Pennywise and Pound Foolish?

The fate of America’s fourth-largest city holds the world’s attention, but it is hardly alone. In India, Bangladesh and Nepal, at least 1,200 people have died and millions have been left homeless by this year’s monsoon floods. Last month torrential rains caused a mudslide in Sierra Leone that killed over 1,000—though the exact toll will never be known. Around the world, governments are grappling with the threat from floods. This will ultimately be about dealing with climate change. Just as important, is correcting short-sighted government policy and the perverse incentives that make flooding worse.
—-The Economist, How government policy exacerbates hurricanes like Harvey

I’ve read that for each dollar spent on flood mitigation, four dollars is saved on disaster relief — not even taking into consideration the human suffering involved. The trouble is the people making a profit/saving money by ignoring the longterm consequences are usually not the ones paying for the disastrous results.

But one can always hope.


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12 Responses to Pennywise and Pound Foolish?

  1. tammy j says:

    almost every coastline in America is over developed with huge condominiums and homes and hotels and restaurants and marinas for the wealthy to live and play.
    but sand is sand. and the ocean is a powerful adversary who doesn’t care how much money you have or how foolish you are!
    tammy j´s last blog post ..moving on old bean

  2. Cathy in NZ says:

    we aspire to look at some thing other than another house, a building…we want the open space – that the sea side provides.

    whenever we have big storms here, the cliff-top houses either get more unsteady or they have to be evacuated…

  3. I’m usually optimistic, but I think the prospect for solving this problem is dismal. As you say, humans are too short-sighted and profit seeking to pay attention.
    Still the Lucky Few´s last blog post ..A Late Summer Break

    • Jean says:

      We probably couldn’t do it perfectly, but presumably every little bit helps. We will have to see. The more disasters the taxpayers end up paying for, the better the chance of changes.

  4. nick says:

    Same flooding issues here too. There have just been major floods in North West Ireland, but I don’t see much discussion about how such floods can be prevented. The general attitude still seems to be, oh well, it’s one of those things, we’ll just have to rebuild. And more houses get built on flood plains and natural drainage areas get covered in concrete.
    nick´s last blog post ..Out of reach

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