Houston Sprawl And Hurricane Harvey: Don't Mention the I-Word!
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From The Guardian:

The real villains in Harvey flood: urban sprawl and the politicians who allowed it Billy Fleming

There’s never been a more important time to understand the political machinations that led to Harvey’s destructiveness – and dismantle them

‘The swamps and wetlands that once characterized Houston’s hinterland have been replaced with strip malls and suburban tract homes.’

Thursday 31 August 2017 10.13 EDT

Houston’s catastrophic flood will be framed by leaders in Texas as an unforeseeable act of God. It isn’t. Houston’s unfettered sprawl into the marshland of southeast Texas was a conscious choice by policymakers. So was building a global city on a slowly submerging swamp. Both were decisions that led to disaster.

Houston has quietly become our fourth largest and fastest-growing city, due in large part to cheap housing. But the latter has come at an exorbitant cost to its safety. The swamps and wetlands that once characterized Houston’s hinterland have been replaced with strip malls and suburban tract homes.

Those landscapes once served as a natural flood protection system for the city. Research shows that, if they hadn’t been filled and developed, Harvey’s impact would have been lessened.

Okay, but where did all this population growth in Houston come from? As usual, a text search for “migra” yields no hits. But until last week I was constantly reading about how immigration was powering Houston’s population growth.

For example, from the Center for Public Policy Priorities:

Fact Sheet: Immigrants in Houston

Houston is now more diverse than New York City

27.7 percent (596,000) of Houston’s population of 2.2 million are immigrants, a dramatic growth from just 18 percent in 1980.

In fact, the immigrant population of Houston grew at twice the national rate between 2000 and 2013.

22.2 percent of all immigrants in Texas live in Houston.

As of the 2010 Census, Houston has no majority racial or ethnic group. Non-Hispanic Whites represent 40 percent of the total population, Latinos 36 percent, Blacks 17 percent, and Asians 6 percent.

Ann Coulter tweeted on this topic today:

It’s interesting to skim the bulk of the protesting replies to her, which were shocked that anyone could possibly imagine that immigration had anything to do with overpopulation in Houston. Note that the replies weren’t shocked, shocked like Captain Renault discovering gambling is going on in Casablanca, they were simply shocked at anyone being so vile as to mentally notice the connection between Bad Things (overpopulation, sprawl, paving the prairie, flooding) and The Good Thing: immigration.

That’s how people have been trained to think in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave.

[Comment at Unz.com]

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