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Topic Title: Harvey Wasn't Just Bad Weather. It Was Bad City Planning
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Created On: 09/01/2017 12:22 PM
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 09/01/2017 12:22 PM
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WG

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Joined: 03/10/2005

"Harvey is a devastating reminder to Houston that nature will have its due. The Category 4 hurricane that hung around as a stationary tropical storm punished greater Houston with rainfall measured in feet, not inches. No city could have withstood Harvey without serious harm, but Houston made itself more vulnerable than necessary. Paving over the saw-grass prairie reduced the ground's capacity to absorb rainfall. Flood-control reservoirs were too small. Building codes were inadequate.

...

Attitude is partly to blame. Michael Talbott spent 35 years with the Harris County Flood Control District trying to protect Houston, mainly by seeking funds for widening drainage channels and bayous. But he resisted the notion that more drastic measures such as preserving green space and managing growth were required. Shortly before retiring as executive director in 2016, Talbott gave an interview to ProPublica and the Texas Tribune in which he disputed the effect of global warming and said conservationists were antidevelopment. "They have an agenda?...?their agenda to protect the environment overrides common sense," he said. Talbott, now retired, couldn't be reached for comment."

...

However important it was in the past to come to grips with flood control and construction codes, it's essential in this era of climate change. For Houston, the cruel irony is that the greenhouse gases that contribute to superstorms are intimately connected to the oil and petrochemical economy on which the city built its fortune.

The contribution from global warming is the result of what meteorologists call the Clausius-Clapeyron relation, which says the water-holding capacity of the atmosphere increases about 7 percent for each 1 degree Celsius increase in the temperature. (That's 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit.) So: warmer air, more water, bigger storms. The temperature of the oceans is rising, too. Heat from the Gulf of Mexico is what fueled Harvey."

Houston exulted in sprawling, hands-off growth. That's no way to prepare for natural catastrophes.
 09/01/2017 12:42 PM
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StirfryMcflurry

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nah, forrealz? what was yer first clue?



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Winter is coming.
 09/01/2017 12:50 PM
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WG

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That it is in Texas.
 09/01/2017 02:35 PM
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crankit

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Democrat mayor--same with Katrina!

 09/01/2017 03:11 PM
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WG

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Well if you want to go all partisan...
Sure the city is run by Democrats, as are most cities, after the Republicans all run away to live in suburbia, Democrats often have to pick the hard job of dealing with hollowed out downtowns and shrinking tax bases. (and of course there's that "race" thing)

It's Republican state, owned by developers and the gas industry.
And much of the problem is well outside the city limits in the suburban sprawl.

But I don't think the problem of letting developers run everything, lack of desire to properly collect revenue to pay for infrastructure and a disdain for the scientific experts is a necessarily R/D thing.
Or is it now?

Did you read the article?
 09/02/2017 04:34 PM
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scombrid

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Lot of solid R mcmansion suburbs flooded out there.

Let us have that much rain in Brevard and see how the R developments on old SJR floodplain fair.



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 09/02/2017 04:54 PM
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all3

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The only planning going on was how much money can we make and how fast?



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Old and Slow can be stylish if you eliminate the jerky part. Heading out into this beautiful world in search of wild waves, wonderful women, and my golf ball.

 09/02/2017 06:24 PM
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WG

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"At the national scale, the tensions over balancing development, safety and environmental quality were on display earlier this month when President Donald Trump, in the name of accelerating infrastructure improvements, revoked a 2015 executive order from President Barack Obama establishing reviews of flood risks before the approval of federal funding for housing or other construction projects.

The move was widely criticized as threatening the very infrastructure the president claimed to be trying to revive, including by the R Street Institute, an organization pursuing Reagan-era approaches to cutting disaster risk and preserving the environment.

The most vocal group cheering Trump's decision was the National Association of Home Builders, which had fought the Obama plan."

"Scientists warn of more and expanding "bull's-eyes" as Americans build in parts of the country at ever greater risk because of climate change and severe weather."

propublica
 09/03/2017 05:18 AM
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crankit

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Viera is not in a major floodzone, how did that happen?

 09/03/2017 06:22 AM
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WG

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geology?
 09/03/2017 07:10 AM
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Cole

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Originally posted by: crankit

Viera is not in a major floodzone, how did that happen?



Duda carved out canals and drained the wetlands, sure it cost him some fines, but they were nothing compared to the profits he made. Drop ten inches of rain on the place and tell me it's not in a flood zone. The same can be said for medical city in Osceola County. I watched them plow down the Cypress Stands, then truck in cubic miles of fill dirt; the medical area itself will be fine due to the increased elevation, but the lower areas around them? Whew, that will be ugly....the water has to go somewhere.

The same is happening along Beeline, the Cypress Stands are being plowed down and I expect the fill will be coming in soon.

Wetland are there for a purpose, the more we screw with them, the more we will pay in the future.



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Trump/Putin 2016!
 09/04/2017 04:46 AM
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crankit

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Geology--I guess all of a sudden there wase a earth heave up there that raised the entire area?  Magic!

 09/05/2017 07:00 AM
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tpapablo

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Originally posted by: crankit Democrat mayor--same with Katrina!

 

One thing is pretty evident, the Republican governor, Abbott, is doing a good job, unlike the La. dem governor. The lesson here is that if a disaster is going to happen in your state, hope like hell that you have a Republican governor.



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Oinkafelluh, humiliator of progs.

 09/05/2017 07:07 AM
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Cole

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One thing is pretty evident, the Republican governor, Abbott, is doing a good job.

Yet the Democrat mayor of Houston isn't?

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Trump/Putin 2016!
 09/05/2017 07:13 AM
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tpapablo

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Seems to be doing a decent job.



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Oinkafelluh, humiliator of progs.

 09/05/2017 10:22 AM
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wbsponger

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I wonder how much welfare the State of Texas will be looking to get out of this from the feds? 

 09/05/2017 11:41 AM
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tpapablo

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Originally posted by: wbsponger I wonder how much welfare the State of Texas will be looking to get out of this from the feds? 

 

Doubt it will be much if anything. Welfare spending could very well decrease given all the jobs that should come available.



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Oinkafelluh, humiliator of progs.

 09/05/2017 06:14 PM
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wbsponger

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Was thinking welfare in the form of federal flood insurance payouts, fema, etc.

Unfortunate that their poor city planning, lack of zoning, paving of floodplain etc will be supported by this federal welfare 

 09/06/2017 06:09 AM
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Cole

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Do they really have no building codes?

That can't be right. Nobody is that shortsighted.

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Trump/Putin 2016!
 09/06/2017 07:04 AM
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tpapablo

Posts: 27081
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Originally posted by: wbsponger Was thinking welfare in the form of federal flood insurance payouts, fema, etc.

 

Unfortunate that their poor city planning, lack of zoning, paving of floodplain etc will be supported by this federal welfare 

 

That's not welfare. But, whatever. If it is welfare, you progs whole-heartedly supported it and made it possible. Don't know why you are crying about it now. If you want to end it going forward, vote Republican.



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Oinkafelluh, humiliator of progs.

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