Flood Buyouts, Savings and Climate Change

The AP article Flood buyout costs rise as storms intensify, seas surge reports:
“‘… nearly half of the homeowners in Mosby signed up in 2016 for a program in which the government would buy and then demolish their properties rather than paying to rebuild them over and over. They’re still waiting for offers, joining thousands of others across the country in a slow-moving line to escape from flood-prone homes.

Patience is wearing thin in Mosby, a town of fewer than 200 people with a core of lifelong residents and some younger newcomers drawn by the cheap prices of its modest wood-frame homes. Residents watched nervously this past week as high waters again threatened the town.

“It really is frustrating, because here we are, we’re coming through a wet season. There’s a chance that we could possibly flood, and we’re still waiting,” said Jason Stooksbury, an alderman who oversees the town’s efforts to curb flooding. “It’s not a good situation, but what are you going to do — it’s the government process.”’

With more extreme weather events, flooding “is going to become more and more of an issue, and there will be more and more properties that are at risk of total loss or near total loss,” said Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, which has jurisdiction over FEMA. “Then the question is: Are we just going to keep selling them insurance and building in the same place?”

An article in Barrons Young People Blame Climate Change for Their Small Retirement Accounts states:
‘”Some 88% of millennials — a higher percentage than any other age group — accept that climate change is happening, and 69% say it will impact them in their lifetimes. Engulfed in a constant barrage of depressing news stories, many young people are skeptical about saving for an uncertain future.

“I want to hope for the best and plan for a future that is stable and secure, but, when I look at current events and at the world we are predicting, I do not see how things could not be chaotic in 50 years,” Rodriguez says. “The weather systems are already off, and I don’t think it’s hyperbolic to be a little apocalyptic.”’

An article in WIRED entitled For the Midwest, Epic Flooding Is the Face of Climate Change reports:
“Fierce storms lashed across the central US this week, unleashing hundreds of powerful tornadoes that carved a path of destruction through parts of Missouri and Oklahoma Wednesday night, and left at least three dead. While the worst of the violent winds has passed, the region is now bracing for massive flooding, following record amounts of rain brought by the severe weather system and with more expected over the weekend. And it’s coming on the heels of the wettest 12 months the US has seen since record-keeping began in 1895.

That’s according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which earlier this year predicted that two-thirds of the states in the lower 48 would risk major or moderate flooding between March and May. “This is shaping up to be a potentially unprecedented flood season, with more than 200 million people at risk for flooding in their communities,” Ed Clark, director of NOAA’s National Water Center said in the agency’s spring outlook report.

So far, it’s proven prescient—with rivers from North Dakota east to Ohio and south to Louisiana all overflowing their banks in recent weeks. The damage to homes, businesses, and farms is likely to rise into the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“n South Bend, Indiana, where Notre Dame is located, the city is still recovering from back-to-back biblical deluges—a 500-year flood last spring preceded by a 1,000-year flood in 2016 that broke all historical records. Fellow South Bender Mayor Pete Buttigieg has referenced the series of extreme weather disasters on the presidential campaign trail, linking them to climate change. “It’s not just happening in the North Pole, it’s happening in communities like mine,” he told the Late Show host Stephen Colbert in February. “That’s an emergency.”

Besides all the damage to homes, businesses, and municipal infrastructure, increasingly frequent flooding events in the Midwest would have a huge impact on the nation’s ability to produce food. Wet fields make it difficult for farmers to operate their large, heavy planting machinery without getting stuck. And seedlings struggle to develop root systems when there’s too much moisture in the ground.”

The Human Induced Climate Change Experiment

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