Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Why does the media keep lying about Houston development and flooding?

"Houston's sprawl gave the city terrible traffic and an outsized pollution footprint even before the hurricane. When the rains came, the vast paved-over area meant that rising waters had nowhere to go," wrote Paul Krugman in his Monday New York Times column.
According to analysis from the University of Wisconsin's Space Science and Engineering Center, Hurricane Harvey was a 1-in-1,000-year event, dumping nearly 20 trillion gallons of water on the Houston area in only a few days. No amount of planning or infrastructure can handle that kind of water, Sander notes. Even for green fields, "little water beyond a two- or five-year event is infiltrating anyway."
Who knew Paul Krugman was an urban planning expert and civil engineer?  Well, actually Krugman is probably not an expert on those topics. Krugman is wrong about Houston. Houston flooded because it got almost a year's worth of rain over a matter of days. So is Krugman just ignorant or flat out lying? You will have to make that determination on your own.

Maybe Paul has a touch of toxoplasmosis?  I am not an expert on cats like Paul Krugman (or medicine and communicable cat diseases for that matter), so I do not know.

EBL:  Lack of Zoning Did Not Flood Houston and Hurricane Hotties

Wombat: STUMP: Insurance Notes – Flood Insurance (it's a scam)

Diogenes' Middle Finger: Hurricanes be racists y'all

Rush Limbaugh: Hurricane Irma Panic

TOM: Fear and Loathing at BWI


  1. Well, President Pissy did say there comes a time when you've got enough money
    (excluding him and Mooch, of course).

    Houston just committed the sin of being too successful.

  2. I prefer reading this guy, because he uses math. Math is hard for people like Krugman.

    Here's a few quotes:
    "The Houston region has more than 6.6 million people, and every year more than 40,000 of them die – so Hurricane Harvey increased the annual death tally by about 0.1%. Sad, but not catastrophic." More current data would make it about 0.2%, but you get the idea.

    "An estimated 30,000 people have been forced from their homes. This is approximately 0.5% of the population of the Houston region. " Even if you raised the people number to equal 3 times the number of damaged homes, you are still talking about 95% of the population being unaffected, which tracks with the next item:

    "the Houston region has more than 1.6 million housing units, so about 6% of homes sustained damage of some kind."

    "The Houston region GDP is about half a trillion dollars a year, so Harvey’s economic cost would be about 14% of our total economic output." I think loss productivity will be higher, than rebuilding costs, which is what the 14% represents based on a number equal to Super Storm Sandy.

    "Over an 18 year period, Houston lost about 25,000 acres of wetlands. But this amounts to about 4 billion gallons of storm water detention capacity. As stated above, Harvey dumped about 1 trillion gallons; so the lost capacity represents about of 0.4% of Harvey’s deluge."

  3. I suppose its unfair, but I can't read anything of Krugman without thinking that this guy was the chief financial adviser for Enron. But that fact is scrubbed from his wiki page.

    1. Damn, they almost completely scrubbed the word "Enron" from his Wikipedia history. You have to go back to June 2, 2016, when someone apparently didn't like the added line "former Enron advisor". Nothing else was mentioned, just that description, and now that is gone.

      Alas, not so quickly forgotten was Krugman's tweet that the markets would never recover from Trump's election. That the markets rallied to new highs is sufficient evidence to suggests Krugman's advice, even if written down, isn't even useful as toilet paper.


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