and Landsea, 2015; Walsh et al., 2016). A theoretical physical basis for such a decrease to occur under global warming was recently provided by Kang and Elsner (2015). However, using a relatively short (20 year) and relatively homogeneous remotely sensed record, Klotzbach (2006) reported no significant trends in global cyclonic activity, consistent with more recent findings of Holland and Bruyère (2014). Such contradictions, in combination with the fact that the almost four decade-long period of remotely sensed observations remains relatively short to distinguish anthropogenically induced trends from decadal and multi-decadal variability, implies that there is only low confidence regarding changes in global tropical cyclone numbers under global warming over the last four decades.

IPCC SR15 3.3.6

Quote:
tornadoes,


Quote:
droughts...
The IPCC AR5 assessed that there was low confidence in the sign of drought trends since 1950 at the global scale, but that there was high confidence in observed trends in some regions of the world, including drought increases in the Mediterranean and West Africa and drought decreases in central North America and northwest Australia (Hartmann et al., 2013; Stocker et al., 2013).

IPCC SR15 3.3.4.1

https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uplo...r3_Low_Res.pdf
     
     
  #11  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 2:59 PM
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Originally Posted by fleonzo View Post
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.


So we should just chance it and hope for the best? We can and should discourage people from living lifestyles that we know could result in the destruction of our planet. The most effective means of doing that is a carbon tax IMO.
     
     
  #12  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:04 PM
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So we should just chance it and hope for the best? We can and should discourage people from living lifestyles that we know could result in the destruction of our planet. The most effective means of doing that is a carbon tax IMO.
Flood insurance rates need to be adjusted to properly reflect risk. The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be revamped...subsidizing stripping drywall from the same ranch house annually in Harris County ain't cutting it.
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  #13  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:14 PM
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Flood insurance rates need to be adjusted to properly reflect risk. The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be revamped...subsidizing stripping drywall from the same ranch house annually in Harris County ain't cutting it.
So you’re suggesting that people pay actual market rates for flood insurance?

So communist of you.
     
     
  #14  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 4:55 PM
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Flood insurance rates need to be adjusted to properly reflect risk. The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be revamped...subsidizing stripping drywall from the same ranch house annually in Harris County ain't cutting it.
A large number of homes flooded in the Houston metro are multistory mansions or mcmansions. Lots of single story, too, the kind you find all over the Midwest and south. If you drive through Meyerland, you see where people with the resources have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars raising their entire homes 4 to 6 feet. The others just sit there vacant. Meyerland was a beautiful, very affluent neighborhood before the big floods started after 2010. A neighborhood ruined by flooding.

This is affecting me personally as I get closer to moving back to the area, which is where I grew up (through high school). I spend a couple of hours each night on Zillow, and just about everywhere I want to live has had flooding problems. The ads on Zillow rarely mention whether a home has been flooded, but when you see a 4,000 ft2 custom home in a beautiful area with a posted price of $280,000, you know the story. Some of the photos, though, show gutted homes selling at rock bottom prices (essentially the land value, which isn't much either).

I'm not going to settle in a neighborhood that has been flooded. I don't want to have to buy expensive flood insurance. So this is a challenge. But this is where my family is, and I need to be closer now that I'm retired.
     
     
  #15  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishIllini View Post


So we should just chance it and hope for the best? We can and should discourage people from living lifestyles that we know could result in the destruction of our planet. The most effective means of doing that is a carbon tax IMO.
If you have ever listened to George Carlin, you would know that there is nothing we can do to destroy this planet. Earth will live on after all these disasters. Life on it ( including us)? We’re probably screwed, like the dinosaurs before us.
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  #16  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 6:17 PM
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^ That's just about it when you're an atheist.

That being said, the human species got to a level of consciousness ever reached before.
I mean, dinosaurs were most likely completely stupid.

So let us see how smart we actually are, for once. That would be really cool.
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  #17  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 4:45 PM
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Originally Posted by fleonzo View Post
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.
Except that we're the cause of current climate change. Please review the science. It's all out there.

However, if there is not enough political will do anything about it (at least in this country right now), we will be forced to adapt one way or the other. Other civilized countries are actually doing something about it, but without our help, their efforts may not be enough. And China's emissions (and some other countries) could overwhelm things.

It's impressive that young Americans are so heavily involved in this. Theoretically, at least, this crop of young Americans may be the country's way out of the current political gridlock on this issue. This and other issues, actually. We won't know until the 2020 and subsequent elections. Voter turnout is the key, obviously.
     
     
  #18  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 1:44 AM
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Houston is just floody and prone to erratic weather. We've had four major flooding incidents since 2015.
     
     
  #19  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 3:26 AM
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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.
     
     
  #20  
Old Posted Sep 20, 2019, 4:01 AM
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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.
     
     
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