Monday, November 5, 2012

Advance To The High Ground

The good winds of Change
Scientists are studying up on the skills required to properly convey an unpleasant but necessary message to the public.

They are concerned with informing the public without angering them or unduly alarming them, as those scientists reveal the dangers civilization faces in the wake of our damaged global climate system (Scientists Seek Strategy to Convey Seriousness of Sea-Level Rise).

That mission is not an easy task when people along the coast are told that their land is slowly going the way of the fabled Atlantis which sunk below the sea.

The scientists might point out that Atlantis went in an instant, without the kinds of warnings we have today, good and useful warnings to prepare to move and revolutionize history with the change necessary to kick the fossil fuel habit.

Perhaps those scientists could also tell the story of the towns that have relocated out of flood zones and who are happy they did so:
In the summer of 1993, the merciless Mississippi flooded Valmeyer not once but twice. The water rose to 20 feet, drowning homes, businesses and an entire town's way of life.

When the waters receded, the people of Valmeyer signed on for a bold experiment to move their entire town to higher ground. Over two years, Valmeyer was rebuilt only 2 miles to the east, but on land hundreds of feet higher.

Today, as towns north of Valmeyer struggle with crippling floods, Valmeyer stays dry.
(How a Flood Town Became a City on a Hill, see also NY Times). Those who relocated don't have to worry about the gyrations of the Mississippi River any more.

Mississippi River gyrations which this year reached record low water levels that eventually halted freight traffic, following last year's flooding that was so bad that the Army Corps of Engineers bombed levees to flood areas upstream so that cities downstream would not flood as badly.

These phenomena are not one-time events any more:
What we are doing, though, is we're forcing people to look at other options, and that they're not caught in the cycle of repetitively being flooded out, being damaged, having their personal lives just devastated, and then coming back and in a few years, having it happen again.
(NOVA Transcript). There is a better way than robbing Peter to pay Paul: build new environmentally sane communities with new infrastructure, new power designs, new smart grids, yes, technology and engineering designed to last for generations without damaging the global climate system (see Desertec).

This approach not only avoids the flooding by the inevitable sea level rise now, but it also faces and removes the cause of that sea level rise in the future - the pollution by green house gases.

The victims of Hurricane - Superstorms like Irene last year and Sandy this year can become yet another City on a Hill, another beacon that shows the rest of us the way forward, like Greensburg, Joplin, and Valmeyer (above) have done.

A national work project generating jobs like those that built the infrastructure of national highways and bridges during the depression era of the 1930's would boost the economy rather than tear it down by rebuilding in the same place only to have to rebuild again and again (Groundhog Day & The Climate of Fear).

You folks in the Northeastern U.S.A. have an opportunity to be a light on a hill, and we have an opportunity as a nation to help out big time by using our national tax dollars to Rebuild America instead of destroying foreign nations in fruitless, endless, and counterproductive wars.

1 comment:

  1. It would definitely be good to get financial institutions out of the danger zone.

    Trillions of dollars in securities may be damages and/or destroyed: Link