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 Post subject: Re: Getting unstuck
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:16 pm 
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brad wrote:
The IPCC's 2007 report (which is now dated; they're working on a new one) has some interesting discussion here: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/syr/en/mains2-4.html


That's fairly convincing.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting unstuck
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:15 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 818
DoingHomework wrote:

My point was only that it is clear that we could use some infrastructure improvements to mitigate future damage from storms or just normal degradation of equipment and facilities. And the stimulus of making those improvements could help our economy as a side effect much as the public works projects of the 30s as well as teh interstate highway program did.



In late 2005, the suggestion was to have everyone who was in the way of a storm move, as it was a lousy use of taxpayer money to "rebuild" and put in the needed infrastructure. I am quite positive you won't hear those cries with Sandy.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting unstuck
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 2:19 pm 
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Bichon Frise wrote:
In late 2005, the suggestion was to have everyone who was in the way of a storm move, as it was a lousy use of taxpayer money to "rebuild" and put in the needed infrastructure. I am quite positive you won't hear those cries with Sandy.


I don't remember that being proposed seriously. I'm sure it was mentioned but I don't think it was a serious proposition.

I'd note though that New Yorker and New Jerseyites(?) seem to be handling this much more productively than we saw in NO in 2005. I see a lot of cooperation and working together to get things working again. Reports of looting seem to be nonexistent. Maybe that's just media bias trying to make the south look bad.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting unstuck
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 6:57 pm 

Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 6:33 pm
Posts: 1164
Location: Illinois
DoingHomework wrote:
bpgui wrote:
So New York has never been hit by a hurricane before?


It figures you'd want me to produce evidence...

Of course NY has had hurricanes. Here is the historical pattern since 1800 by 25 year period:

1800-1824: 6 storms, 0.3 per year
1825-1849: 6 storms, 0.3 per year
1850-1874: 7 storms, 0.3 per year
1875-1899: 5 storms, 0.2 per year
1900-1924: 4 storms, 0.2 per year
1925-1949: 7 storms, 0.3 per year
1950-1974: 15 storms, 0.6 per year
1975-1999: 21 storms, 0.9 per year
2000-2012: 19 storms, 1.6 per year

Prior to 1800 the rate was about 2-3 storms per century. There are records. But I'd guess they are not very reliable since only the most severe storms would have been noted and many storms that are counted today would have been missed.

I conclude that the rate of severe storms is increasing.

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Because the fact is we've have dramatically more major storm damage in the last 10 years than we have in the 100+ before that.
I'm dubious of this claim. Where's the data and how is it measured?

I think the data above generally support the claim of escalating frequency. But I was speaking loosely and can not support it quantitatively in terms of the value of the damage.

My point was not to argue global warming. I do think global warming is a fact supported by evidence. I am not 100% convinced that human action is the cause. And even if it is the cause I am not convinced that we should or can do anything to "fix" it.

My point was only that it is clear that we could use some infrastructure improvements to mitigate future damage from storms or just normal degradation of equipment and facilities. And the stimulus of making those improvements could help our economy as a side effect much as the public works projects of the 30s as well as teh interstate highway program did.

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For the record, I don't dispute that there is climate change. I just think many things are attributed to climate change, without enough evidence, for political reasons.

I agree. I would go so far as to say that those who choose to politicize it from both sides are being pretty stupid. One side simply takes the approach that it isn't happening, which is easily refuted by simple measurements. The other side proposes impractical "solutions" that we can't even reasonably say will have an impact.

I think we agree on a lot more than we disagree, but I did want to share this paper I found from the National Hurricane Center when I went looking for data on the extent of the damage http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/dcmi.shtml?

Granted, it only lists the "most extreme" hurricanes from 1850-2010 (1900-2010 for monetary values), but it does include tables giving estimated costs (in three categories: not adjusted for inflation, inflation adjusted, and inflation, population and wealth adjusted). Katrina wins in the first two categories, but comes second in the third. Using the third metric, you can't really pinpoint a specific time period being more costly than another.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting unstuck
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:29 pm 
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bpgui wrote:
I did want to share this paper I found from the National Hurricane Center when I went looking for data on the extent of the damage http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/dcmi.shtml?

Granted, it only lists the "most extreme" hurricanes from 1850-2010 (1900-2010 for monetary values), but it does include tables giving estimated costs (in three categories: not adjusted for inflation, inflation adjusted, and inflation, population and wealth adjusted). Katrina wins in the first two categories, but comes second in the third. Using the third metric, you can't really pinpoint a specific time period being more costly than another.


From the paper cited:

Quote:
The French lost their bid to control the Atlantic coast of North America when a 1565 hurricane dispersed their fleet, allowing the Spanish to capture France's Fort Caroline near present-day Jacksonville, Florida.


I'd say that makes the 1565 storm the costliest ever! France lost all of the United States.

Seriously though, while I agree we should make any decisions about whether and how much to spend on infrastructure on the expected economic impact and savings, I don't think economic impact in general is a good way to measure storms. Katrina's impact was bad at least partly because of poor preparation and the decision by many to ignore warnings to evacuate. The poor preparations were mostly on the part of the government (Corps of Engineers). Whether people agree or disagree that the government should be building pumping stations and canals, the fact is they did, and poorly maintained them. So I think the cost could partly be blamed on poor decisions. Similarly, the removal of salt marshes is now understood to have had a major cost.

And, while it's easy to blame people for not leaving, if I put myself in the position of someone who has stayed through dozens of storms in Louisiana, I'm not sure the decision was that stupid. Hindsight is usually better than foresight.

I know that everyone is always interested n casting things in terms of dollars and I know I phrased my post about damage along those lines, but I don't think it's the best way to determine if the frequency and intensity of storms has increased over time.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting unstuck
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:53 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:07 am
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DoingHomework wrote:
And, while it's easy to blame people for not leaving, if I put myself in the position of someone who has stayed through dozens of storms in Louisiana, I'm not sure the decision was that stupid. Hindsight is usually better than foresight.


I also think people underestimate the lack of choices truly poor people have in these cases and how that plays into the decision making process.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting unstuck
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Jun 12, 2012 4:34 pm
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Keep in mind, DH, the Corps of Engineers is a project funded organization, which means it can only do what Congress authorizes AND provides appropriations for. I know pointing the finger at the Corps has been in vogue since Katrina, but the issues that contributed to the levee failures are more complex than that. Once the storm hit, funding those projects suddenly became a priority for Congress, and now we have a protection system that performed quite well during Hurricane Issac.


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