Senseless Rebuilding is Totally Political

Senseless Rebuilding is Totally Political

There is the old phrase “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me”. Every time there is a severe storm or flood, we are reminded that our flood insurance or government aid comes with no requirement for catastrophic areas or those helped to abandon very vulnerable areas, if they cannot take effective corrective action. Reasonable taxpayers who fund the insurance and recovery complain, but the force of developers keep the same legislation in place.

The Mayor of the affected City, the Senators looking for advancement, the Governor of the State, and the President and VP all praise the toughness of the people, whoever they are, and however much they are suffering, and the people are supposed to adopt this. Many, however, are realizing that they were exploited in buying into flood zones with no warning whatsoever. They also are angry that they were not evacuated, nor given warning to save their vehicles or valuables.

The way flood insurance works, is that if you are in the 100 year flood zone, you have to buy insurance, and it is more expensive.  Outside, you don’t have to buy flood insurance.  The maps also have the 500 year flood zone.  This flood is in the 1000 year range.

There are now more than 32,000 in shelters, and 40,000 damaged homes.  Texas cannot require individuals to evacuate, even when they are ordered to.  There have been thousands of rescues.

Part of the flooding was due to the ocean storm surge of several feet that kept rainwater from draining out to sea.

The Politicians don’t want to take any blame, so they will never admit mistakes or their own sell-out to developers, and why they blocked openness, planning, and zoning for keeping up flood avoidance. While Trump wasn’t in office long enough to take much blame, he boxed himself in by not only opposing climate science, but trying to scrub all evidence of it from the federal government.

So, to a person, Politicians stick with bragging about rebuilding, without changing the situation, or doing more evaluations, or any concern about setting people up for further disaster. Their braveness (for lavishing taxpayer money) is a great advertisement for their toughness and character.

The costs of rebuilding in place are enormous for Hurricane Harvey, plus the Houston Rain of Biblical Proportions, the greatest rainfall in the history of America. As usual, Trump will want this approved within weeks, giving no time to even analyze what caused the basic problems, much less creating plans to avoid this in the future.

“Fool me twice, shame on me.”

About Dennis SILVERMAN

I am a retired Professor of Physics and Astronomy at U C Irvine. For a decade I have been active in learning about energy and the environment, and in lecturing and attending classes at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at UC Irvine.
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