What is the claim, grounds, warrants, and conclusions of the article "Boomtown, Flood Town" written by Texas Tribune and ProPublica?
In the article “Boomtown, Flood Town," written by the Texas Tribune and ProPublica, the main message is that the floods that have occurred recently in Houston will continue to occur unless there is a change in thinking and philosophy. Because of its location, Houston is prone to flooding. However, those "once in a 100 years" floods or "once in 500 years" floods are occurring more often and will continue to occur more often for several reasons.
One reason is the denial of the effects of climate change on events such as these floods. Many people believe, including those in government positions who could do something about this issue, that the floods are not related to the warming of the Gulf of Mexico and the oceans. These people believe there is no connection between the issue of global warming and the floods. Some of these people also do not believe that global warming exists. Scientists, however, say these incredibly strong storms will only increase in number as the earth continues to get warmer.
Another reason for the floods is the increased development that has occurred over wetland areas. There has been significant growth in Houston. As a result, the wetland areas, which are uniquely suited to absorb rainfall, have been decreasing in size. One study showed a 30% decrease in wetland areas over an eighteen-year period in Harris County. The development has led to more land surfaces that cannot absorb the water, increasing the likelihood of flooding. For example, when more roads are built, the concrete roads cannot absorb the heavy rainfall. Some government officials believe that if more restrictive policies were implemented, developers would go elsewhere to build their projects, harming Houston’s economy. Thus, political pressures are also a factor hindering a change in policies.
As a result, there will likely be more devastating floods in Houston. Until government officials embrace the fact that the concept of global warming is real and until policies are revised, we will see a repeat of the recent destructive flooding in Houston and other areas.