Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sandy, Climate Change & Damage Assessment

On the radio a fellow was earnestly urging the President to do something about "climate change" because the damage done by Hurricane Sandy is just the beginning.  What? Does not everyone know the losses were caused by federal government economic policies?    We have a flood insurance program, mandatory, that passes the risk of flooding from developers and owners to taxpayers.  This great idea was introduced in 1969.  Therefore, little or no effort is made in planning to worry about flooding.  Why bother?  Get land that floods dirt cheap, build developments on it, and then when it floods every 2 decades or so, hit the taxpayers with the bill, and do it again!

Let's run through the worst damaged places with the HuffPo - South Ferry Whitehall subway station.

Formerly two unconnected stations, the 2009 completion of the new South Ferry IRT terminal added a free transfer between the 1 train and the N and R trains at the older Whitehall Street station.
This station complex is the third on the site to bear the name South Ferry. The second, open from 1905 to 2009, served the IRT Broadway – Seventh Avenue Line and Lexington Avenue lines. The first was an elevated station open from 1878 to 1950, and served the former IRT NinthSixthThirdand Second Avenue lines.

2009.  Take a wild guess why they elected to make it a elevated stop in 1878?  And no worries, make it underground now? The other big expense is the Bay Park Sewage Plant:

A 2010 Long Island Press investigation into Nassau’s Cedar Creek Water Pollution Control Plant and Bay Park Sewage Treatment Plant exposed myriad public health and safety hazards at both facilities including: gross mismanagement by local, state and federal officials; unintentional or willful neglect by plant supervisors; critical, multi-million-dollar taxpayer-funded equipment in disrepair; a near-complete lack of preventive maintenance, the equivalent of changing one’s oil in a vehicle so it doesn’t completely break down; a culture of retaliation against those who spoke up.

Breezy Point got hit hard. It started as a few beach bunglows in the early 1900s and in 1960 a private group bought it and began developing it.  It was a community of 3500 tight packed homes when Sandy hit.  It was fire at Breezy Point, a place difficult for back-up fire crews to access.

Too bad too, since it was a fairly anarchistic township.

Breezy Point is patrolled by its own private security force that restricts access to owners, renters and their guests. It also features three of New York City's ten remaining volunteer fire departments.[7]
On September 8, 2012, the community was struck by a tornado shortly before 11 a.m. that started as a waterspout over the Atlantic Ocean and came ashore at the Breezy Point Surf Club.[8]

Yeah?  Californians would have surfed it.

But flood insurance makes people do foolish things, like build where no one should build.  No legitimate insurance company would ever insure such structures, so the only thing that would be built would be say bungalows, which it wiped out, would be easy to replace.

The storm impacted not only people's homes but also their businesses: On Staten Island, the Italian restaurant Puglia by the Sea, which had just moved to its prime waterfront location a year ago, was washed into the ocean. Across New York state, businesses were hit with $6 billion in damage by Sandy.

Still, he said he will do whatever it takes to bring his restaurant back to life. "I am going to build bigger and better," he said. "Another storm like this, it's not going to happen again."

How?  Are you going to build it to such specifications that it is stormproof, like a nuclear power plant?  Sounds expensive. And wait, wasn't Fukushima a nuclear power plant on the ocean? People can talk this way only because the taxpayers will be there to pick up the tab when it happens again.

Playland has been around 100 years and it got hit hard.  But what is this?  It is not a private park, but a government owned park?  It's a money loser so the authorities have been kicking around the idea of "privatizing" it.  Wait, it was private.  Then it got taken over by the government.  Now here again, the taxpayers are on the hook.

Have you noticed anything travelling the world?  How most places those groovy little restaurant on the water are grass shacks or clapboard cabins?  Wanna guess why?  Storms.  Who in their right mind would build something expensive where it is guaranteed to get wiped out every so often?  Puglia should be rebuilt cheaper so he can make enough money selling food and drinks and rebuild the shack every decade or so.  But when free credit and cheap interest are on offer at taxpayers expense, the economic calculations get foolish.

Here a climate-change-delusional cites architects plans for redesigning New York to meet the challenges of climate change.

Look at the map of where the most damage was done.  I wish there was an overlay of newer developments to make the point, but I believe native New Yorkers will see pattern, the more damage, the newer the development.  Also look at all of the places where damage was nonexistent.  Again, less development and better construction (or worse, but design.)

And look at the Battery Street area.  That is all reclaimed land.

This quote from Forbes:

One man rescued from near the Teterboro airport told a reporter, “It was like an ocean all around,” he said. “That place always gets flooded, but this time was the worst because the level of the water reached the floor of my trailer.”

Always gets flooded.  And taxpayers always cough up the disaster aid.  When is this going to stop? Note this, how Forbes describes the force of the storm by the damage done.

This super storm will certainly go down as one of the greatest ever to hit the United States, with damage amounts well in excess of Irene’s $10 billion hit in 2011. EQUECAT has estimated that the damage will be on the order of $20 billion, which would put it in the neighborhood of Hurricane Ike, which struck Texas in 2008. Insured losses will likely be more than $7 billion.

Well, Yes.  Damage in Manhattan will rack up higher losses than damages just about anywhere in Texas.

Perhaps we can help out the climate-change-delusionals with a slogan; "Solve climate change, get rid of federal flood insurance."  The damage is to property built on the malinvestment caused by federal flood insurance.  We've always had weather, bad and worse.  We do not have climate change, we have policy changes.

Yes, we have pollution problems, and they need to be solved, but they are not caused by "climate change."  They are caused by economic policies.  And then some government policies cause pollution directly, such as whatever is going on with the contrails work.  Yes, we need to address pollution, by making those who cause it pay for it.  We need to address storm damage cost, by making those who risk it pay for it.  Coming up with some delusional cause means the problem will never be solved.  But then, no problem, no government.

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