Good chunks of Eastern Canada are getting the flood treatment.

 

“In Canada, this spring’s rainfall, compounded by melting snow, has led to states of emergency and evacuations in areas across Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick.”

The people who have built or bought their homes on floodplains are currently getting their asses kicked again, just like last year, and most likely just like next year.  Our climate is becoming more chaotic and more prone to extremes it would seem that choosing to live in a vulnerable area is perhaps, not the best of decisions.  Enter the notion of the floating home:

   “English, who runs the Buoyant Foundation Project, explained that most homes on flood plains, if properly equipped, would be unscathed in flooding like Canadians are experiencing today. 

Amphibious homes are retrofitted with “a hidden floating dock underneath” and vertical posts that guide the house up and down, allowing it to float on water, she said.

“It lets the water go wherever the water wants to go and the house gets out of the way. So it doesn’t try to compete,” she said. “Humankind does the accommodation rather than trying to push the water around.”

Wow.  To me, this seems to be one of the problems we humans have when making decisions about how to use and exist in the space our biosphere provides for us.

We, in most of North America, are very comfortable with imposing our designs (societal and architecturally speaking) on the environment and are quite happy to rely on human ingenuity to fix the problems that arise from our initial imposition.

I want to be clear, I live in a urban setting that is quite pleasingly civilized and manicured to standard that removes most of the hazardous aspects of making a living.  And I like it, quite a bit actually.  But my current happiness and comfort, doesn’t excuse the artificial nature of the relationship and all the downsides it brings to the table with regards to sustainability and the future.

So, this leads to one of the problems I see with the notion of floating houses.  It is the seeking of a technological solution to a problem created by technology.  River management is a fools game – the more we mess with river system the worse said system gets.

We avoid the basic problem – building on a floodplain – by making houses that float.  We should consider not building in high-risk areas in the first place and add incentive for people to move away from areas that regularly get flooded.

Seems reasonable to me.  However, as we all know, human beings are not particularly reasonable creatures.