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Old 01-03-2017, 09:56 PM   #201
whighlander
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

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Originally Posted by CSTH View Post
Maybe so. Nevertheless, I have two questions, as follows:
CSTH -- As history has shown, there is always some risk of significant flooding, -- the Providence inundation example of 1938 is always there under the right circumstances. I don't think that there is any credible reason to suspect that a "Providence" Event" is any more or less likely based on Changing Climate due to Nature or Human Activity.

In any case -- Boston Harbor is sufficiently complex in shape and hydrology that its not clear that much can be done to preclude major flooding in the advent of a "Providence Event."

Nor can anything be done in the case of a Mega-Tsunami due to the subsidence of the mountain side due to the eruption of Cumbre Vieja on La Palma in the Canary Islands, or more recently discovered potential for a significant Tsunami due to the Puerto Rico trench Subduction Fault

So the question is -- what is the risk of serious damage from a much more likely storm surge and is the "fix" worth the investment of $ perhaps better deployed on other infrastructure projects

At this point _- I would say -- No the risk of catastrophic flooding from a "normal storm event" doesn't justify spending major money needed for any major project [e.g. storm barrier -- where?].

However, it is probably worth spending the relatively small $ to fix the more or less commonly recurrent flooding. There are places which regularly flood and for which some new pipes, or dome digging, etc., would make a significant difference.

This view is consistent with the USACE spending money to build the "New Charles River Dam" complete with the BIG Pumps which allow the Charles to be dumped into Boston Harbor even at high tide. That project got rid of regular flooding in the Back Bay due to heavy rain in the Charles Watershed when the tide was normally or extra normally high.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:03 PM   #202
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

Whighlander,

I respect your background, and am myself highly familiar with the distinctions you draw between types of scientific research. This is exactly why I conscientiously included this in my original post:

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We all may live our lifetimes without such a storm hitting, or it may hit. We don't know.
yet,

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don't imply that all work done toward preparedness is a waste.
I agree with you that there are very few things we can directly measure regarding climate change. CSTH's questions are nonetheless appropriate. Your five questions are also appropriate - but for me they are more detailed than needbe - I would suggest a single dramatically simpler question, which is: are we altering the earth's carbon cycle in such a way that it cannot neutralize our effects? I believe the answer is yes, and, to me, that means that something unusual may happen sometime. Yet, the difference between you and I, is that that tiny shred of a statement is enough for me to assess that there's risk warranting further investigation/preparation and am glad to contribute my tax dollars toward it.

One last thing: I called out "science denial" specifically because we now live in a nation where all science is being questioned/doubted/written off - it's a cultural turn - even your type of science. We all ought to be concerned.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:08 PM   #203
F-Line to Dudley
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

FFS, People!

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Old 01-03-2017, 10:10 PM   #204
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

^ indeed. bigpicture out for the night.
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Old 01-03-2017, 10:18 PM   #205
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

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Whighlander,

I respect your background, and am myself highly familiar with the distinctions you draw between types of scientific research. This is exactly why I conscientiously included this in my original post:


and,


I agree with you that there are very few things we can directly measure regarding climate change. CSTH's questions are nonetheless appropriate. Your five questions are also appropriate - but I personally believe even they are too detailed - I would suggest a single dramatically simpler question, which is: are we altering the earth's carbon cycle in such a way that it cannot neutralize our effects? I believe the answer is yes, and, to me, that means that something unusual may happen sometime. Yet, the difference between you and I, is that that tiny shred of a statement is enough for me to assess that there's risk warranting further investigation/preparation and am glad to contribute my tax dollars toward it.

One last thing: I called out "science denial" specifically because we now live in a nation where all science is being questioned/doubted/written off - it's a cultural turn - even your type of science. We all ought to be concerned.
BigPicture -- What we most need to be concerned with is the Scientific equivalent of Illiteracy -- something which is paradoxically becoming more prevalent as the planet becomes more and more dependent on high technology

The less the average person knows about how the basics of the universe work the more that we rink falling back into a new kind of "Dark Age" -- where the practitioners of science are viewed as wizards. This has two immediate problems -- one personal for the ignorant, and one societal since some of them vote.

In the first case people who don't understand anything about Newton are inclined to try to beat trains through a crossing or bike through the midst of cars at an intersection -- society can handle this -- although the outcome for the poor ignorant is likely to be bad. Similarly, with electricity, and lasers, etc.

The second case is more serious and can be more insidious -- some scientists like their "Wizard Power" at least in terms of their popular power to influence politicians. Now if the couple is unscrupulous you can have a lot of problems. Some of the immensely unrealistic catastrophic scenarios associated with AGW or such -- e.g. movies [ ] have been used to indoctrinate school kids.

What I tell people who ask about the views of af Politician on such matters is -- "Take two Hadley Cells and call me in the morning " -- aka run -- run very fast away from the political hacks -- and do your own research
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Old 01-04-2017, 07:45 AM   #206
whighlander
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

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FFS, People!

F-Line Happy New Year

You know if you just don't bother to respond -- since you have nothing to contribute -- those of us who are seriously discussing something just might not be gifted with your creative art

However -- I think we can stand being bereft of your art

But once again Happy New Year
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:29 AM   #207
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

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since you have nothing to contribute
Projection at its finest.
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:23 AM   #208
whighlander
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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^yeah, understood. I was using shorthand too. Yes you can put shit in the basement. You'll pay through the nose for insurance, if you can get it at all. FEMA has a prominent role in defining the geography of risk that determines how much you'll pay for that insurance and even whether it makes sense for any competently managed insurer to offer it in the first place.

Seems settled.


In other news, I think the Clf / xom lawsuit is potentially a big deal. You all k ow that I think this barrier should be an urgent priority for the region. Boston has been building dikes for flood control, water power, and land reclamation for 400 years, and this could be a natural extension of that legacy. If strategies like this can get big private players to actually recognize the currently-unfunded risk on their balance sheets, the math could make sense sooner rather than later. I.e in insurance terms, we're all bearing an unaccounted risk cost every day with regard to flooding and slr, and the sooner we bring it into the formal accounting the more rational our collective planning and decision making will be.
CSTH -- Don't hold your hopes too tight -- I'm just hoping that with the new sharif in town in DC and such -- that something akin to the Pacific legal Foundation will sue CLF for all the unfunded mandates that they've foisted on us over the years.

They and like minded activist groups are some of the most vile reprehensible useless idiots on the planet -- No one has elected or appointed them to do what they chose to do, or anything for that matter -- yet they succeed in finding soft-headed judges to help[ them extort money from the taxpayers to make themselves as guilty liberals feel less guilty.

Even the Barr Foundation while equally deranged -- at least contributes mostly Amos Hofstadter's money for whatever cause that they espouse at the moment.

BUT -- the era of finding a friendly EPA to invite you [the CLF or similar left-wing eviro-activist group] to sue so that you and they [EPA or other activist government agency] can settle with a consent decree is ending in 2 weeks

And -- all that -- Obama-nonsense [a toxic mixture of incompetence and ideology]*1 is going to change because in addition to real grownups filling the leadership roles in the Federal Government -- real judges will soon be filling the 100 or so Federal District, Appeals and Supreme Court vacancies.

*1 Exhibit #1 the EPA triggered waste flood of three million gallons of acid mine drainage contaminated with metals into the Animas River. Contaminated water reached the San Juan River impacting Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Navajo Nation.
Quote:
WASHINGTON, D.C., August 5, 2016 -
Today marks the one-year anniversary of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Gold King Mine blowout near Silverton, Colorado. House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT) released the following statement:

“A year later, the Obama Administration still won’t tell us the whole truth. Accounts of events from Interior and EPA have been inconsistent and artfully misleading. The EPA insists they had no plan to dig out the plug, but they did and without testing. There has been zero accountability on the part of the Administration, the only thing that has changed since last August is their story.

“EPA's disaster dumped hundreds of tons of pollutants into a river that flows across four states - affecting farmers, treatment systems for safe drinking water and livelihoods, but no one has been punished. These communities, especially in Colorado, New Mexico and Navajo Nation, deserve better. They deserve answers.”
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Old 01-04-2017, 11:44 AM   #209
kmp1284
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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Originally Posted by whighlander View Post
CSTH -- Don't hold your hopes too tight -- I'm just hoping that with the new sharif in town in DC and such -- that something akin to the Pacific legal Foundation will sue CLF for all the unfunded mandates that they've foisted on us over the years.
Your use of 'us' seems to imply that we're all in agreement with you(or should be in your opinion) and share the same set of beliefs and personal grievances.
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Old 01-04-2017, 01:12 PM   #210
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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Flood barrier work is finally starting to get serious this winter.

Boston released the Climate Ready Boston plan last month which proposes a wide variety of response, preparedness, and protective measures. It includes discussions of district-wide measures to protect vulnerable coastal neighborhoods, which is key since that’s where the city plans to put 4/5 of Imagine Boston’s growth areas.

Most relevant to the thread is the section on a harbor-wide barrier. Here’s the city’s nice map:



The map shows three barrier configurations:

* An Inner Harbor Barrier that protects downtown and the Charles and Mystic watersheds.
* A Habor Island Barrier that protects extends protection down to the entire City of Boston
* An Outer Harbor Barrier just a little farther out that also includes Quincy, Braintree, Weymouth, and Hingham.

Unlike previous harbor barriers this isn't just spilled ink. Climate Ready Boston called for planning to start within the next two years, and just last week the Barr Foundation gave the Umass Sustainable Solutions Lab $336,000 to study and compare these three harbor-wide barrier configurations. Hopefully we see more on this in the near future.
The "outer" alignment could provide an amazing bypass connection between North Shore and South Shore, though I doubt either Winthrop or Hull would want that. Maybe a walk/bike trail, though?
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:30 PM   #211
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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Your use of 'us' seems to imply that we're all in agreement with you(or should be in your opinion) and share the same set of beliefs and personal grievances.
Agreed. With all due respect to his other contributions here, I think that post was a load of purblind, inarticulate, inaccurate, and ungrammatical garbage.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:33 PM   #212
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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Originally Posted by Whigh
CSTH -- Don't hold your hopes too tight -- I'm just hoping that with the new sharif in town in DC and such -- that something akin to the Pacific legal Foundation will sue CLF for all the unfunded mandates that they've foisted on us over the years.
Can you provide some context/examples.

(not attempting any drama here). i'm woefully ignorant, unfortunately.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:47 PM   #213
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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The "outer" alignment could provide an amazing bypass connection between North Shore and South Shore, though I doubt either Winthrop or Hull would want that. Maybe a walk/bike trail, though?
Seems more practical and realistic to focus on raising up and filling in flood prone areas along the shoreline than to create giant ocean gates in the harbor. Mechanical gates would be prone to failure right when you need them and wouldn't have additional benefits.

Passive earthworks (rocks, dunes) will last centuries and require less engineering.

Though I could see enlarging the harbor islands to create more effective barrier islands as having some benefit of limiting tidal surge.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:49 PM   #214
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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Can you provide some context/examples.

(not attempting any drama here). i'm woefully ignorant, unfortunately.

As entertaining as a professor/idiot love-in could be, I'd strongly advocate sparing yourselves the mutual embarrassment and ridicule.
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Old 01-04-2017, 04:59 PM   #215
stefalarchitect
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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The "outer" alignment could provide an amazing bypass connection between North Shore and South Shore, though I doubt either Winthrop or Hull would want that. Maybe a walk/bike trail, though?
That'd be cool, but the document says the "flood protection project would be an operable gate." Does that mean no reclaimed land, even for the "outer harbor option?" I'd imagine no new land, since it's a lot easier (physically, legally, and environmentally) and cheaper to just place the gates in instead. Would they be wide enough for walking and biking?
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:21 PM   #216
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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As entertaining as a professor/idiot love-in could be, I'd strongly advocate sparing yourselves the mutual embarrassment and ridicule.
Exactly.

The Pacific Legal Foundation is a conservative public interest law 'firm'; it has no standing to sue the CLF. Whigh's assertion to the contrary is simply another manifestation of the untutored drivel that can emanate from Lexington.

As I've done my share of Reynolds numbers, etc., I am a bit familiar with the limitations of modeling. Whigh strikes me as a latter-day Tommy Gold (Cornell, you can wiki Thomas Gold) without the academic and scholarly cachet, but possessing a similar degree of [false] certitude.
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Old 01-04-2017, 05:32 PM   #217
tangent
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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That'd be cool, but the document says the "flood protection project would be an operable gate." Does that mean no reclaimed land, even for the "outer harbor option?" I'd imagine no new land, since it's a lot easier (physically, legally, and environmentally) and cheaper to just place the gates in instead. Would they be wide enough for walking and biking?
It would have to be a combination of filled in land and gates. From 2010 boston.com:



It isn't hard to envision a bridge across the Harbor gateway with that plan.

The communities on either side would raise hell if their neighborhoods became cut throughs for commuters or new port facilities.

Again the flood maps around Boston make it pretty clear where to put in some layered flood defenses. The Charles River dam and Amelia Earhart dam already protect the rivers
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Old 01-04-2017, 06:55 PM   #218
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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Your use of 'us' seems to imply that we're all in agreement with you(or should be in your opinion) and share the same set of beliefs and personal grievances.
KMP -- I doubt if many -- outside of people of independent wealth and no need to work -- if given option "do you want your taxes raised to pay for something concocted by the CLF" would say yes [on a binding ballot question]

But we never get that opportunity -- We are always told after the fact about the wondrous and amazingly "Green Settlement" which has been negotiated by the CLF with the tacit assistance of the cooperative and in many cases collaborative entity which the CLF has sued [or even threatened to sue] on our behalf.

I don't begrudge the people who wish to give funds to the CLF for doing so -- and I certainly don't bemoan the CLF speaking out on an issue -- that is clearly their prerogative. However, when it comes to the CLF dictating for our ostensibly collective benefit of which neither I nor anyone else paying taxes have had any say -- Well that is where I object.

That is why I said what I did about the Barr Foundation -- old Amos Hofsteder made his money in the early days of Cable TV and now he wants to distribute it to Green-ness -- well that's his prerogative. While the Barr Foundation may commission reports and promotional videos -- they don't foist their beliefs on the taxpaying citizens of the Commonwealth -- so I laud them.

The study by a bunch of professors eager to take the Barr money to pontificate on flood barriers is a classic case in point.
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Old 01-04-2017, 08:00 PM   #219
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Re: Proposed Boston flood barrier

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They and like minded activist groups are some of the most vile reprehensible useless idiots on the planet
Over the top talk like this damages our civil society. Please stop doing it. You know better than to compare civic-minded fellow citizens you don't agree with to the most vile people on earth. Shame.
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Old 01-04-2017, 10:20 PM   #220
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Re: Storm surge in Boston

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CSTH -- There are five questions we need to ask in the absence of political posturing and bellicose vituperations:
  1. What is the dynamics of the climate over the recent past
  2. Are there things happening now which are outside of the normal variability
  3. Do humans have anything to do with these anomalies
  4. Are the anomalies such that we should be concerned
  5. Can we do anything to alter the system's behavior, or should we adapt

Only after we have done our best to answer those questions above should we start the process or planning for something which may or may not ever happen and which could have a substantial real cost to achieve it.

Unfortunately, we really don't even know #1 let alone any of the others
If you actually want to take a science-based view that relies on data, you wouldn't say we don't know #1. Even scientists who Ed Markey tried to crucify agree we know #1 and there are aspects of our climate that are outside normal variability (#2). If you want to listen to good scientists that have skepticism about #4, you should look at the work of Judith Curry or Roger Pielke. As it stands, you're babbling nonsense that is clearly politically based and not based in science. You're on no more solid footing than Markey or Grijalva.
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