When the Floods Come: the Climate Change thread


I find it interesting that FEMA has produced accurate flood plain maps yet residents push back and forced changes to the maps because of property value issues. I completely understand why the residents pushed back but, now there is an important map that has been altered and no longer reflects reality. This will be happening in other coastal areas too.


Turning Point’s aim is to foment a political revolution on America’s college campuses, in part by funnelling money into student government elections across the country to elect right-leaning candidates.

OFFS! That’s really going down-ticket.




This is relevant to my situation and interests.

The subject of FEMA flood maps is difficult, because on the surface, it looks very simple and straightforward - we have multipoint LIDAR now, so we can do better mapping, so we can have better insurance cost allocation, and that’s all good, right? Just make the damn maps and be done.

However, in reality, people with political or economic power can manipulate the process at multiple levels. I will illustrate this with True Tales of my Own Experience®.

We had two 500 year floods in 1999, and two 1000 year floods in 2003. The entire development of Glenville was wiped out, eleven bridges destroyed, and the historic Greenbank Mill and Wilmington & Western Railroad were both massively damaged.

The FEMA maps at that time were pre-LIDAR, based on hand-drawn maps painstakingly built from manual measurements augmented by aerial photography and biological surveys.

During the 2003 flood events, a great many undeveloped investment properties were inundated, despite not being categorized as flood plain on the FEMA maps. The house where I live, despite being shown actually in the stream on the FEMA maps (it isn’t, though) was not damaged.

So everybody knew the maps were wrong. It was obvious. And equally obvious that something would happen.

The response by the developer community and investor class was to build homes on the properties that had been flooded as quickly as humanly possible, and to sell them to gullible people from out of town who didn’t know any better. I warned off a couple but I can’t be everywhere.

The (much slower) response by the federal government was to massively jack up the price of mandated flood insurance. Of all my recurring bills - car insurance, life insurance, mortgage, internet, TV, phone, food, &etc. - the largest is the federally mandated flood insurance that I do not need, yet must pay, because I have a mortgage.

When I bought the property, flood insurance costs were relatively low, and since the house is over 160 years old and has never flooded I was not worried. But now I literally cannot sell the house, because nobody will buy it with the current flood insurance costs.

Now the new FEMA maps are online, and all the people who were suckered into buying the unmapped flood plain properties are suddenly getting a rude awakening, and some will have to take a loss selling their properties from lack of ability to pay the flood vigerish. It’s important to note that everybody local, including local politicians knew that people were going to be suckered as soon as those buildings started construction. It was obvious, and was permitted to happen because of the political influence of the people doing the building.

The new maps show only a tiny corner of my house being in the flood plain, so I’m going to chop that corner off, and file a letter of map amendment (specifically a LOMA-OAS). I can do this because I am wealthy enough to afford the materials and healthy enough to do the work.

Of course, if I was politically connected, I could get the state to manipulate the terrain with fill and file a letter of map revision (specifically a LOMR-F). I could use a copy of the state’s survey fo the letter and avoid that cost.

If I was very very wealthy, I could get a very expensive survey firm which would miraculously find that the LIDAR was wrong (go figure!) and get my survey incorporated instead with a letter of map revision based on a professional engineers’ Elevation Certification. This costs many thousands of dollars, but it’s cheaper than flood insurance in a flood plain. Then I’d just get regular non-flood-plain flood insurance and laugh at all you poors who have to follow the rules.

tl;dr version - I guess what I’m saying is that “local residents” is a wide net. A better phrasing might be “wealthy landowners” or “the privileged classes” or something like that. Local residents without money or connections cannot alter the FEMA maps, no matter how loudly they scream and cry.









What’s the carbon footprint of an Olympic athlete? /rhetorical






It’s so weird to me that people are going on about their lives and flying all over the place and conducting business as usual as if nothing is happening.







Young says the U.S. airline industry has committed to “carbon-neutral growth” from 2020 onward.

That is, locking in current yearly emissions as well as any increases between now and 2020, then continuing emissions at that level into the future.

Young is skeptical that significant emissions reductions would be possible without market-based measures. “What do you want us to do? Do you want us to suppress demand for flying?"