Explanation



On Dec 17, 2013 8:17 PM, "Riverwatch" wrote:

We are pleased to send you the December 2013 edition of the Riverwatch newsletter in both HTML and PDF versions.

You can view the HTML version at http://news.caloosahatchee.org/newsletter/crca_dec_13.htm

Both PDF & HTML version includes active web links where you can access more information about each article.

Please forward the newsletters to friends and professional associates. We invite everyone to stay informed on river issues and join CRCA.

Also, if you have suggestions for items to include in our web site and newsletter, send them to Riverwatch@Caloosahatchee.org.

Sincerely,

CRCA-Riverwatch

At 09:06 PM 12/17/2013, Dave wrote:

We recently moved from Bokeelia to Ft. Denaud on the Caloosahatchee. Our property abuts an oxbow (#14?). I would normally be interested in joining an organization like CRCA, but then you go and publish a story like the one about skyrocketing flood insurance rates, implying that sea level rise is responsible for those rates when, in fact, the rates are simply the result of legislation which eliminated taxpayer subsidies of flood policies. You Democrats cannot restrain yourselves from lying when there is no need to do so. Remove my name from your list.

Dave
Ft. Denaud

Note: Records indicate that Dave was never a dues-paying member, he simply subscribed to the newsletter.

John Capece wrote:

Dave,

We will remove your name from the list as requested, but you may rather choose to remain a member and share/assert your perspectives within the organization.  Diverse views are welcome.  But allow me to explain more fully the concepts I was attempting to highlight in the newsletter item about Flood Insurance Rates.  Understand that it is hard to explain all the subtlties in 200 characters. My intent was to show correlation, not cause and effect.

As you point out, rates are determined by damage costs. Looking into the past, it's easy to compare revenues to expenses.  Projecting the future, however, requires predictive tools.  Future costs and damage are determined by statistical models.  These models use certain data regarding facts on the ground (the actual assets at risk and their physical attributes) and they require estimates of future frequency and storm severity.  Both statistical and deterministic models are used.

I did flood studies for the federal program back when Carter & Reagan first decided that the program needed to stand on its own fiscal feet. It was a good decision. We had to redo all the computer models and apply updated statistics. Today, the statistical basis of our calculations have and are changing dramatically. The statistical equations and their associated data are not red or blue.

Climate change by definition changes these rate-driving statistics. Sea level rise is one factual implication of climate change. So if one does not believe that rapid sea level rise is real and caused by climate change then the same logic would question the statistical methods and perhaps deny the reality of the insurance rate calculations. The sea level rise - insurance rate relationship is not cause and effect but they are correlated, both responding to some common physical drivers.

The point was that if one does not believe in statistical methods they could very well think that the insurance rates are unjustified.  But that would still not change the fact that the numbers are what they are. 

Many people accept science-based methods and tools when they deliver money or gadgets.  But when implications become more abstract and less immediate, they react differently, sometimes politically.  How society responds to statistical risk factors, whether 95% or 5%, is a political process.

Thank you for reading the newsletter and sharing your thoughts. And welcome to our part of the river.  Today I am  taking the  Hendry-Glades EDC Leadership class on a tour of the river and its oxbows.  It should be fun.

John Capece