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Thread: Hurricane Harvey!

  1. #1
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Default Hurricane Harvey!

    Also, extreme weather, climate change, infrastructure, disaster preparedness, local building/zoning codes, government regulations, water management, FEMA, etc. Topics we've debating & discussing here for years.

    What a sad, sorry mess! But Trump says climate science is fake news, a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. The Trump administration has cut funding to the EPA and FEMA, because government is bad, ya know. He wants to cut (corporate) taxes and build The Wall, and Texas Republicans have largely been on board. The same ones that rolled their eyes after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and superstorm Sandy. What now?

    Hey Lewk, what do you think about things like FEMA and federal flood insurance when it's in your own back yard? Are you going to say all those people in the Houston area should just move somewhere else?
    Last edited by GGT; 09-02-2017 at 02:08 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Also, extreme weather, climate change, infrastructure, disaster preparedness, local building/zoning codes, government regulations, water management, FEMA, etc. Topics we've debating & discussing here for years.

    What a sad, sorry mess! But Trump says climate science is fake news, a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. The Trump administration has cut funding to the EPA and FEMA, because government is bad, ya know. He wants to cut (corporate) taxes and build The Wall, and Texas Republicans have largely been on board. The same ones that rolled their eyes after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, and superstorm Sandy. What now?

    Hey Lewk, what do you think about things like FEMA and federal flood insurance when it's in your own back yard? Are you going to say all those people in the Houston area should just move somewhere else?
    You know using hurricanes hitting America as a climate change proof is pretty laughable considering we've been blessed with fewer hurricanes than in the past.

    Federal flood insurance programs create moral hazard. We will see people rebuild over and over again on coastal regions. If people want to do that, that's fine but it shouldn't be subsidized by the tax payer. This applies to Texas just as it does to any other state in the country.

    That being said, there are solutions to the flooding issue that the city of Houston faced however the sheer volume of rain is not something that is realistic to plan for. Occasionally, shit happens.

  3. #3
    Quality over quantity asshole. It's dishonest, borderline insane, to suggest we are blessed for Sandy, Harvey, and Irma compared to the 04-05 season were I rode out a hand full of bitch level hurricanes.
    "In a field where an overlooked bug could cost millions, you want people who will speak their minds, even if they’re sometimes obnoxious about it."

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    SEÑOR Member Aimless's Avatar
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    Been interesting to see Fox's coverage of the involvement of Houston's Muslim community, eg. the work of the local mosques.

    Some claims floating around that repairing all the damage is going to cost 150 billion. Obviously a bullshit number at the moment but it's clear that somehow Obama is to blame because he gave Iran, Iraq and North Korea (!!!) 150 billion each of American taxpayers' money, in freshly minted dolla' dolla' bills. Now those countries are gonna nuke the US.

    Meanwhile PR is getting ready for Irma... what a nightmare. More bullshit to come.
    “Humanity's greatest advances are not in its discoveries, but in how those discoveries are applied to reduce inequity.”
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    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    A friend got drunk recently and ranted about how these hurricanes were evidence of climate change and Trump is KILLING the planet. I tried to have a discussion about how the insidousness of climate change is that flashy things like storms aren't a good proof point, but it's an interesting question of what's ethically the right way to effect positive change for the environment. He wouldn't have any of it, passed out, apologized in the morning and then hopped into his SUV to head home the next morning.

    Meanwhile, this has been sorta fun: http://jalopnik.com/were-you-on-this...e-i-1800787353

    https://qz.com/1071134/watch-delta-a...f-puerto-rico/


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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewkowski View Post
    You know using hurricanes hitting America as a climate change proof is pretty laughable considering we've been blessed with fewer hurricanes than in the past.
    I didn't say hurricanes are "proof" of climate change What's laughable is Trump calling climate science "fake news"

    Federal flood insurance programs create moral hazard. We will see people rebuild over and over again on coastal regions. If people want to do that, that's fine but it shouldn't be subsidized by the tax payer. This applies to Texas just as it does to any other state in the country.
    You'd rather have private for-profit companies underwrite flood insurance because (theoretically) the high expense would keep people from building (and re-building) in flood planes, or coastal regions below or barely above sea level? Dream on. There would still be building, mostly by large multi-national corporations that need access to our Atlantic and Gulf sea ports (oil refineries, container ships, airlines, cruise ships) but also US Military bases. And they wouldn't want their employees to drive 2 hours from 'the interior'....so it's no surprise when housing gets built close to ports, or that sprawl becomes an economic force of its own.

    We can debate the "moral hazard" angle or what's being "subsidized by the tax payer" all you want, but let's start from reality. Your idealistic supply/demand or libertarian freeeedom shit just won't fly

    That being said, there are solutions to the flooding issue that the city of Houston faced however the sheer volume of rain is not something that is realistic to plan for. Occasionally, shit happens.
    Please outline some of those 'solutions' beginning with local/state.

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Short of starting a new thread....where do all the "states rights" people stand during these regional disasters? Do they really think they can recover from catastrophic weather events without help from the federal government? Or will they finally realize the beauty of being the *United* States of America?

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Good luck and best wishes to anyone/everyone in Hurricane Irma's path....

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    Stingy DM Veldan Rath's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GGT View Post
    Short of starting a new thread....where do all the "states rights" people stand during these regional disasters? Do they really think they can recover from catastrophic weather events without help from the federal government? Or will they finally realize the beauty of being the *United* States of America?
    Christ you are an all in or nothing thing ain't ya?
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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veldan Rath View Post
    Christ you are an all in or nothing thing ain't ya?
    I thought it was a good question about weighing political principles, and Lewk's complaint about tax payers subsidizing building/rebuilding, but maybe you didn't like how I framed it?

    The Florida keys got hit hard by Irma, and the Caribbean Islands (territories of the US, UK, France and The Netherlands) are in especially dire shape. There's a multi-national effort to rescue, recover, relocate....and they're already talking about rebuilding! While it's good to see everyone pitch in and help, and look forward to the future (because those things are necessary after major disasters), it doesn't address who pays or how tax dollars are allocated. Let alone sea level rise, and 100 year events happening every year.

    Lewk and I have gone back and forth for years about this. He likes to portray FEMA and federal flood insurance as the main moral hazard, and I keep trying to remind him that supply/demand freeee market capitalism at the state level can be even riskier. I don't object to using National Guard, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard during disasters....but I do mind if it's because states have ignored federal safety guidelines (and continue to allow mobile homes in tornado alley, or on barrier islands, or loosened building codes, for example).

    Plenty of bad decisions have been made in the name of engineering and tourism, and we call it innovation and growth, until shit hits the fan

  11. #11
    Administrator Dreadnaught's Avatar
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    Question: Hurricane Irma approaches and you find yourself with access to a private jet with 13 seats and the ability to fly to Miami and back without refueling. All commercial flights are booked solid. The cost of the private jet is $39,000 round-trip to you, upfront.

    Is it ethical to go down to Miami with that jet and scout for 12 people willing to pay you $6000 each to take that flight out of Miami?

  12. #12
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    It depends. If that $39,000 cost to you is chump change (relative to your income), then are you trying to make a profit from a disaster?

    Also, would the scenario be different if the commodity was water?
    Last edited by GGT; 09-13-2017 at 03:19 AM.

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Question: with the devastation in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria, and their already outdated infrastructure plus huge debt burden (bankruptcy?)....how should federal tax dollars be used in its re-building?

    Especially curious how Lewk would answer this.

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    While Lewk comes up with a reply.....I'll put in my two cents. I think this would be a good time to ship tons of solar panels and storage batteries to PR. Install them on homes and businesses when they put up new roofs. It would at least give people enough electricity to power a cooking element, or fan, or water pump, until the power grid can be rebuilt. And when they do rebuild the power grid, maybe it shouldn't be so reliant on wires, poles, and substations that can be wiped out with a hurricane or flood?

    Sorry, never mind. That would mean the government decides winners/losers, and that's not true capitalism
    Last edited by GGT; 09-28-2017 at 04:55 AM.

  15. #15
    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia, Maria, and now Nate! Remember, hurricane season runs through November.

    Lewk, how many people should we evacuate and relocate?

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    Any input about FEMA or federal funding for US disasters?

    Hello, Lewk?

    Maybe I titled the thread poorly, but the basic question remains: at what point can natural disasters be avoided, while also preserving life when disasters do happen?

    Correlation/causation matters, and it bugs me when climate science is denied for certain states and their most valuable commodities (Texas oil, West Virginia coal, California wineries) without seeing any bigger picture, or national consequences.

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    Senior Member GGT's Avatar
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    not to mention the west coast wildfires.....

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