September 11, 2017

#Harvey catastrophe final roundup

The Houston-area damages from Hurricane Harvey happened in large part because of bad politics in Houston and Harris County, followed by some in the state of Texas. Unfortunately, at least one semi-prominent pseudoskeptic in greater Houston wants to double down on that politically conservative state of mind.

That same politics is exemplified in the US Senate by Ted Cruz and John Cornyn, both of whom voted against Superstorm Sandy aid but immediately had their hands out for Harvey help, with Cruz then doubling down on bad manners and ill grace by attacking President Trump for making a deal with Democrats not to link Harvey help to a long-term debt ceiling move.

Could an IkeDike have helped? Besides the fact that it only addresses storm surges, not rainfall-caused flooding, it appears to be a massive boondoggle of the military-industrial complex. It's something that should not be seen as a solution, or even a plausible idea.

Could Houston and Harris County have a better plan for evacuations? Possibly. It at least needs further discussion. Because, storm surge or not, rain-induced flooding, even from less than fully big ones, is going to be an ongoing problem there.

And, maybe part of the problem is that Houston, along with other disaster-prone urban conglomerations, simply has too many people there. Decarbonizing the economy, along with the federal government not favoring right-to-get-fired states, would help with Houston, but not other places.

(And, this hasn't even touched the issue of community, state and federal enforcement of existing floodplain building and rebuilding rules.)

Meanwhile, I, with other Texans, wish the best for Floridians post-Irma. Miami has done some mitigation that Houston has not, but at the state level, it's run by a wingnut governor.

And, Presient Trump's St. Martin property being badly damaged, and Mar-A-Lago at least moderately so, still won't likely lead him to admit the reality of climate change, speaking of Irma.


PDiddie said...

Is "Presient Trump" a nickname or a typo? Either way, kinda funny.

Gadfly said...

It is a typo, but it does have a ring to it, no?