SocraticGadfly: Maybe there's too damn many people there

September 08, 2017

Maybe there's too damn many people there

Per my post last week about Harvey-related evacuation of Houston, if Houstonians and others think that, even with an orderly, Ike-type evacuation, you still couldn't evacuate the whole city in this case, let alone in a fictitious Hurricane Isaiah, then there's one logical conclusion.

There's too damned many people living in greater Houston. (Until you get politicians who fire climate change deniers and stand up to developers, at least.)

The problem's not just there.

If a Superstorm Sandy gets supersized, I know there's too damned many people living in Manhattan.

And — with note that, due to lack of predictiveness, this would be post-event only — if the next Big One hits San Francisco and not the East Bay, I know there's too damned many people living there, too.

With places like the Bay Area, even before the tech/Net boom, it was the scenery. With Manhattan, it was Big Money — and an interesting sidebar that the Net world, rather than increasing remote working, seems instead to have fueled the desire for Big Money to cluster in the Big Apple.

In Phoenix, even before the housing bubble burst, the healthful dry desert air instead became converted to a smoggy urban heat island, with people half-afraid to be caught outside of air conditioning. Add in rapidly depleting groundwater, the Colorado River system being over-allocated, and there's too many there. (Unfortunately, besides bailing out fat cats, Dear Leader didn't use the Great Recession to get people in Phoenix and Vegas to move back to where water is in exchange for surrendering their "underwater" houses.)

Houston? In part, the "energy industry," even though the Houston area itself is no longer a major producer of crude oil, just refined products. And, the energy companies with world, North American, or US headquarters there, really aren't tied there.

Now, if you freely choose to live in some of these places, as in you weren't born there without reasonable means of escape, or your job didn't transfer you there, fine. Accept the natural disasters as part of the price of living there.

And, in the case of places like the Bay Area and Manhattan, accept that blue states or locales actually have more income inequality than red states. In short, if you're trying to live in San Francisco on a shoestring job, you made that choice, even aside from the natural disasters issue.


paintedjaguar said...

1- As far as I know there is no area of the continental US that isn't at risk from some variety of natural disaster.

2- There are too many people. Period. Regardless of distribution.

3- No matter where you live, someone will be collecting rent from you.

Gadfly said...

Re Jaguar's points:
1. Tatum, NM, northwestern edge of the Permian Basin. Nowhere near any known fault lines, even with the rise of fracking. Too far southwest for blizzards. Too far west for hurricane remnants of any strength. Too far west for serious tornado risk. Possible wildfires and straight-line winds on the southern High Plains, and that's about it. Been touted, even, as most risk-free place in the US.

2. True, at least if we all try to live by US standards. That said, I'm not volunteering myself for an early exit.

3. True, unless your residence is Trump Tower or something!

paintedjaguar said...

New Mexico? Hmm, maybe drought? Speaking generally, there are already too many people in the Southwest US considering the available water. Granted, it's less dramatic than the hurricanes and active volcanoes in some places I've lived.

Gadfly said...

Well, low rainfall is normal on the southern high plains (about 14 inches there) so ... one can't really call that a natural disaster unless one year it's like 6 inches, not 14.

And given that there's only about 500 people there and nobody close, if you like elbow room, it's ideal!

paintedjaguar said...

Speaking of population pressures, apparently we now have a global shortage of...