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01:00 - 22:0022:00 - 00:00

1:13 AM
I think that Chinese is really an anger bag today
 
1:28 AM
@CowperKettle That red part looks like Bangladesh. And here's a climate change plot-thickener for everyone who thinks the future looks rosy. Most of that country is at or near sea level. So as sea levels rise, all those people are going to need to find dry land. Who is going to give it to them? India? Myanmar?
 
1:44 AM
@Robusto We're actually already working to protect the land from the sea there, I believe.
 
@Cerberus Who's "we"? The Dutch?
 
@Robusto I think so, but also other countries.
With money from Western countries, but also from Bangladesh itself.
 
The trouble is, three great rivers flow through that country and outlet to the sea there. How do you wall off a river's estuary?
 
It's not as though there were nothing one could to to protect people from rising sea levels, as long as there is time.
@Robusto You build dikes everywhere.
 
But then the country will flood from the inside.
 
1:51 AM
Nope, you dike the rivers.
 
Where does that water go?
 
Towards the sea.
You build dikes along the riverside.
 
I wish them good fortune in that effort.
 
They have already done that.
It is a matter of quantity and quality in which various regions there are still lacking.
So large parts of the country still flood seasonally.
Which will get worse as the sea rises.
Unless they improve and expand their dikes.
Protecting cities should be easy enough; protecting farmland is costlier per capita.
So they may need help, or perhaps they do have enough money to reach acceptable levels.
The country has always suffered from seasonal flooding; they will probably accept that.
So their protective measured need not be 100%.
 
I'm glad I don't live there.
 
2:00 AM
I really don't get why some people are so afraid of (slowly) rising sea levels. Building dikes is a rather basic problem to solve. The technology is ancient.
Yes, it is expensive, but not that expensive.
The general problem is simple. The details can be complex, but not the general approach.
 
@Cerberus Well, Bangladesh isn't exactly a rich country.
 
No, but they still have money, and cheap labour.
And support from rich countries.
It remains to be seen how much of their land they can afford to protect on their own.
>
110 million people currently live on land below the high tide line (the previous estimate was 28 million)
250 million below annual flood levels (previous 65 million).

Their future projections are that the

110 million below the high tide line will increase by 40 (30–60) million by 2050
250 million below annual flood levels will increase by 110 (60–170) million by 2100.

This is for RCP 4.5 which roughly corresponds to 2.4°C by 2100 and assumes a mostly stable Antarctic (sea-level model K14).
 
2:31 AM
@Julien On dit "plosive" en anglais aussi :) Non, c'est pas lié à un accent particulier, c'est qqch d'universel. Cela dit, il se peut qu'en Inde par exemple, où on parle anglais depuis si longtemps que c'est la langue maternelle de beaucoup sans que leur accent soit considéré comme un accent natif chez tous les anglophones, là j'imagine qu'il y a des différences. Mais partout dans les E-U, le Canada, le Royaume uni, l'Australia, on fait cette aspiration sur les plosives. — Luke Sawczak 4 hours ago
Well, that really depends what you mean by a lot.
India is home to several hundred languages. Most Indians speak a language belonging to the families of the Indo-Aryan branch of Indo-European (c. 77%), the Dravidian (c. 20.61%), the Austroasiatic (Munda) (c. 1.2%), or the Sino-Tibetan (c. 0.8%), with some languages of the Himalayas still unclassified. The SIL Ethnologue lists 415 living languages for India. == Overview == India's central government has 23 constitutionally recognized official languages. Hindi and English are typically used as an official language by the central government. State governments use their respective official languages...
There are only a little more than a quarter-million native speakers of English in India, so 0.02% of the population.
There are a great many L2 speakers there, though.
Perhaps 130 million English speakers there in total, or just over 10% of the population.
So I would disagree with them saying that c'est la langue maternelle de beaucoup there.
But it would be unseemly of me to argue about English on ELU en français, n’est-ce pas? :)
But there are definitely subcontinental speakers of English who have curious phonological characteristics. You can hear it in their syllable rate (more syllable-timed than stressed-timed) and inherited intonation patterns, It would not surprise me if some of them had Hindi plosive patterns in English.
 
wonders why American politicians are so much older than European ones
 
What, like the Senators?
Many in their 80s.
You can't even vote for pope at that age.
 
All of them.
I mean, Trump, Clinton, Biden, Kerry are all 70+.
Why is that?
And is it good or bad?
Von der Leyen and Merkel are in their sixties, which is fairly old.
 
Well, Clinton was quite young when first elected. So was Carter.
 
But most other European leaders are younger.
 
2:43 AM
But no, it's not necessarily good.
 
I'm talking about prominent political leaders currently in or near top positions.
 
Biden chose fuzzy-cheeked Jake Sullivan today as the youngest National Security Advisor in six decades. He's "only" 43.
 
Sanchez, Johnson, Rutte, Conte are fairly young.
 
It's really a problem.
Pete Buttigieg is 38.
 
Right, those are young.
 
2:45 AM
He seems like he's still all there upstairs.
 
But they're nowhere near the top.
 
True.
I don't know how Biden will use Buttigieg. He really likes him.
 
I suppose I shouldn't have mentioned Kerry.
 
Harris isn't too super old.
Yes, well.
Why not mention him? He got picked for a Cabinet-level position today.
 
@tchrist I like Buttigieg a lot. I hope Biden picks him for a good position.
Press secretary, perhaps.
 
2:47 AM
@tchrist True.
 
Elder statesmen don't get called that for nothing.
 
I suppose she is near the top, though not there yet.
 
@tchrist Not a Cabinet position.
 
@tchrist Because it's not a prominent enough position, I suppose.
 
@Robusto It's odd.
 
2:48 AM
Perhaps we have a lack of old politicians.
 
> Mr. Biden said he would name Mr. Kerry to a cabinet-level climate post, a role laden with political and diplomatic challenges in the post-Trump era.
 
I think a mixture is good.
 
> John Kerry will lead the incoming administration's effort to combat climate change.
Last I checked there was not a Secretary of Climate Change.
 
@Cerberus Merkel's no Frühlingshuhn.
 
Hmm the leaders of both houses of parliament in America are also 75+.
 
2:49 AM
@Robusto I don't know what "cabinet-level" means there. It's NSC so doesn't need Senate confirmation.
 
@tchrist Certainly not. But she reached the apex of power fifteen years ago.
 
@Cerberus We don't palaver here.
 
And she is still quite a bit younger than your leaders.
@tchrist Oh, but you do.
 
@Cerberus We don't have a Parliament. We have two houses of Congress.
 
@Robusto Not with a capital letter, perhaps. But with a minuscule, you do.
 
2:51 AM
Listen, the age thing really is a problem, especially in the Democratic National Party. We've said this for years now.
 
In Parliament all they do is talk, but in Congress they actually fuck each other.
 
@tchrist Is it really a problem?
 
Thus spake Cheney.
 
We have a special party for old people. It's called "50+" (no joke).
 
@Cerberus Yes, because (1) who will attract younger voters? (2) where's the next generation?
 
2:52 AM
@tchrist Are the sprightly sixty-somethings ready to move in?
 
You really can't call Congress "a parliament" like that. You can call it a legislature.
 
Why not?
The 50PLUS (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfɛiftɪx plʏs]), abbreviated to 50+, is a political party in the Netherlands that advocates pensioners' interests. The party was founded in 2009 by Maurice Koopman, Alexander Münninghoff, and Jan Nagel, a politician formerly connected to the Labour Party and Livable Netherlands. Henk Krol was the Leader from 2016 until 2020. The party first participated in elections during the Dutch provincial elections of 2011. During these elections the party obtained 9 seats in the States-Provincial. In the Dutch Senate election of 2011 the members of the States-Provincial elected...
 
Oh that's hilarious.
Wait, you get a pension at 50!?!?
 
Haha nope.
 
Quick, gimme.
 
2:53 AM
Around 67 now.
 
Yeah, nasty.
 
Of course they lowered the threshold in order to attract a wider audience.
But I hoped you might find it funny.
Our PM is in his fifties.
 
I do.
 
> Nevertheless, in the best interest of our Country, I am recommending that Emily and her team do what needs to be done with regard to initial protocols, and have told my team to do the same.
Well, well.
He seems to have accepted his fate.
Without admitting it.
 
@Robusto He'd be ok as a booth babe, I suppose, but maybe he could do real work somewhere. VA?
 
2:56 AM
yes
i totally agree
 
Oh wait, it's only Trump who puts booth babes in the press role.
 
@tchrist I like him for that because he can really neutralize all the Faux News bullshit.
 
ya that don lemon is really in for some fake news
 
@Robusto Yes, he's smarter than they are. It shows.
 
I can't think of a single Republican who could catch him out in a debate.
 
2:57 AM
@Robusto what do u mean
@Robusto is there anything he ever sad that was wrong
 
@Cerberus THREE FUCKING WEEKS. The old men of the Senate had words with him, apparently.
 
@tchrist Oh, is that why? Why did they do so now, and why did that have any effect on him?
Meanwhile, I came about an interesting bit about a doctor admitted into intensive care in her own hospital:
> Tijdens haar coma (ze lag een week aan de beademing) werd ze vanuit Heerlen vervoerd naar het Radboudumc in Nijmegen, omdat haar collega’s het te belastend vonden haar te behandelen.
 
does anyone here actually SUPPORT abortionist biden?
 
@Cerberus Because it was starting to impact them. They need him not to fuck up Georgia.
 
She was moved to a different hospital while in a coma, because treating her put too much stress on her colleagues.
 
3:00 AM
@bluejayke None of that here, son.
 
oh brutal
so i guess thats no one
 
@tchrist Fuck up how?
And why did he listen?
 
@Cerberus The run-off elections there. But really, a bunch of Republicans ganged up on him about national security.
 
National security, impact in Georgia?
I'm a bit confused.
 
These are different things.
> More than 100 chief executives asked the Trump administration on Monday to immediately acknowledge Joseph R. Biden Jr. as the president-elect and begin the transition to a new administration.

Some of the executives have also discussed withholding campaign donations from the two Republican Senate candidates in Georgia unless party leaders agree to push for a presidential transition, according to four people who participated in a conference call Friday in which the notion was discussed.
> A group of leading GOP national security experts — including former homeland security secretary Tom Ridge — urged congressional Republicans on Monday to demand President Trump concede the election and immediately begin the transition to the incoming Biden administration.

“President Trump’s refusal to permit the presidential transition poses significant risks to our national security, at a time when the U.S. confronts a global pandemic and faces serious threats from global adversaries, terrorist groups, and other forces,” said a statement signed by more than 100 GOP luminaries.
So these are two different groups of 100.
 
3:06 AM
Ah, how perverse.
Big business once again has the power to get done what it wants done.
 
Sigh.
Did you seen the Carl Bernstein today released the names of the GOP Senators who think nothing of Trump?
> Then he named names.

They were: Rob Portman (Ohio), Lamar Alexander (Tennessee), Ben Sasse (Nebraska), Roy Blunt (Missouri), Susan Collins (Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), John Cornyn (Texas), John Thune (South Dakota), Mitt Romney (Utah), Mike Braun and Todd Young (Indiana), Tim Scott (South Carolina), Rick Scott and Marco Rubio (Florida), Chuck Grassley (Iowa), Richard Burr (North Carolina), Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania), Martha McSally (Arizona), Jerry Moran and Pat Roberts (Kansas) and Richard Shelby (Alabama).
Bernstein was Woodward's reporting partner in Watergate.
It's good that George Bush welcomed Biden. Weeks ago.
So a huge amount of pressure fell upon him today from multiple directions.
Biden keeps picking ladies to be his secretaries. Feels like the 1950s all over again. :)
Bet he doesn't ask them if they know shorthand first, though.
 
@tchrist Hmm why did he name them publicly? How do they feel about that?
 
@Cerberus There are multiple reasons, actually.
He has to set up transition offices in all the hm "ministries"; the cabinet departments.
He has to get background checks for many of them.
There are subtler reasons.
It shows that he's on track, that the team he is picking is experienced and competent.
And of course they all knew about it in advance.
It helped put the pressure on Trump.
 
@tchrist I meant, why did Bernstein publish those names.
And did those politicians agree to be published?
 
@Cerberus Oh, certainly not!
@Cerberus THAT is another question altogether. I thought you meant Biden.
He was trying to out them.
Trying to put more pressure on Trump.
 
3:20 AM
I am confused again.
How could Biden out them? He wasn't the one who knew and published their names?
 
Wait.
Biden named some of his cabinet picks. I thought you were asking why he announced that.
Bernstein did something else.
Biden picked a Hispanic guy for Homeland Security. That's a strong message.
2
 
No, I am only ever talking about the Republican senators.
 
ok
 
Did they agree.
 
Something like five of them came out again over the weekend and publicly said Trump should give in.
 
3:24 AM
Why did B. publish their names.
 
No, they did not agree to be outed by Bernstein.
 
Indeed.
MMXX + I.
 
WASHINGTON—Putting the nation on alert against what it has described as a “highly credible terrorist threat,” the FBI announced today that it has uncovered a plot by members of al-Qaeda to sit back and enjoy themselves while the United States collapses of its own accord.

Multiple intelligence agencies confirmed that the militant Islamist organization and its numerous affiliates intend to carry out a massive, coordinated plan to stand aside and watch America’s increasingly rapid decline, with terrorist operatives across the globe reportedly mobilizing to take it easy, relax, and savor the s
 
@CowperKettle Did you see that Trump today withdrew from the Open Skies Treaty, and cancelled and scrapped the flyover planes that were keeping track of Russia? You know that was a Putin command.
 
3:42 AM
That sounds like propaganda, everyone knows you attack your enemy when they are the weakest.
Law of the jungle.
How is sitting back and watching a "highly credible terrorist threat"
 
@user6232128 He's reading The Onion again.
 
ok
They could try to poison the vaccine shipments.
Conspiracy theorists could claim this was a biological weapon of mass destruction
 
4:01 AM
@tchrist Can't the USA track Russia using satellites anyway? Or the secret space plane, the mini-Shuttle that spends months somewhere above
 
4:13 AM
@CowperKettle are you reading The Onion again?
 
 
1 hour later…
5:17 AM
nods
 
5:43 AM
@Cerberus He probably did so because he likes publicity. He based his claims mostly on statements of others (staff, for example) and several have denied the claims or stated that their private views are no different from what they’ve said openly (many have disagreed at times with specific policies). Neither Bernstein nor Woodward has a great rep for accurate or objective journalism.
 
6:30 AM
@tchrist Those are mostly wild guesses. One should not take official Indian statistics too seriously. If you saw the sorts of people who work for the govt, this statement would probably carry more weight. Also, the sorts of people that are the govt.
Though native speakers of English in India are definitely a rarity. In fact, I have difficulty thinking of anyone. I wonder if any of India's novelists speak English as a first language.
What's with the interest in Indian statistics, anyway?
@Cerberus That would be a whole lot of dykes. And can they really withstand large amounts of water pressure from the oceans?
@tchrist Oh, I see you're responding to a comment in French from someone called Julien, whoever that is.
I recently read an article about India's native English speakers, which I came across my accident. It was quite interesting.
The article estimated around 500k households, or about 1.4 million native English speakers. Again, just a wild guess. I suppose.
That would be around 1 in a 1000.
 
6:54 AM
I think it was probably this article. Unexpectedly easy to find. qz.com/india/1198086/…
 
7:04 AM
[ SmokeDetector | MS ] Pattern-matching website in answer, potentially bad keyword in answer (79): What's the proper form of "As a judge of your parents actions"? by academic wriitng uk on english.SE
 
7:36 AM
 
 
2 hours later…
9:24 AM
@tchrist I like me a strong massage
 
9:52 AM
Yana Antonova, a pediatric surgeon: "The Magistrate's Court in Krasnodar fined me 15000 rubles for reposting 30 news reports on Facebook over 1.5 years ago, despite the fact that the statute of limitations for this charge is only 3 months. We will appeal the ruling".
Some innocent, run of the mill news. Her only crime is that the news company has been labeled "a foreign agent" by the Russian state.
 
I just got to the bit in that Chomsky talk where he talks about the chemistry class he attended, referenced by someone above - youtube.com/watch?v=e_EgdShO1K8&t=1615s
Around 29 min 36 sec in. The audience thought it was funny too. I though it particularly funny when he said that it was perfectly obvious that none of the experiments would work.
He also complained that he had to pay a USD 17 fee for breakage in the laboratory, even though he said he'd never been to the laboratory and didn't know where it was.
That does seem rather unfair, actually.
That anecdote followed him reading something someone had wrote about how awful science education was. It sounds perfectly in line with my own experiences, which were in India. Though I suspect it's similar elsewhere.
I'm not saying that better science education would lead to an enormous increase in science Nobel prize winners, but it would be lead to some decrease in suffering by the unfortunate students. And perhaps they would actually learn something.
 
10:42 AM
@FaheemMitha He doesn’t do the lab work, although he fills out the answer sheets correctly, knowing what the answers are supposed to be. Fine, He’s a smart guy and thinks highly of himself, so of course there is no glass breakage, But the creative-discovery model was fine for him, although not perhaps for the lesses geniuses in the group,
 
@Xanne I think his main point was simply that this is pretty poor model for education.
I think the other takeaway was that Chomsky wasn't the best student in a coventional sense.
You get that the point was that you were following prescribed procedures and knew the answers one was supposed to get? I.e. not actually learning anything?
I remember the point in my school days when I realised I wasn't actually supposed to learn anything. Just do well in exams. It was more a gradual realisation, perhaps.
And clearly nobody at my school cared whether I did learn anything or not. It didn't come up.
And people wonder why democracy doesn't work.
On the other hand, they were very upset if I didn't arrive at school on time. That was clearly very important to them.
And I was also supposed to do as I was told. That was important too.
I remember when they summoned my mother for an explanation as to why I had been late to school multiple times. Part of the problem was that (a) my mother used to take me, and she had little sense of time (b) I didn't really want to go, so was in no hurry.
When I was late, I had to fill in a form with an explanation. Which was probably lame. And when my mother came she was shown a handful of these forms, I remember. It was all very serious. As if I had sexually assaulted a classmate, perhaps.
I can still remember feeling terrorized.
 
 
2 hours later…
12:23 PM
> Why did a Mexican take Xanax? Hispanic attacks.
 
I'm laughing but it feels wrong somehow
 
1:05 PM
 
1:32 PM
> Security foils Design:
1a. All requests for new security foil images shall be verified as unique using a database of security foils. If a duplicate is detected, it must be **reconciled** to verify if a counterfeit is being requested.
What could be the meaning of reconcile here? It stumps me.
 
I would guess it means "double checked"
so if a duplicate foil is detected, you have to figure out where it came from to see if it's a counterfeit or some other error
 
Thank you! Spasibo.
 
no problem
 
 
1 hour later…
2:43 PM
@FaheemMitha I believe Salman Rushdie is known to be one.
 
3:24 PM
@tchrist I see.
 
@Xanne Thanks, that makes sense.
@FaheemMitha Our country is about 350 km long, but we have about 22,000 km of dikes.
 
3:42 PM
@Cerberus That must be expensive.
 
Of which about 17,500 km are primary dikes, the first line of defense.
@FaheemMitha Yes, but not extremely so.
 
I doubt that would scale for bigger countries.
Especially poor ones.
 
We have reduced our coastline from about 2100 km in 1850 to 1600 km in 1950 and 880 km in 2000.
By reducing coastlines and buildings dam in rivers, you can reduce the total length of dikes required.
We pay about €2.7 billion yearly to maintain our dikes.
 
@Cerberus That would be an incredible engineering project for a country like India. Or China. Or Japan.
 
This could be reduced by accepting somewhat higher risks, and by reducing coastlines and damming rivers (so you need fewer dikes).
@FaheemMitha Certainly.
 
3:47 PM
India isn't even willing to build desalination plants, preferring to rely on the vagaries of the monsoon, a tactic which grows more risky every year.
 
A dike costs about €5 million per km here.
I'm sure that would be a lot less in countries with cheap labour.
But let's say Bangladesh were to copy all Dutch dikes using Dutch prices.
 
The Indian govt has a tiny tax base, though you wouldn't know it from seeing how they spend money.
 
@Cerberus You'd need staggering amounts of earth moving machinery to make it practical.
I doubt one can build dykes by hand.
 
That would cost 87.5 billion. Spread out over 50 years, that would be about 1.75 billion euros yearly. Even Bangladesh could afford that.
 
3:49 PM
@Cerberus That's not counting interest. And what are your calculations for that?
 
@FaheemMitha It depends. A commonly used technique is pumping sand from the seafloor and spraying it onto the dike-to-be.
 
@Cerberus I'm not sure what Bangladesh could afford. They're a poor country. Though apparently now doing as well as badly as India, approximately.
@Cerberus I don't understand how the sand would stay in place.
 
@FaheemMitha It's just a very, very rough indication of the order of magnitude it would cost.
So it would be possible even for Bangladesh, especially with foreign help (which they are already receiving).
@FaheemMitha Well, it does.
 
@Cerberus Well, I have no idea.
 
@FaheemMitha I'm sure Bangladesh could afford to spend 0.5% of its GDP over 50 years in order to protect itself from utter destruction.
What I am doing here is dispelling the idea that rising sea levels mean large coastal regions need to be abandoned.
Which is just incredibly ignorant.
Look here: the red areas are new land created by natural accretion of sand/soil.
Pumping and spraying sand to build dike is just an extreme acceleration of this common process.
 
3:57 PM
@Cerberus I wasn't suggesting that was the case. Was anyone?
 
@FaheemMitha Not you, but someone was.
 
I'm familiar with land reclamation. The land on which Bombay is built was in part reclaimed from the sea. It was originally a group of islands. Whose names still survive in some of the locations of Bombay.
E.g. Colaba.
 
Nice.
 
The Seven Islands of Bombay were 16th-century Portuguese colonial possessions lying off the Konkan, the mid-west coast of India, that were partly handed over to England under this title as part of the dowry of Catherine of Braganza when she married Charles II in 1661. The isles and islets had earlier been part of indigenous polities like the Silhara dynasty and the Gujarat Sultanate before they were captured by the Portuguese in 1534. After acquiring them as dowry, Charles II leased Bombay and adjacent islets to the East India Company in 1668 for £10 per year. By 1845, the islands had been merged...
Those islands now roughly correspond to South Bombay.
Seems like a lot of trouble to go to, but maybe there were reasons.
 
Apparently worth it!
 
4:03 PM
@Cerberus Well, it's currently an ecological and humanitarian disaster zone, so that's a matter of opinion.
The situation is actually a lot worse than that article makes it sound.
 
4:20 PM
@Cerberus I think it's an artifact of stats at the moment. GWB's advisors were a mix (Cheney old, Rove medium), Obama's were a good mix (Clinton/Biden older, Rice younger), Trump's younger (Conway, Miller, Bannon, Mnuchin). Biden has Harris (younger) but Kerry older.
If you're talking about the general leaders, I think a lot of voting is about name recognition GWB had his father as VP under Reagan, Clinton was in as first lady, Trump was a reality TV star for years.
But this is all super oversimplification fit for a tweet. We'd have to be scientific about it to really see if there's an appreciable difference or trend.
@Cerberus Oh. Yeah, there are a lot of super old people. Some prominent senators and reps re really old.
@Cerberus Easily compromised. Also monsoons in Bangladesh might pose a scaling problem.
Would you propose dykes for all of southern Florida and the Gulf coast?
 
@tchrist I think you are really a physiologist! I don't know so much about physiology.
 
> After initial confusion about Bombay possibly being located somewhere near Brazil, the British took possession in 1665
@FaheemMitha Funny.
@Mitch Yes, why not? You just reserve a lot of money, start building, and it could be done in a few decades. This is not Mariana Trough we're talking about, is it?
Although probably not all the Floridan and Gulf coast needs them.
@FaheemMitha About Bombay, I'm sure solutions can be found to prevent this flooding, especially considering how much money goes around in it.
 
 
1 hour later…
6:03 PM
 
6:56 PM
@Cerberus I think dykes as a solution is very dependent on the local geography -and- weather.
that's a pretty empty statement... but basically Im saying that maybe the efficacy of dikes in the Netherlands is due to the particular slope and depth of the land (above or below sea level) and the lack of big storms that might flood behind the dikes. I don't think the ganges delta or say Norfolk or Houston/Galveston are in a similar situation.
But of course, with enough resources anything is possible, and maybe other places haven't put the resources in yet.
 
@Mitch What, Lesbians are dependent on geography and weather? Who knew?
 
7:20 PM
@Mitch Why would you think that?
As I said, the basic concept of a dike is pretty simple.
Just make it wide and high enough.
And 100+ million people around the world live below sea level.
And many more behind dikes.
There are 43 different types of dikes in Holland alone.
And other types in different places.
 
 
1 hour later…
8:32 PM
@Cerberus What I meant by 'that's pretty empty' is that saying geography and weather is stating the obvious.
 
@Mitch All of those things are already taken into account around the world.
Flooding behind dikes: you always build pumps.
The basic premise is that water cannot pass through nor over a mass of earth reinforced with wave-resistant material and properly maintained.
You build dikes around land you want to protect and/or around bodies of water you want to keep in check, like rivers and the sea.
Of course there is a lot of complexity in the details.
But it's all been done.
We had dikes here two millennia ago.
And Bangladesh already has dikes in various places.
Yes, you adapt the dikes to local circumstances, but the basic mechanism is simple, proven, and reliable.
For example, we have two lines of dikes in many places, one bordering on a river, the other a few km away, as a back-up.
And many orthogonal dikes connecting the two longitudinal ones.
In other places, there are different systems.
But the one, big dike is the essence.
 
9:08 PM
Well, someone should have told New Orleans. And Houston. And the Army Corps of Engineers.
 
9:33 PM
@Xanne Solutions that work in the Netherlands don't necessarily work in a big country like the US. For example, how would you put a wall around Florida? That's 1,350 miles (2172 km). And it would only take one big hurricane to knock a hole in it.
 
@Robusto Right. And it was hurricanes that got Houston and New Orleans, not to mention the coastal islands.
 
@Xanne Correct.
 
And Puerto Rico. Of course the Chinese are sort of terra-forming the South China Sea. They could form a joint stock company with the Dutch.
 
Not in my lifetime, but my granddaughter's.
 
@Robusto This is the point I was poorly trying to make to @Cerberus without data.
@Xanne Yeah, that's only like 3 feet deep.
 
9:55 PM
@Xanne I'm sure they were told. But the money wasn't made available and/or it wasn't organised in time.
@Robusto I made a rough calculation about about the order of magnitude of the cost.
At €5 million/km, that could amount to €11 billion for a dike around Florida. I'm sure the actual cost will be different, but it's a vague indication of what you would be looking at.
Americans tend to think whatever infrastructure doesn't exist yet in their country just isn't possible.
Whereas the problem is nearly always will and money.
 
@Cerberus The point is not the money, it's the efficacy in the face of increasingly frequent and brutal hurricanes. (When was the last time you had a category 5 hurricane in your country?) From where I sit it looks like solving climate change, as difficult as it is, may be the only actual solution to problems like these.
 
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