Posted by: Stochasticus Weber | August 25, 2017

Washington College Student Anthropologists Study Flooding Risks and Eastern Shore flooding

5 hours ago

Audio will be posted by noon. 

A group of anthropology majors from Washington College in Chestertown has spent the summer not at the beach, but as research assistants roaming the Eastern Shore, talking to residents about the risks of flooding and projected sea level rise. They’ve traveled through Talbot, Dorchester and Somerset counties talking to local residents about their communities, changes and their experiences with flooding.

And on a recent trip, Kirsten Webb and Hayley Hartman were visiting Roland and Sheilah Bradshaw at their home on Smith Island. Kirsten was hardly into her opening spiel about community response to flooding when Roland jumped in.

“Well, we had some flooding,” he said. “But, you know, a lot of people say its sea level rise. I don’t believe in that.”

Instead, he said, the island is washing away. There’s no flooding “until the wind comes to the east or we have a hurricane,” he said. And everybody has flooding when there’s a hurricane.

Kirsten asks if he pays attention to the wind patterns and prepares if he knows the wind’s going to be blowing easterly. He says no, they’re used to it. They’re survivors who can make out with what a lot of people couldn’t make out with.

And they’re used to dealing with rising tides, adds Sheila. They’re different from on the mainland.

“When the tide comes up over here, we try to hurry up and go or come back and do what we got to do because then in a couple hours it’s gone,” she said. “But in the city, see, it just builds up and builds up.”

The Washington College project mirrors one conducted by students at Western Illinois University in 2008, when massive floods inundated communities along the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois rivers. David Casagrande, who was on the faculty at the time and ran that project, said then-Governor Rod Blagojevich needed help responding to the situation by figuring out what made the folks along those rivers tick.

Casagrande, now an associate professor of anthropology at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, said his students, who talked to “thousands and thousands of people,” were basically interested in perceptions and attitudes on flood insurance, how they perceived their risk and whether they would be willing to relocate.

Naturally, most folks don’t want to leave their homes, but Casagrande’s students found one whole town–Valmeyer, Illinois–where residents packed up and moved to higher ground. It wasn’t easy; it took a while, he said. But eventually, they did it.

“Not everybody leaves,” Casagrande cautioned. “There are a few die-hards who are still living down in the flood plain, but they built a beautiful new town up on a bluff.”

Aaron Lampman, a friend of Casagrande’s and an associate anthropology professor running the Washington College project, says they chose the Eastern Shore for this study because it’s one of the “hot spots” for flooding in the U.S.. And Maryland suffers some of the most repetitive flood loss in the country.

Lampman says they found “a really interesting dynamic” on the lower shore. Although they have maps put out by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) that predict serious flooding and even inundation over the next 50 to 100 years, no one is talking about relocating.

His students tell him they’re finding people with a sense of place, a deep attachment to the Chesapeake Bay and the lower Eastern Shore. Moving just doesn’t seem like an option to them.

“Many of them have lived here for six generations or more,” Lampman said. “And they seem to have a sense of moral obligation of maintaining community in these places.”

You can hear that as the Bradshaws talk about the different world they live in on Maryland’s last inhabited offshore island.

It may be inconvenient, says Sheila, “but I can’t imagine living somewhere else.”

Not the way things are going on the mainland, adds Roland, what with drive-by shootings and other violence. On Smith Island, “you walk out any time you want of night or day and you don’t worry about nobody bothering you.”

Lampman says the students are finding that people are aware of more flooding, stronger and more frequent storms and erosion, but they don’t seem to think that’s translating into the loss of their land or their community. Instead, they talk about trying to find federal funding for structural solutions, sea walls, groins, break waters, elevating houses.

“You name it. If it’s a structural solution then people are pretty interested in it,” he said, rather than thinking about relocation.

On Smith Island, the Corps of Engineers recently started a project to slow the erosion at Bradshaw’s community of Rhodes Point. The islanders have been trying to get that project for 50 years, Bradshaw says, and finally it’s here to keep the island from washing away.

“It’s been washing ever since I was a kid,” he said. “Every time you have a lot of wind–like this past winter we had a lot of wind, coming from the west and nor’west—it washes away.”

The students, who have been surviving on grants, have pretty much finished their interviews. They’ll be back in school in September to start looking for themes and patterns in the interviews. Meanwhile, Smith Islanders will continue to look for ways to hold off the water and preserve their homes.

Chesapeake: A Journalism Collaborative is funded with grant support from the Clayton Baker Trust, The Bancroft Foundation, Michael and Ann Hankin, The Jim and Patty Rouse Foundation, The Rob and Elizabeth Tyler Foundation, and the Mid-Shore Community Foundation.

Posted by: Stochasticus Weber | May 30, 2017

FCNL Nuclear Calendar May 30, 2017

FCNL Nuclear Calendar

May 30, 2017 Receive updates by email
May 30 10:00-11:30 a.m., International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), “North Korea: boom or bust?” with four speakers. IISS, 2121 K St. NW, Suite 801, Washington. Webcast online.
May 30 Missile Defense Agency tests a Ground-based-Interceptor missile. Vandenberg Air Force Base, CA.
June 2 Arms Control Association Annual Meeting.” At the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington. Register online.
June 6 10:00 a.m., Council member Robert White will present the Washington, DC, City Council with a ceremonial resolution in honor of Mr. David Culp and his commitment to the District of Columbia. John A. Wilson Building, Room 500, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington. RSVP to Andre Strickland.
June 6 2:00-3:30 p.m., Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), “A New Nuclear Review for a New Age,” with four speakers. CSIS 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington. RSVP online.
June 8 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Creating Incentives for Nuclear Nonproliferation, Safety, and Security,” with five speakers. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington. RSVP online.
June 8 12:30-2:00 p.m., Stimson Center, “Nuclear Weapons and Coercive Diplomacy,” with five speakers. Stimson Center, 1211 Connecticut Ave. NW, Eighth Floor, Washington. RSVP online.
June 13 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., William J. Perry, former Defense Secretary; Bruce Cumings, University of Chicago; and 7 panelists, “Off-Ramps to War: Paths to Building Peace with North Korea.” George Washington University, Elliott School of International Affairs, 1957 E St. NW, Lindner Family Commons, Room 602, Washington. RSVP online.
June 13 4:00 p.m., Rebeccah Heinrichs, Hudson Institute, “The Indispensability of U.S. Nuclear Weapons and Why Anti-nuke Idealists are Wrong.” The Institute of World Politics, 1521 16th St. NW, Washington. RSVP online.
June 15-July 7 U.N. conference to negotiate a legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination. United Nations.
June 16 5:00 p.m., John Sano, Institute for World Politics Professor, “North Korea: Time for a New Approach.” Institute for Wold Politics, 1521 16th St. NW, Washington. RSVP online.
June 17 12:00-4:00 p.m., Women’s March to Ban the Bomb. Dag Hammarskjold Plz, New York.
June 18 1:00-6:00 p.m., Peace and Planet, “One Struggle, Many Fronts: No Nukes, War, Wall or Warming.” 110 Schermerhorn St., Brooklyn, NY.
June 25 U.S.-ROK Summit, Washington.
June 29 4:30-7:00 p.m., Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), “Debate: U.S. Nuclear Weapon Modernization,” with four speakers. CSIS, 1616 Rhode Island Ave. NW, Washington. RSVP online.
July 4 Independence Day (holiday).
July 7-8 President Trump attends G20 summit. Hamburg, Germany.
July 29-Sept. 4 House and Senate summer recess (estimate).
July 31 European Union sanctions against Russia expire.
Aug. 4 40th anniversary of the Department of Energy Organization Act (Public Law 95-91).
Aug. 6 8:16 a.m., 72nd anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bombing.
Aug. 9-10 U.S. Strategic Command, Deterrence Symposium, La Vista, NE.

An email version of the Nuclear Calendar is published every Monday morning when Congress is in session. Subscribe on FCNL’s website. Unsubscribe by sending an email to

© 2011 Friends Committee on National Legislation, 245 Second Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20002 | 202-547-6000 |

Founded by David Culp. Edited by Anthony Wier and Jamie DeMarco. The publication is made possible by generous contributions from the Lippincott Foundation, the Nuclear Threat Initiative, the Ploughshares Fund, an anonymous foundation, and the individual contributors and supporters of the Friends Committee on National Legislation and the FCNL Education Fund.

Democracy Now interview:


The Opinion Pages | Letters

Our Polarized Politics

To the Editor:

Re “Bonhoeffer, Benedict or Ford” (column, Feb. 14):

David Brooks seriously wounds our national civic understanding when he writes, “The baby boomer establishment polarized politics, lost touch with the voters and paved the way for Trump.”

What, in heaven’s name, is the “baby boomer establishment”? The generation that was born in the years after World War II came of age politically through struggles to advance civil rights, end a stupid, imperial war, promote the equality of women and men, and bring an end to poverty.

The mistake of those who fought for these causes was to underestimate the fury of the backlash from moneyed interests to roll back those gains and to insist on establishing a new Gilded Age of war, inequality and rights denial.

That backlash alone is responsible for our polarized politics. Does Mr. Brooks think it wrong to insist on full civil and political equality for all citizens and to insist on an end to ruinous imperial adventures? Since when is standing up for peace, liberty and equality polarizing?


Topsham, Me.

The writer is president emeritus of Earlham College.


Posted by: Stochasticus Weber | November 4, 2016

Economic Commentary from Common Dreams

Posted by: Stochasticus Weber | October 19, 2016

GJEP article on other Indigenous People’s Struggles

15 Other Indigenous Struggles You Need to Know About

“Treatment of Indian Tribes in a Similar Manner as States for Purposes of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act

“ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY 40 CFR Part 130 [EPA–HQ–OW–2014–0622; FRL–9952–61– OW] RIN 2040–AF52
Treatment of Indian Tribes in a Similar Manner as States for Purposes of Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). ACTION: Final rule. . . .

Read More

Global Justice Ecology Project article, “Environmental Crimes Could Warrant International Criminal Court Prosecutions” :

Posted by: Stochasticus Weber | October 4, 2016

Common Dreams item “If Nature is Sacred, Capitalism is Wicked

Common Dreams article, “If Nature is Sacred, Capitalism is Wicked”:

Posted by: Stochasticus Weber | October 4, 2016

Carnegie Institution Global Ecology page link

Older Posts »