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#320770 - 01/29/20 11:46 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: pondering_it_all]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 10156
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Danke. We are trying to make it into a trend...
_________________________
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller

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#320922 - 02/02/20 02:34 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 10156
Loc: One of the Mexicos
Just read an article on the little town of Hamburg, Iowa, that suffered devastating flooding from the Missouri River last year. Most of the town was underwater for hundreds of days, but the residents are mostly hanging in there, hoping to rebuild.

Of course, the reason for the town's existence in the first place was the extremely rich soil deposited over millennia by the river in its floodplain. Evidently, the town forestalled an earlier flood by raising a levee eight additional feet. This time, the river got high enough to breach even the higher levee, due to probable climate change induced weather effects. Climate models predict an increasing occurrence of such events.

The article focused primarily on the human story, how the community is pulling together, regardless of political philosophy (though their successes are a testament to how people under common stress behave in a very socialistic way). But it also describes the pretty much impossible situation they are in of knowing, to a virtual certainty, that all their rebuilding will also be destroyed. It's a sad and depressing scenario.

Near the end of the article the talk turned to how the farmers are getting some work for the Army Corps of Engineers, using their equipment to repair the massive breaches in the levee system. But then it said that they don't know what they will do after that as a large percentage of their rich farmland was destroyed by the flood.

Whaaaa...? I was just thinking that the one bright spot would be refreshed bottomland from new sediments! But the article said that a thick layer of sand had been deposited over the good topsoil and it would cost too much money to remove it.

Ahhh, now I get it. Before the levees, the entire floodplain along 1000 miles of river would be inundated periodically with very slow moving water (due to being spread over thousands of square miles of land). Slow moving water can only carry very fine and light sediments - heavier particles drop out as the velocity decreases. Because of the levees, the river has been restricted to a very narrow channel, which means the velocity, and thus its ability to carry heavier sediments, caused it to be transporting sand instead of just silt. So when the river got out of the artificial channel and slowed down, spreading over the bottomland, it deposited sand.

This exemplifies a classic modern human foible - trying (stupidly and forcefully) to control natural processes instead of learning to understand and work with them.

The moral of the story for Hamburg, Iowa, is that the very thing that was supposed to be protecting the human settlement, the levee, has not only destroyed the town, it has also destroyed the reason for the town's existence in the first place.

Hamburg Iowa flood
_________________________
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller

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#320960 - 02/03/20 03:09 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 570
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: logtroll
Just read an article on the little town of Hamburg, Iowa, that suffered devastating flooding from the Missouri River last year. Most of the town was underwater for hundreds of days, but the residents are mostly hanging in there, hoping to rebuild.

Of course, the reason for the town's existence in the first place was the extremely rich soil deposited over millennia by the river in its floodplain. Evidently, the town forestalled an earlier flood by raising a levee eight additional feet. This time, the river got high enough to breach even the higher levee, due to probable climate change induced weather effects. Climate models predict an increasing occurrence of such events.

The article focused primarily on the human story, how the community is pulling together, regardless of political philosophy (though their successes are a testament to how people under common stress behave in a very socialistic way). But it also describes the pretty much impossible situation they are in of knowing, to a virtual certainty, that all their rebuilding will also be destroyed. It's a sad and depressing scenario.

Near the end of the article the talk turned to how the farmers are getting some work for the Army Corps of Engineers, using their equipment to repair the massive breaches in the levee system. But then it said that they don't know what they will do after that as a large percentage of their rich farmland was destroyed by the flood.

Whaaaa...? I was just thinking that the one bright spot would be refreshed bottomland from new sediments! But the article said that a thick layer of sand had been deposited over the good topsoil and it would cost too much money to remove it.

Ahhh, now I get it. Before the levees, the entire floodplain along 1000 miles of river would be inundated periodically with very slow moving water (due to being spread over thousands of square miles of land). Slow moving water can only carry very fine and light sediments - heavier particles drop out as the velocity decreases. Because of the levees, the river has been restricted to a very narrow channel, which means the velocity, and thus its ability to carry heavier sediments, caused it to be transporting sand instead of just silt. So when the river got out of the artificial channel and slowed down, spreading over the bottomland, it deposited sand.

This exemplifies a classic modern human foible - trying (stupidly and forcefully) to control natural processes instead of learning to understand and work with them.

The moral of the story for Hamburg, Iowa, is that the very thing that was supposed to be protecting the human settlement, the levee, has not only destroyed the town, it has also destroyed the reason for the town's existence in the first place.

Hamburg Iowa flood


Copying this down for tattooing on the foreheads of our engineering department.
_________________________
What can we do to help you stop screaming?

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#320983 - 02/03/20 08:43 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: Hamish Howl]
Greger Offline


Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 11/24/06
Posts: 16859
Loc: Florida
Remember to do it backwards so they can read it in the mirror.
_________________________
Good coffee, good weed, and time on my hands...

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#320986 - 02/03/20 09:21 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 9842
Loc: North San Diego County
Now that the town (and it's economic base) has been destroyed, they might think of taking all their insurance money and buying some higher elevation land nearby to rebuild. Or maybe they just move to other existing towns with more fortunate city planning.

Good idea: If you live near a river or ocean, build on high ground. Or build on an elevated platform. Of course, all those people in South Florida who built on pilings are going to feel pretty stupid when their house is in the middle of the ocean.

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#320988 - 02/03/20 09:26 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: pondering_it_all]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 570
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Now that the town (and it's economic base) has been destroyed, they might think of taking all their insurance money and buying some higher elevation land nearby to rebuild. Or maybe they just move to other existing towns with more fortunate city planning.

Good idea: If you live near a river or ocean, build on high ground. Or build on an elevated platform. Of course, all those people in South Florida who built on pilings are going to feel pretty stupid when their house is in the middle of the ocean.


Thing is, "build on high ground" works for about 10% of the land in the Midwest.

Everyone else just has to take their lumps.
_________________________
What can we do to help you stop screaming?

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#321055 - 02/05/20 03:01 AM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
pondering_it_all Offline
veteran

Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 9842
Loc: North San Diego County
Isn't 10% enough for the houses, if the other 90% is corn or soybean fields? I thought that was about how it worked already.

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#321060 - 02/05/20 02:40 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: pondering_it_all]
Hamish Howl Offline
journeyman

Registered: 11/21/19
Posts: 570
Loc: Tucson, AZ
Originally Posted By: pondering_it_all
Isn't 10% enough for the houses, if the other 90% is corn or soybean fields? I thought that was about how it worked already.


Doesn't help if your farming equipment has to be stored 100 miles from your fields.
_________________________
What can we do to help you stop screaming?

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#321175 - 02/07/20 12:13 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
logtroll Offline
veteran

Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 10156
Loc: One of the Mexicos
_________________________
“You never change things by fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the old model obsolete.”
– R. Buckminster Fuller

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#321187 - 02/07/20 06:54 PM Re: What should we be doing to adapt to large scale crises? [Re: logtroll]
jgw Online   content
enthusiast

Registered: 05/22/06
Posts: 3245
Loc: Port Angeles, WA
I you build a house on a flood plane then you are not exactly bright. I remember when the feds decided to tighten up their flood insurance and started to refuse to insure such. Then the very rich, with retirement homes virtually on the water, which that insurance has rebuilt every year, got involved. I think they now continue to insure houses that no insurance company in their right mind would insure.

Another great instance of YOUR tax dollars at work!

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