Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hurrah for Trump! say deniers. Let's flood federal buildings.

Sou | 11:22 PM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment
Port Vincent flood. Photo: NASA
WUWT is scrambling for articles since Anthony Watts went on a holiday a few weeks ago. There have been quite a few re-posts of articles at the Daily Caller, which is one of those dime-a-dozen science-denying libertarian website in the USA. Today Charles the Moderator copied and pasted an article (archived here) about how Donald Trump proposes to undo an executive order designed to reduce environmental harm. Among other things, this will mean that federal agencies no longer have to account for flood risk and climate change when they provide funds for roads, bridges or other structures.

Now one would think that this would pose a problem for the science-denying wags at WUWT. Whenever there is a 1000-year flood, which happens more and more these days, the science deniers point the finger at people who suffered, saying it's all their fault for building on a flood plain. I don't think they realise that flood plains offer food and sustenance. They provide:
  • ready access to water (flood plains have rivers running through them)
  • fertile soils for growing food.
While it makes sense to make sure you build at a height that doesn't involve being flooded out, most people want to be close to food and water, and being near a river has always been a favoured site for farms, towns and cities. There are not nearly as many people choosing to live in the middle of deserts, I must say.

From the WUWT comments

Anyway, while Trump is wanting to sponsor get rich quick schemes that favour developers and put federal buildings in harm's way, deniers who adore Trump can be expected to put aside their fear of floods and chorus "hurrah". Some, but not all of them joined in the Trump hallelujah this time around.

Sweet Old Bob can't wait for federal buildings to be flooded out. He is a rare breed of denier, who doesn't like money well spent.
August 16, 2017 at 6:04 pm
More , please !

Donald L. Klipstein goes a bit off topic, and complains that Trump is taking too long to appoint science deniers to head up science agencies like NOAA and NASA:
August 16, 2017 at 10:14 pm
Will Trump ever appoint administrators of NOAA and NASA, rather than keeping on letting these administrations being run by acting administrators that were promoted from within? I am a longtime multiple-times-per-day reader of WUWT, and I expect that names will be named if Trump nominates appointments to these posts. And names of opponents will be named if opponents block or slow down such named appointments, and posts will cheer Trump’s success in that area once he successfully hires people into these posts. Aren’t there swamps to drained in NOAA and NASA?

Tom Halla illustrates the dilemma deniers face: to applaud approving buildings that will flood or be disloyal to Donald Trump. What a choice, eh?
August 16, 2017 at 6:08 pm
The floodplain rule might be reasonable on its face, but if someone is using more radical sea level rise projections, it is a matter of the devil (or James Hansen) being in the details.

A bit of nostalgia with the appearance of a science denier from my old stomping ground, HotCopper. The young lad Hanrahan tells a tale he's so fond of, he must have told his gutter story a zillion times already.
August 16, 2017 at 10:50 pm
I’m 75 years old. As a boy I lived in a low lying suburb and the “spring” tides used to come up into the gutter outside my house and Dad filled the back yard a little to keep it dry.
Nothing has changed in that street in the 60+ years since. In fact the suburb has gentrified and real estate is quite valuable. 

Michael Elliott doesn't understand the scientific basis for projections of sea level rise. It's not just a matter of working out the volume of water and ice. Scientists also look at what has happened in the distant past when the planet was warmer. By the way, if anyone knows what a "chrystal ball PC" is, do tell.
August 16, 2017 at 6:10 pm
Better to go on the past records of what nature has thrown at us over say the last 1000 years as a guide as to what laws to pass, rather than to follow the results of gazing at the modern chrystal ball PC’s that the so called Climate scientists use. , 

Janice Moore feels the need to discuss Jesus to save the life after death of someone, and even throws in a song (not shown here). (She or he often talks about her god, who is probably also a science denier.)
August 17, 2017 at 3:44 am
1save: In Protestant Christianity, you do not need any “special people” to intercede. Jesus does all the interceding with God. Just talk to Him. You think you don’t believe in Him, but, I think that the fact that you felt it necessary to sort of ward Him off by writing as you did shows that He has been knocking on the door of your heart for quite awhile, not and you can sense that (and do not like it one bit, apparently). “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice an opens the door, I will come in … .” Revelation 3:20. That door only has a handle on the inside. Stop resisting, open the door.
A song for you by another person who ran and ran and ran from Jesus and angrily told him to beat it:
Note: I only talked about Jesus because you, 1save, inaccurately characterized the facts about Him making it important to respond to you (and because I care about where you will spend eternity). 
Kip Hansen finds a way to get around the Trump vs flood dilemma. He doesn't agree that there should be federal oversight of environmental risk when federal funds are spent. He thinks it's enough to have local oversight. He does agree that flood risk ought to be taken into account though.
August 16, 2017 at 7:45 pm
Houses, hospitals, buildings, ….all of it should be far above floor plain levels or built elevated — but by LOCAL building codes.
Building more important infrastructure in known-harm’s-way is simply idiotic.
But Federal rule making is almost always senseless and a waste of time and effort — counter-productive all around.
The stated Obama rule forbids building federal-funding assisted hospitals is huge swaths of North and South Carolina by geography alone.
To require such to be built intelligently is correct — to have o0ne-size-fits-all regulations is bad.


  1. So nice to see that lovely Janice is having one of those days when she is a Christian. On other days she might do things like vote for a man who boasts of sexually assaulting women. I cannot imagine the Christian God telling her to do that, but perhaps her God is called Rex Tillerson.

    1. I wonder if she'd still vote for Trump after his support for neo Nazis. Indeed: has WUWT seen fit to distance itself from such extreme scumbaggery?

  2. Homo-Sapiens is a tragedy told as a comedy, wrapped in an oxymoron.

    Never more evident than at WUWT

  3. Here's the original Obama EO ...

    You might want to link to it?

    "The floodplain shall be established using one of the following approaches:"

    Inland hydrology is significantly different from coastal hydrology.

    A 500-year or 1000-year FOO is a gross extrapolation of sometimes as few as 20-30 years of observational data.

    Do you even know that?

    1. Thanks for the link, Everett.

    2. "Do you even know that?"

      Do please elaborate.

    3. Let's play a scenario. There's a saucepan of water on the cooker.

      Millicent: "That water will come to the boil in a few minutes time."

      Everett: "You cannot possibly make that assessment based on a few seconds of observational data."

      Millicent: "You what?"

      Everett: "Do you even know that?"

      Millicent: "I'm making that assessment on the basis that I just lit the gas."

    4. "Do you even know that?"

      Yes. What is that about?

    5. I don't know what Everett was trying to say either. Maybe he'll come back and elaborate.

      Here's not a bad description of flood risk and terminology, and how it's estimated.


      "In practice, the record length or sample size usually is small (20-60 years) in relation to the annual exceedance probabilities or recurrence intervals of interest (100-500 years), so extrapolation is necessary for obtaining the needed information."

      I've known this for over 42 years now. It's something anyone learns in taking a graduate level course in hydrology. At least it was ~42 years ago. FEMA contracts heavily with the USACE for water levels for rivers, lakes and coastal areas. There is a tri-agency between the NOAA-USGS-USACE for the Mississippi River, for example.

      Sorry for being so short with you all, these days, anyone can claim to be a subject matter expert (SME) in like five minutes given the information available on the internets.

      Heck, I do it all the time. But then again, I have ~ 40 year of hands on work experience in H2O.

    7. So, let me get this right Everett. And do correct me if I have misread you. What you are saying is you are very, very, very expert in hydrology. Whereas people here (Sou?) are SMEs with 5 minutes of expertise hurriedly gleaned from the internet. And you like to emphasise this deficit of knowledge relative to you because ...? No, I give up at this point - you will have to fill in the ellipsis.

    8. I did not say I was "very, very, very expert in hydrology" I said "I have ~ 40 year of hands on work experience in H2O" which actually does not mean very much to anyone else that has similar work experiences. There are hundreds of them where I live (USACE ERDC CHL).

      I do know the ephemeral nature of a 500-year or 1000-year flood though. At least, as it is reported in the MSM.

      I do know, since at least 1976, that "A 500-year or 1000-year FOO is a gross extrapolation of sometimes as few as 20-30 years of observational data." was already in my head, before the internets even.

      What is truly amazing is that you all didn't know that well known fact, so I linked to a USGS website which explains it forthrightly.

      I also know that in FOO (or FREQUENCY Of Occurance where although the x-axis shows years is really in the frequency domain and which assummes iid) that one does not "slap on" one-five meters of SLR to make a 1000-year coastal water level into a one year event FOO simply because SLR is NOT iid. Whoosh, way over your head.

      Yet, I've seen dozens of so called "climate science" papers do exactly that. Linearlly superposition on a ranked FOO with several meters of SLR. The entire FOO curve is lifted, such that what can't possibly happen next year, does happen next year. You might look into how one should properly convole (or convolution) something from the frequency domain into the time domain and vice-versa (short answer is, you don't, you stay in the time domain).

      If you were to go through the current water levels for a coastal area the current method is called POTS (or Peaks Over Threshold).

      I could keep on yappin' but I'd much more like to commensurate with my peers.

    9. I've decades of experience in H2O, I've been drinking it for ever so long. But, lucky me, I have never been so insecure that I have felt the need to tell people how clever I am.

  4. Everett has tried to explain why he's upset, but I'm none the wiser about what in the article offended him. He apparently thinks no-one here knows something about floods that's important to him. I cannot say what was in the short article (or comments) that led him to that view.

    It is important to Everett, though. So let's leave it at that.

    1. On second thought, whether I didn't write something I should have written, or did write something I shouldn't have - floods, sea level rise, and intense rain is more of an issue these days and this will continue to get worse.

      Everett, if you would like to write an article about any aspect of this, it would be great if you would send it through as a guest post - sou at hotwhopper dot com.

    2. Yes, increased precipitation is the issue. FEMA was tring to update floodplain maps in areas where they don't currently include a 500-year floodplain.

      There should be a law that informs one that they are within either the 100-year or 500-year floodplains.

      The ASCE gave the USA a D+ grade for infrastructure ...

      I'm sorry for being so rude. I have my own issues with writing, something that goes back to my youth. I really do appreciate your own writing abilities, the quickness and the coverage.

    3. Thanks, Everett. It sounds as if you do have some good insights. If you want to just send some points through (by email), maybe we could collaborate on an article - I'm happy to write it up. (No pressure :D)

    4. "So let's leave it at that."

      OK Sou. But it had better be an informative and interesting article with lots of convoling and commensurating.

      (No pressure :D)


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