The digital ink is pouring out over what can be done about the flood damage resulting from more frequent rain events. And amid that chatter I probably should reiterate that perhaps not much can be done about 30-50 inches of rain in a few days, a number larger that even the wettest state’s annual rainfall numbers. But even writing that sentence worries me for a different reason.
My biggest worry from this result will be that people will write it off as a freak accident, a once in a million occurrence that isn’t likely to happen again. But if I’m reading the news correctly on Houston, three 500 year storms in three years means something definitely needs to be done to make sure that water isn’t a recurring threat. And let’s also be honest about something else. This incidence of more storms isn’t just happening in the United States as climate change knows no boundaries. Just ask Nigeria and Bangladesh whose coverage has likely been overshadowed by Harvey’s coverage.
I really want to focus on possible solutions because as Paul Krugman did this weekend and so many others have before him, there’s a simplistic scolding that is happening without pointing to any solutions outside of leave the wetlands to sop up water. A few pieces have good information, but for the most part it feels like a waste of everyone’s time to reprint the same stuff about zoning over and over again. (more…)