Communicating good science is important. Communicating good science is hard. The flooding in Houston is a case in point. The policies that exacerbated the risk factors in Houston are well understood and were predicted well in advance. Better policies, better infrastructure, and better decision-making would have greatly reduced the harm done. Is it the public’s fault for not listening? Or is it the scientific community’s fault for not doing a better job of warning the public of the threat caused by decisions made by their elected politicians? It is especially hard to communicate science when politicians who deny science – and deny that the frequency of improbable events is increasing – are allowed to create public policy.

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