Wednesday, November 28, 2018

No denying Walker's costly, ideological & stubborn ignorance

Warnings ignored. At great cost.

* This 11/28/18 article leads with the summer's flooding in Cross Plains, WI, just outside of Madison, the Capital City.
As rainfall intensifies, cities prepare for more stormwater
Between the afternoon of August 20, 2018, and the next morning, 14.7 inches of rain fell on Cross Plains. Homes, businesses, bridges and parks were washed out along streets, rivers and ponds. It took six days for the main highway out of town to reopen.
The August 20 event in Cross Plains and western Dane County was deemed a 1-in-1,000-year event, which means that a rainstorm of that magnitude historically has a 0.1 percent chance of occurring in a given year.
But we didn’t get a break anytime soon. Unrelenting storms rolled through southern Wisconsin for three weeks...
Wisconsin isn’t the only place getting wetter
Intensifying rainfall is a well-documented climate change trend. Across the country, local governments are making infrastructure investments in the hopes of preparing for more water.
But planning for stormwater is challenging when the rainfall probabilities that planners and engineers once relied on to design infrastructure are no longer accurate. Wisconsin, for example, experienced historic flooding in 20082013, and 2016, in addition to 2018. Probabilities based on long-term averages don’t necessarily capture what can be expected from future – or even current – storms.
* On June 8, 2008, in the early months of this blog, I posted this:
In 2003, EPA predicted heavier rain events 
Then-Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist and I attended a conference in Chicago in 2003, hosted by Mayor Richard Daley, where officials from the EPA told Midwestern elected leaders that climate change models predicted heavier rain events.
The EPA officials were urging the Midwestern leaders to adapt their planning and spending to more aggressively confront storm water and related services because heavier, intense rains were going to be come more frequent.
Part of the message was: forget the notion of the "100-year-storm." They'll come more often than that in the Midwest as the atmosphere warms.
Again - - this wasn't advocacy science or partisan scare tactics.
This was basic municipal planning/dollars-and-sense advice from people in the George W. Bush administration to Midwestern mayors offered as an inter-governmental service because climate change was going to hit cities' budgets and constituents in difficult new ways.
The EPA officials had it all in a very power point format - - which I requested, and was assured was coming - - but it never did, and I left the Mayor's staff in January 2004 and didn't make a federal case out of not receiving it.
Now I wish I had.
Seems pretty relevant this weekend, no?

* On January 1, 2017, I posted this:
Documenting Gov. Walker's attacks on science, climate change
On December 22nd [2016], this blog carried the first disclosure that WI GOP Gov. Scott Walker's "chamber of commerce mentality" Department of Natural Resources, (see part five of a recent series about his redefining the agency, here), had again deleted from taxpayer-paid, public web pages wording and information about climate, climate change and its human causation.
This time, the scrubbing destroyed the integrity and value of the intentionally and ideologically beaten-down agency's key remaining climate change web page:
More Walkerite/Orwellian censorship of climate change from DNR climate change web pages
During the following few days, I updated the page and have posted twelve fourteen additional posts with related information. 
* On August 28, 2018 - - eight days after the rains fell on Cross Plains and across much of the state, I wrote this:
Who needed those axed climate scientists, and their expertise? We did.
[Walker] signed a public pledge to ignore climate change science, deleted climate change science and also deleted links to valuable climate change-storm materials from state webpages which said our changing climate was likely to bring heavier flooding.
And fired the experts who understood the predictions...
Because [Walker] already had:
Ignored the wake-up calls sounding the alarms your ideology masked.
Thereby setting the table for more flooding, property damage, and loss of life

in the state where you purport to be chief executive, but tell us often how much you are enjoying the executive mansion, sports' game days, and your favorite foods.
* And on September 8, 2018, this:
Wisconsin flood damage estimated at $209 million
Damage estimates are soaring in southern Wisconsin after weeks of severe flooding and storms destroyed pavement, left basements underwater, ruined crops and killed livestock. 
And in a post I put up on November 27th, a reminder that in the death trip also known as Walker's eight years in office, people have died in the state's intensified flooding:
...deaths in state flooding in 2016, and in Sawyer County and Dane County in 2018 - - violent storms which are projected to worsen in the changing climate Walker has steadfastly refused to acknowledge or address. 
The bottom line?
Warnings and science were ignored. Wisconsin homes and incomes were lost (Also in Texas, the Carolinas, the Jersey Shore, Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, your town, my town, small town, downtown, out-of-town). 
Remedial spending will soar, and if taxes don't, other programs will starve. Republicans from Big Daddy Trump to the littlest lieutenants like Fitzgerald and Vos will tow the polluters' lines, whether laid down by the Koch brothers or King Coal. 
The planet will warm. Unconcerned about his legacy of damage and despair, Walker will hit the lecture circuit. And it will rain hard again, as thousand-year storms become every-few-months' events. 
It's enough to make ya crazy. 

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