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Author Topic: Flooding of Ellicott City???  (Read 981 times)

BartvanderWolf

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2018, 02:22:20 PM »

Other than your very natural preference that humans don’t go extinct, what difference does it make to a completely indifferent universe, where life itself is an accident of unguided events.  Honest question.

Rand,

Humans (some of them anyway) are a pest. Best gotten rid of, (after I'm long gone from 'natural' causes).

Cheers,
Bart

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Rand47

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2018, 02:29:49 PM »

Rand,

Humans (some of them anyway) are a pest. Best gotten rid of, (after I'm long gone from 'natural' causes).

Cheers,
Bart

That’s my point.  From the naturalist/materialist point of view it doesn’t matter. In fact, nothing matters except what our individual “selfish” genetic makeup prompts for no particular reason. 

Rand
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Robert Roaldi

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2018, 05:53:23 PM »

Other than your very natural preference that humans don’t go extinct, what difference does it make to a completely indifferent universe, where life itself is an accident of unguided events.  Honest question.

Rand

Well, yes. Of course the universe will survive, so will the earth. Nature has rendered extinct lots of species, there's nothing special about ours from that point of view. All of these various issues about the environment are all about our species' survival. That should be the prologue in any discussion; we just mostly leave it unsaid, probably because it's tacitly assumed. WE need clean air and water. We are at the top of evolutionary chain (at the moment) and are dependent on what's underneath.

There are only three places to put our garbage, in the air, in the water, and in the ground. Whichever we choose, it's still here with us, so we should be more careful what we do, for our own good.
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Rand47

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2018, 07:23:46 PM »

Quote
We are at the top of evolutionary chain . . .

This is arguable in terms of both numbers and total biomass.  Springtales, and bacterium SAR-11 are kings by this measure.  Our sense of superiority is delusion.

We kid ourselves. We've developed tool use, language, etc., but if the universe is accidental, uncaused, and indifferent then these oddities of random mutation and natural selection are meaningless.  Evidence of survival success/dominance is quantitative and better measured by biomass and numbers.

Rand

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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2018, 07:35:20 PM »

This is arguable in terms of both numbers and total biomass.  Springtails, and bacterium SAR-11 are kings by this measure.  Our sense of superiority is delusion.

Correct, and let's not forget ants, and in particular cockroaches (which can withstand levels of radioactivity that would kill humanoids, as far as I've been told).

However, I refuse to help cockroaches (of any political persuasion), to speed up our destruction.

Cheers,
Bart
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #25 on: May 29, 2018, 10:53:15 PM »

Sorry I am late in replying as I have been in airports or on planes for the past 17 hours after our nice holiday in Spain came to an end.  I originally posted the Ellicott City link on a thread that I started and then locked down for reason that you can see in my final post to the very short thread.  We live about 20 miles away from Ellicott City and it has been around for a long time.  Yes, it now has been hit by two catastrophic flood events in two years primarily because of unique weather systems that hung over the city for a considerable period of time dumping huge amounts of rain fall.  Most storms we get in the spring or summer are quite transient but this year several other communities were also hit by flooding by similar storms (Frederick Maryland, about 15 miles west was hit two weeks ago.  Yes these are unique weather events and anyone who took the time to read the Washington Post article will note that the weathermen writing it did not attribute this to climate change.

Ellicott City has some unique geographical features that made it susceptible to such flooding but ironically the city survived for a lot of years without anything like what happened in 2016 and 2018.  I don't know if it was on the list of flood prone areas prior to 2016 that is kept by the government for the purposes of figuring out whether they should provide flood insurance (private insurers will not do so).  The city is an old railroad town and there is a particularly nice museum there.
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Rand47

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #26 on: May 30, 2018, 05:24:39 AM »

Correct, and let's not forget ants, and in particular cockroaches (which can withstand levels of radioactivity that would kill humanoids, as far as I've been told).

However, I refuse to help cockroaches (of any political persuasion), to speed up our destruction.

Cheers,
Bart


This is exactly what we may be doing.  Do bacteria (in general) thrive best in cold, or warm conditions?  Perhaps we’re just a cooperative host, making changes that are in the best survival interests of the dominant species.

Rand
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PeterAit

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #27 on: May 30, 2018, 09:51:27 AM »


All I can say about that is that anyone who believes there's such a thing as "scientific consensus" is a good deal dumber than I am.


It's 97% consensus actually.

https://www.skepticalscience.com/global-warming-scientific-consensus-basic.htm

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RSL

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #28 on: May 30, 2018, 10:13:28 AM »

That's close enough to fit my criterion, Peter. Or to put it another way, it's close enough for government work.

By the way, that cigar looks good. Used to love 'em. When I was mayor and having a work session, if wussy people showed up I didn't really want to talk to I'd light up the biggest stogie I had. They'd usually bail out.

PeterAit

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #29 on: June 01, 2018, 11:37:07 AM »

That's close enough to fit my criterion, Peter. Or to put it another way, it's close enough for government work.

By the way, that cigar looks good. Used to love 'em. When I was mayor and having a work session, if wussy people showed up I didn't really want to talk to I'd light up the biggest stogie I had. They'd usually bail out.

When I read your statement that 97% - and these are published climate scientists - is not a consensus, I slapped my forehead so hard that I gave myself a concussion.

And I am afraid that your story about cigars and being mayor falls right in line with your approach to climate change - if you don't want to hear it, ignore it or chase the speaker away. I have always thought that elected officials should listen to all constituents. But no, not you.
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Peter
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RSL

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #30 on: June 01, 2018, 02:53:08 PM »

You may have slapped your head too hard, Peter.

Ray

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2018, 09:20:36 AM »

Decision time about whether to rebuild:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/md-politics/ellicott-city-will-rebuild-but-difficult-decisions-lie-ahead/2018/06/01/48bdde66-64ed-11e8-a69c-b944de66d9e7_story.html?utm_term=.16a1dde0f45f

I recall there was similar indecision when Cyclone Tracy demolished the city of Darwin on the North Australian coast on Christmas day, 1974. I was employed there during that period, but was fortunately on holiday when the cyclone struck.

The destruction was so widespread and devastating there were questions being raised as to whether it was practical, economical and sensible to rebuild the city because severe cyclones had been a regular occurrence in the area since records began, and had destroyed the city, or caused severe damage, on a number of previous occasions.
http://www.darwinstorms.com/cyclones/

However, a decision was eventually made to rebuild the city using new building codes which would ensure that the structures could withstand the worst cyclones on record that had passed through the city, which were category 4.

Ellicott city seems to be in a similar situation with regard to its vulnerability to flooding. Doing a search, I came across the following record of previous floods.
http://www.preservationmaryland.org/historic-context-ellicott-city-flood/

"Floods in Ellicott City
1768
1817
1837
1868 – Patapsco flooding, killed 43 people, destroyed 14 homes
1901
1917
1923
1942
1952 – September 1
1972 – July 12, Hurricane Agnes, 14.5 ft
1975 – September 30, Hurricane Eloise, Hurricane Eloise
1989 – September 22, flood
2011 – September 7, Tropical Storm Lee
2016 – July 30
2018 – May 27 "


"The Baltimore Sun wrote in 2012, “that Ellicott City has come in for an inordinate amount of disasters from floods, fires and railroad wrecks since its founding in 1772.
The unincorporated town of 68,000 has endured at least four major floods, according to the Maryland Historic District’s web site, including a pair in the 1970s, another in 1923 and one in 1868 that “wiped out most of early industry in the valley sparing only the flour mill.”

Ellicott City’s geography makes it particularly vulnerable, said Jason Elliott, a National Weather Service hydrologist.
The historic city lies at the bottom of a hill where several streams converge before entering the Patapsco River, making it susceptible to flooding."

In Australia, there is a major distinction between 'flash flooding' and 'riverine flooding' for insurance purposes. Many folks who do not read the fine print of their insurance policy, have assumed that because they are covered for ' general' flooding, that must also include riverine flooding, but it often doesn't because riverine flooding is more predictable and therefore the insurance is more expensive if the property is situated near a river which has previously flooded on many occasions.

Climate change might be a contributing factor in these instances, but not the main factor.
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JoeKitchen

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #33 on: June 03, 2018, 02:37:03 PM »


A lot depends on the local circumstances, but watch for the trends over 11-year or longer multi-decadal periods, and it soon becomes apparent if Climate Change is to blame (and thus human burning of fossil fuel).

Cheers,
Bart

First, in response to your post, and others, I do believe in man-made climate change. 

However, looking at the 11-year trends, one must not only take into consideration climate change in regards to this flooding, but also the decrease in water absorbing land due to development, so it is not so easy just to blame climate change. 

It's similar to the current wild fires that have become much more intense over the years here in the USA.  Which is more to blame, climate change or the Smoky Bear Effect? 

(The Smoky Bear Effect being that since we have been so good, for about a 100 years, at controlling forest fires, that would have happened about once every 20 years naturally, the amount of fuel that has built up in most USA forests is immense.  Thus, when a fire finally occurs, it is just that much more intense and destroys everything including old growth trees that would have survived less severe fires.)

These are complicated questions.  I am sure both climate change and the other mitigating factors play a role, but which is the bigger evil.  Are we ignoring solutions that could bring much more immediate results because we are too focused on climate change as the cause? 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2018, 08:52:47 PM by JoeKitchen »
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Alan Klein

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Re: Flooding of Ellicott City???
« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2018, 10:11:00 PM »

Other than your very natural preference that humans don’t go extinct, what difference does it make to a completely indifferent universe, where life itself is an accident of unguided events.  Honest question.

Rand
Who wants to live in a universe that has no purpose?  Where we come from nowheres and are going nowheres?  Ecclesiastes addressed this issue.  You might want to read him.
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