Home | About | Donate

Climate Change and the 1,000-year Flood in Baton Rouge: When Will We Learn?


Climate Change and the 1,000-year Flood in Baton Rouge: When Will We Learn?

Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan

The floodwaters are receding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and the scale of the damage is revealing itself. It has been described as a 1,000-year flood, leaving at least 13 people dead and close to 60,000 homes ruined. According to Weather Underground meteorologists Jeff Masters and Bob Henson, August has been the wettest month in Baton Rouge in 174 years, when records were first kept.


The 1000-year event meme is getting old. It is predicated on taking a few decades of data and performing a statistical analysis on them. Next, the statistics are used to develop a probabilistic model predicated on NO trend from the mean, which makes no sense in the context of climate change. It is a useless concept, but is rooted in our culture through such things as the 100-year flood plain, which is better defined by decades of data than the 1000-year event, but is still woefully flawed. It was an EXTREME flood, perhaps historically unprecedented for the region. Our perverse attachment to numbers as if this were a sporting event needs to stop. It was not a 1000-year event as it shall return much sooner than that!


The issue is the flooding not the use of a "thousand year" as a descriptive term! Please hurry to share this mundane egotism with everyone. Being first to comment as you strive to do should at least bear some ethical or substantive logic to justify such narcissistic egotism. Did you not notice the idea is to comment on the article and encourage intelligent discussion?

Your ego trip expecting to be first no longer even tries to make such a vanity justifiable. If this is your best, maybe it is time for you to let others lead off the comments.

Once in a thousand years is actually quite descriptive and an accepted way of describing extremely rare events in science. Let's just say that it is more informative than simply saying >>> "it doesn't happen very often "


Here are the underlying issues:
1. Not just our economy, but everything that we depend upon is built on fossil fuels; we will not change voluntarily, only the power of nature have the power to make us change.
2. The powers that be, as symbolized by their Spokesperson Obama have too much power, in fact all of their power, wrapped up in Fossil Fuels and Money... Good luck in changing that one.
3. Even Renewable Energy systems are dependent upon Fossil Fuels....
4. Your Government is not here to save you, but to save their corporate partners who keep them in power.....Look at how well your government did in Katrina, now in Baton Rouge, Sandy.... they have no power in stopping these events, and no real resources, nor interest, to help the victims of these storms...

So Expect more of these storms to continue with wreaking more devestation...Good luck to the locals impacted by these storms and the non support of the Governments.

Solution here-- Take care of yourself and protect yourself...Fossil Fuels are here to stay, your lives and freedoms not so secure...If you are amongst the Elites, count yourselves lucky (...or at least feel that way..for that security is only surface deep.).
And... We have already top-loaded Carbon into the atmosphere with more to come.....


"President Obama should be spending his remaining months in office doing everything in his power to reduce our national dependence on fossil fuels."

During his second term especially Obama has done a lot. The Clean Power Plan to reduce reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-burning power plants, the largest source of emissions in the US, will eliminate many of these major sources of carbon dioxide pollution. His ability to get a climate agreement in Paris is an historic achievement as for the first time virtually all countries have agreed to reduce emissions. He has expanded energy efficiency standards for motor vehicles, which is critical for reducing the use of oil. He has given more money for the development of green energy than all other previous presidents combined. He rejected the Keystone XL pipeline that would have carried tar sands oil from Canada to Texas. He has required federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Under Obama greenhouse gas emissions in the US have declined from their peak just before he took office.


LRX- do you really believe that ??


Starvation and disease will be the first true symptoms of our fossil fuel addiction as food production diminishes leading to higher prices and fewer people able to afford proper nourishment. The resulting disease from weakened bodies will increase. Add to that the ever increasing change in the ocean's chemistry, which produces half of the Earth's O2 and the ever increasing carbon- O2 ratio in the atmosphere will lead to yet further weakening of all life and more resulting disease. The climate created shifts, temperature/moisture, will lead to ever more disease in tropical forests, and when combined with increased logging, we are losing the second major producer of O2 in the Earth's ecosystem. We have lost 40 precious years in seriously confronting this alarming, ongoing crises. It appears that the two major candidates for President, the office that provides leadership for addressing such catastrophes, is only going to waste another four years with a continued rush for more war or how high to build that wall. Jill Stein and the Green Party Platform can be the immediate stop to our lemming rush to the precipice. It will be a wake up call for the oligarchs and their puppets in government offices that the masses are going to create change; with or without them!


A 1000 year flood really means that it is likely to happen about once in a century over ten centuries. However, these educated guesses are. now facing extraordinary different models and, in reality, Baton Rouge could get hammered again fours years from now. It's within the current margin of probability. Also, within the current margin of probability, that Americans will keep walking around with a bad case of posterior craniosis regarding anything that interferes with making lots of money. Save yourself, if you can.


Spin, spin and ever more political spin. Obama, unfortunately speaks from both sides of his mouth. Great speaker at an AA meeting, then gets a DUI on his way home.


We must nationalize the fossil fuel industry and then stop burning anything that pumps tons of heat into our atmosphere.


The ability of the human species to predict future outcomes from current behaviors is proving that we have reached a point of biological insanity. We are neglecting our one basic purpose as animals - to reproduce our species and try to assure it's survival beyond our own lives. As a human society, we are failing our collective children miserably.


Only the prophets can predict future outcomes and they're still living among us.
If you have ears to hear and eyes to see.


Just buy Boeing and General Dynamics stock. The future is going to be explosive with upside opportunity for the 1%er whose has no consciousness.:wink:


Ms. Goodman,
Re learning:

1970 "The oceans are in danger of dying." Jacques Cousteau

1980 We live in a death culture. Russell Means

1983. "We're in a war for survival and it's everybody's duty to get involved. If they don't, they'll be drafted into it anyway, by circumstance." Paul Watson

1983 “Our system for the selection of leaders who are suited to the time in which we live is no longer appropriate, useful, or effective.” Jonas Salk

1984 "Look, we were all raised in this culture that is committing planetary suicide—Jonestown on a whole-Earth level. Incredible, but true." Me

2016 “Carbon emissions are now the highest they have been since the age of dinosaurs, 66 million years ago.” Nature Geoscience

Triage Time. American military coup? Don't think that should be off the table for taking the keys away from a drunk, suicidal species. Yes, myriad unintended consequences, but the consequences of status quo are a "premature and perverted death" for our descendants, and plenty of people right now.

Already too late? Prolly.
Here's some Deep Fringe Alphabet Coding
The Price Is Wrong http://ow.ly/5DlX303zDDQ


When will "we" learn? If by we, the authors are referring to Congress and our assorted state reps, who currently have their heads stuck in the sand, my guess is that no learning will happen until each of these 'no good niks' experiences a personal loss directly related to either a vote they have made (against Product Safety Commission expansion, only to experience tragic loss of son in amusement park accident), or a natural disaster that has wiped out a significant personal asset, not covered by insurance (rising coast water flooding destroys no longer insurable million dollar vacation homes belonging to said reps and or their supporters). Of course no longer being able to care for their favorite resort golf courses due to severe water shortages might get momentary attention, similar to the adjustments made to ease travel restrictions so reps could make it to their home districts without too much disruption to their schedules.


Are war, crime, pandemics, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, poverty, oligarchy, suffering, pain, death, etc. the work of apocalyptic nature? Her four horsemen could be named pollution, resource concentration and depletion, species extinction and overpopulation.

Can learn how to live in harmony with the earth that gives us everything?


I didn't read the Lrx comment. I found that doing so amounts to one wasting ones time. To avoid frustration, as soon as you see this avatar/commenter name. move on to the next comment.


"The Great Waves Prophecy":......
----"Specifically,what will take place will be determined in part by humanity's ability to respond & to prepare. What will take place is that the world will become warmer, producing greater losses of food production and great scarcity of water resources in many places in the world while there will be TREMENDOUS FLOODING in other places. "
From the sacred text : Great Waves of Change. Marshall Vian Summers.

A new message has been sent into the world. A message that deals with not only the Great Earth Changes happening at this time, but also with humanity's emergence into a Greater Community of Intelligent Life....


"We" have learned. Unfortunately it is the wealthy who control everything who have not learned or do not care. That is why the will of the people is never served.


Clearly no one cares (govt & oil) about the great state of Louisiana. Though there have been valiant efforts to repair the damage of the dredging, ultimately, it will fail as the oil companies continue the pursuit of green paper/digital numbers on a screen. As sad as this is, with condolences on one hand and auctions on the other, let's just shut the southern, coastal part of the state down. Just shut it down. Everybody out. I'm will to do my part to help the folks relocate and restart through my tax dollars and community investment. Because nothing else is going to save the communities, the towns, the marvelous history and culture of the bayou--peoples' lives and livelihoods? Those are expendable, like the soldiers who go to war. All serving the interests of the Clintons and their friends, the Kochs, the Bushes, the Sauds, the folks who donate to their foundation to play their hands at government, actors who lives are fantasy, smoke and mirrors (like politicians). Looked at objectively, I'd give them a diagnosis of psychopaths and ban them to an island dead from radiation from nuclear testing in the 40's. I'm not feeling very generous toward humans today.:no_mouth: