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Old Posted Jun 15, 2017, 9:11 PM
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The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching

The Dutch Have Solutions to Rising Seas. The World Is Watching.


JUNE 15, 2017

By MICHAEL KIMMELMAN

Read More: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/...rotterdam.html

Quote:
.....

Like cheese in France or cars in Germany, climate change is a business in the Netherlands. Month in, month out, delegations from as far away as Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City, New York and New Orleans make the rounds in the port city of Rotterdam. They often end up hiring Dutch firms, which dominate the global market in high-tech engineering and water management.

- The Dutch are pioneering a singular way forward. It is, in essence, to let water in, where possible, not hope to subdue Mother Nature: to live with the water, rather than struggle to defeat it. The Dutch devise lakes, garages, parks and plazas that are a boon to daily life but also double as enormous reservoirs for when the seas and rivers spill over. You may wish to pretend that rising seas are a hoax perpetrated by scientists and a gullible news media. Or you can build barriers galore. But in the end, neither will provide adequate defense, the Dutch say.

- Environmental and social resilience should go hand in hand, officials here believe, improving neighborhoods, spreading equity and taming water during catastrophes. Climate adaptation, if addressed head-on and properly, ought to yield a stronger, richer state. This is the message the Dutch have been taking out into the world. Dutch consultants advising the Bangladeshi authorities about emergency shelters and evacuation routes recently helped reduce the numbers of deaths suffered in recent floods to hundreds instead of thousands.

- The Eendragtspolder, a 22-acre patchwork of reclaimed fields and canals — a prime example of a site built as a public amenity that collects floodwater in emergencies. It is near the lowest point in the Netherlands, about 20 feet below sea level. With its bike paths and water sports, the Eendragtspolder has become a popular retreat. Now it also serves as a reservoir for the Rotte River Basin when the nearby Rhine overflows, which, because of climate change, it’s expected to do every decade. The project is among dozens in a nationwide program, years in the making, called Room for the River, which overturned centuries-old strategies of seizing territory from rivers and canals to build dams and dikes.

- The project is among dozens in a nationwide program, years in the making, called Room for the River, which overturned centuries-old strategies of seizing territory from rivers and canals to build dams and dikes. The Netherlands effectively occupies the gutter of Europe, a lowlands bounded on one end by the North Sea, into which immense rivers like the Rhine and the Meuse flow from Germany and France. Dutch thinking changed after floods forced hundreds of thousands to evacuate during the 1990s. The floods “were a wake-up call to give back to the rivers some of the room we had taken,” as Harold van Waveren, a senior government adviser, recently explained.

- “We can’t just keep building higher levees, because we will end up living behind 10-meter walls,” he said. “We need to give the rivers more places to flow. Protection against climate change is only as strong as the weakest link in the chain, and the chain in our case includes not just the big gates and dams at the sea but a whole philosophy of spatial planning, crisis management, children’s education, online apps and public spaces.” Mr. van Waveren was talking about a national GPS-guided app created so that residents always know exactly how far below sea level they are. To use public pools unrestricted, Dutch children must first earn diplomas that require swimming in their clothes and shoes.

- Lately the city, accustomed to starting over, has reinvented itself as a capital of enterprise and environmental ingenuity. It has pioneered the construction of facilities like those parking garages that become emergency reservoirs, ensuring that the city can prevent sewage overflow from storms now predicted to happen every five or 10 years. It has installed plazas with fountains, gardens and basketball courts in underserved neighborhoods that can act as retention ponds. It has reimagined its harbors and stretches of its formerly industrial waterfront as incubators for new businesses, schools, housing and parks. These are all stops on the standard tour for visiting foreign delegations: proof-of-concept urban interventions, if not actually all-encompassing solutions, that address climate threats in ways that incrementally serve the economy and social needs.

- “A smart city has to have a comprehensive, holistic vision beyond levees and gates,” as Arnoud Molenaar, the city’s climate chief, put it. “The challenge of climate adaptation is to include safety, sewers, housing, roads, emergency services. You need public awareness. You also need cyber-resilience, because the next challenge in climate safety is cybersafety. You can’t have vulnerable systems that control your sea gates and bridges and sewers. And you need good policies, big and small. “This starts with little things, like getting people to remove the concrete pavement from their gardens so the soil underneath absorbs rainwater,” Mr. Molenaar said. “It ends with the giant storm surge barrier at the North Sea.”

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  #2  
Old Posted Jun 15, 2017, 9:25 PM
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Pffff, who needs all that when we have coal?
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  #3  
Old Posted Jun 16, 2017, 7:01 PM
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/\/\/\ hahaha!!!!!!
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Old Posted Jun 16, 2017, 7:08 PM
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So I read the starting article and didn't really see any really effective, comprehensive solutions although I did see the honest acceptance that “We can’t just keep building higher levees, because we will end up living behind 10-meter walls” . . . .

Making more basins won't do much if sea level is rising significantly. It works for flooding originating from rainfall on land but there's too much water in the ocean. Teaching kids to swim, though, is a novel idea. Genetically modifying them to have fins might be even better.
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Old Posted Jun 16, 2017, 7:15 PM
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Not only do the rivers need places to flow, but they also need places to deposit sediment. One of the problems that came to the forefront in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was that the fairly regular flooding had been stopped by the levees. In other words, sediment carried from upstream wasn't being deposited on the land, but was passing through to the delta. So parts of New Orleans were sinking farther and farther below sea level because they weren't being replenished.
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Old Posted Jun 16, 2017, 9:02 PM
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Maybe it could include levees that also redirects water to where it's convenient to accumulate.
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Old Posted Jun 16, 2017, 9:53 PM
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It seems like coastal cities are more or less doomed. The US is a massive country so it's not absolutely critical to protect land on the coast when there is plenty of room to build inland why would the government spend trillions just to protect real estate? Not to mention this is a type of problem that only gets worse and becomes more difficult to manage. The sea level in the Netherlands is manageable for now. They don't have a magical solution for protecting cities from the constant sea level rise.

There is no solution in Miami, the limestone makes it impossible to protect coupled with the flattest land in the US. Boston, Philly, New York and Washington are all at the mouth of a large river. How could these cities constantly pump water to sea level even if they build levees and what about the sediment buildup? How sustainable would that be? The bay area could be protected with a barrier at the golden gate but for how long? Most of LA is well above sea level so they don't really have to worry yet.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jun 18, 2017, 2:03 PM
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Hopefully advances in hydrogen fuel and the electrolysis process will yield water as a form of fuel for vehicles.

Would be nice to use water, which as we know, is a large % of earth's surface, as fuel.

That, and improvements to lower desalination plant cost. To ensure constant drinking water. As we know, freshwater sources are finite. Likewise for salt water, but there is enough salt water to support humans for millions of years, and as a resource pool for hydrogen based fuel.
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Old Posted Jun 18, 2017, 2:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
So I read the starting article and didn't really see any really effective, comprehensive solutions although I did see the honest acceptance that “We can’t just keep building higher levees, because we will end up living behind 10-meter walls” . . . .

Making more basins won't do much if sea level is rising significantly. It works for flooding originating from rainfall on land but there's too much water in the ocean. Teaching kids to swim, though, is a novel idea. Genetically modifying them to have fins might be even better.
Genetically modifying kids to have fins - this is what you end up with when your religion is global warming. This comment takes the cake on this forum. Make our kids fish.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 4:08 AM
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Rising seas are a non-issue according to Dear Leader Comrade Trump:

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...ise/394688001/

Trump tells Tangier Island mayor not to worry about sea-level rise

Quote:
SALISBURY, Md. — President Trump phoned Tangier Island Mayor James "Ooker" Eskridge Monday after viewing a CNN report about the Virginia island's struggle with rising sea levels.

"He said not to worry about sea-level rise," Eskridge said. "He said, 'Your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.'"
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  #11  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 4:59 AM
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The amazing US cult of ignorance...in other first-world countries, industry can't just buy their way into popular belief the way they have here.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jun 19, 2017, 9:17 AM
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Well, if Trump says not to worry, I fully believe we should all stop worrying. Amiright or amiright?
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