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Links I found interesting for 10-09-2014

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
hairyears
Sep. 10th, 2014 07:57 am (UTC)
Interesting. I think the swerve originates in the inevitable tipping-point of a population immersed in propaganda and wolfully misled, and eventually forced to confront objective reality.

Part of that is a general rise in awareness of 'environmental issues' in general, which are becoming harsher in their effects; but I believe that the lead group in the change of opinion are the unfortunate inhabitants in low-lying areas of the East Coast - there are places like Miami Beach that are already uninhabitable, as disruptive floods that were tolerable every twenty years or so are now commonplace, year in, year out.

It's impossible to predict what the next shift, or the next big acceleration in the 'swerve' will be. But if you ran a sweepstake, I'd be delighted if I got the chit with 'Headline monument, bridge or building wrecked', because one of the key features of Climate Change is that extreme events are becoming more common. This worries structural engineers, as the design load for major structures is the '200-year storm' - for older ones, the storm-of-the-century - and we seem to be getting the 'century' storm every twenty years. Maybe every ten: the statistics are shifting.

But the frightening Unknown is that we don't know what the century or two-century storm is anymore: we don't know how bad it can be extrapolated to be from reliable statistics; and - obviously - we don’t know when it'll happen, other than the certainty that the century will elapse and there will be a 'worst' storm in it.

For your information, the skyscraper I work in is rated for a two-hundred-year storm on structural integrity, and the seals on the windows are rated for a 'century' storm. It focuses the mind.
coth
Sep. 10th, 2014 11:00 am (UTC)
The National Trust has been wrestling for years with problems of adaptation and the communications problems round them. e.g. Retrofitting drainage systems to old houses, maintenance of sea defences. It has 4 million UK members, many of whom will be at least partially-familiar with arguments and options. People have been working on all of this for a generation now, and the understanding does spread, eventually.

But Nile's point is interesting too: we won't know what can hit us until it does. And then we cope or we can't. New Orleans gives us reasons to worry that we can't.
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