Tuesday, August 29, 2017
Trump Is Going to Texas, But Will He Learn Anything?
2. Ocean temperatures are warmer. Warmer oceans make for stronger hurricanes.
3. Warmer water also increases in volume. Warmer oceans are rising, without even factoring in the melting of glaciers and the disintegration of the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica. Coastal flooding in some areas is already a constant fact of life, even without hurricanes.
4. It's damn near impossible to get flood insurance for homes from private insurers. The US government stepped up, creating the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to provide insurance to homeowners in areas prone to flooding. From 1978 to 2004, NFIP generally took in more in payments than it paid out in losses. But in 2005, Katrina hit. The NFIP was on the hook for $18 billion — an amount equal to all of the premiums paid into the program from 1991 through 2005. Then, in 2012, Sandy hit. Losses neared $10 billion.
6. The NFIP is currently $24.6 billion in debt.
7. The NFIP is underwater because it doesn't charge enough in flood insurance premiums to cover the costs of recovery. Rich people with expensive ocean-front properties don't want to pay more, and they have considerably more political influence over Congress. Funding for NFIP is basically a political football.
8. Then comes Hurricane Harvey, followed by a rubber-necking Trump who understands little, cares even less, and seems perfectly immune from deep knowledge. We know where he stands on science.