Storms like the ones we continue to have are nothing new in nature. After all, we've had ice ages, warm periods and what not since the earth was created, yet we try to justify our problems based upon a very short period of data, something in the neighborhood of one hundred and fifty years. And one major eruption of a large volcano like Krakatoa can lower the temperature and turn the skies gray for years, so empirically the evidence shows nature doing as it wishes no matter what we do. So, in looking at the question posed earlier, I think the answer is that no, we develop and change the lay of the land irregardless of what is its best use, for sadly, it usually is all about money. Let's face it, folks, almost everything in this world today seems to be about money and the quest for it. So, in the quest for money, when we figure we can jam large numbers of people into places that common sense shows doesn't make sense, storms will have an impact far greater than ever before and we are finding that they do. It's not climate change, it's land use change where we think we can put anything anywhere we want with no consequence therefrom.
When a developer wants to use his talents to lead the creation of a new community, he knows he must buy large parcels of land and he therefore has to find a place that is affordable. So, he looks out in the hinterlands and finds cheap land in lowlands and heretofore undeveloped, hard to reach places and, with the support of investors who seek to make a killing, he gobbles up the land often from people who don't even understand it's value. One key method today is the creation of real estate investment trusts (REITs) and a prime example of them today are major timber companies. Once focused on timber harvesting and regrowing, today they operate timber operations to maintain cash flow while they look to sell their land to the highest bidder. And seeing most prime timber lands are either in low areas or hard to reach areas where they get the land for pennies on the dollar. So, what's the best way to make money on a cheap massive piece of land? Why, you up zone the land to maximum use capacity and develop a plan for a master new community that is sold as progress, a job creator and almost "manna from heaven." It takes, of course, the support of politicians but with large campaign contributions and the old wine and dine routine, that part is relatively easy. Then the plan is rushed through and approved since most people don't read the small print announcements in the newspaper.
Even in places like a beach that is still low key and not so built up, they can afford the price when they know they can replace the former single family small cottages and motels with massive hotels and McMansions which are really just a one owner home principally used as an income source. And the same thing then happens to the beach that happens to the former unused farmland or lowland. And as the poor locals realize what happened to them as they are taxed right out of their land, the overuse of the land and it's susceptibility to flooding now becomes a major disaster due to the large population that should never have been there in the first place.
Don't believe me? Just take a look at the two most recent storm disasters in the United States, the heavy flooding of Hatteras Island and Ocracoke Island in North Carolina and the ongoing flooding in Southeast Texas. Both areas are prone to flooding either from the sea or rain or both and they have flooded seriously many time if you look back at the records, but when areas that are low like this are overpopulated for the lay of the land, with the growth comes the disaster. It's not man made global warming, but it is misused land by man. And while many complain about it, it just goes on. And here's the little catch. As long as we elect officials who continue to do the same thing, that being putting their own interest above the interests of all citizens, not just the select few, it will continue. But that is just one man's opinion and you are free to think whatever you want. After all, it's life and life is what WE make it. But remember this, we were tasked by our Maker with using proper dominion over the earth and all living things on it. I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to realize that proper dominion was not building downtown Houston below sea level or putting massive facilities on a narrow, above ground sandbar that is at places thirty miles out in the ocean. Let's use common sense, people, common sense.