Is This the End?

(This is not my photo.1)

The World Without Us by Alan Weisman (NY Times bestseller and Time Magazine’s #1 Nonfiction Book of 2007) goes into detail regarding how long the world would take to reduce man-made creations to ruins if all of the human population disappeared (raptured up?)  When I read it a few years ago I was surprised to learn that the NY subways have sump pumps going continuously, just to keep out rain water and ground water.

Even on a sunny day, nearly 13 million gallons of water are pumped from New York City subways. As global warming brings rising sea levels and more frequent storms, more of New York’s transit system is expected to flood. 2

Even before Sandy.  With the water rising (see my blog3), there is much in New York and New Jersey destroyed by Hurricane Sandy that should not be rebuilt.  In Tucson we are no longer allowed to build in flood zones.  (My house is at the edge of a 100-year flood zone that will probably never happen because the amount of construction in Starr Pass has probably altered the amount of rainfall which gets to the wash behind the house, and, in addition, we may be forever in a drought.)

When I worked for FEMA in Mississippi after Katrina I was astounded by the number of buildings completely scraped off their foundation by the hurricane.  I know that people love to live next to the water, but should the Feds help them rebuild there?  I think that the government should buy all floodlands and keeps them as parks.  (Many flood areas in Phoenix have been made into parks.)

The concept of rebuilding New Orleans is absurd.  Move the Ninth Ward and whatever else needs to be rebuilt into housing far from the rising sea.  (Map4)

My ex worked in Safford, Az, as an attorney for the people flooded out in 1972.

October 17-19, 1972 Tropical moisture caused heavy rain over most of the state. The ground was already saturated from tropical storm Joanne earlier in the month… The towns of Safford, Clifton, and Duncan suffered extremely heavy losses due to flooding. Nearly $8 million in property damage occurred… Some deaths were caused by drowning.

The town was primarily Mormon, but the lower areas near the river were populated by blacks, who lost their homes in the flood.  His goal was to integrate them into housing in higher areas.

By 1878 Latter-day Saints had settled farther upstream… as well as [to] several sites in western New Mexico. Colonists also moved farther south into the Salt River Valley…. Others settled at Pima, Thatcher, and Safford in the Gila River country….

This was back when the LDS publicly avowed that blacks were cursed, so it was difficult.

The first reference in Latter Day Saint writings describing dark skin as a curse and mark from God refers to Lamanites. The Book of Mormon, published in the late 1820s, [discusses] a group of people who rebelled against God.

So far we’ve discussed poor people living in low-lying areas.  Now consider where the 1% lives.  It amazes me that New Yorkers continue to invest millions in Miami Beach.  (I see ads for the the high-priced condos in the NY Times.) 5

See the map1 – when the Atlantic rises five feet, 94% of Miami Beach will be under water.  Is this carpe diem?  Enjoy the beaches now; don’t worry about bequeathing the condos to your progeny, ’cause the beaches won’t be there in 50 years?

Back to post-Katrina.  We worked six days a week, but a friend like to drive around on our one day off to see areas we weren’t working on.  I drove with him one Sunday to Dauphine Island, a barrier island off Alabama connected to the mainland by a bridge.  This strip of land had previously had one road with beach houses (albeit on stilts) on both sides.  Katrina downed most of the ones on the Gulf side and moved their sand to the Bay side so that the north homes had docks stretching out to sand.  (See photo from the internet.)  The Feds, who own all beaches, were moving that sand back!  See your tax dollars at work.  Barrier islands too should be parks.

Gate to the East

Jiangsu Province’s Gate to the East is being made fun of.  Do you think it looks like a pair of pants?






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4 Responses to “Is This the End?”

  1. Hal Says:

    Nice post.

  2. Jim Says:

    Flood zones should be returned to their original wildlife habitats.

    America suffers from a lack of strong competent leadership. Ecological disasters and economic fraud are now pervasive, and ruinous nation building wars are continuous.

    Religious beliefs are losing their control over natural instinctive behavior.

    Nations are in state of rapid cultural change, for the better or the worse.

    For many, this is the end of their world for better or worse.

  3. Lyn Says:

    Yes, it looks like a pair of pants and shoes.

  4. Kim Blair Says:

    I think that Mormans believe black skin to be the mark of Cain. The Lamanites were the American people’s (natives) to whom Christ preached after rising. – As I understand the teachings – someone feel free to correct me.

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