Are Midwest Floods Caused by Global Warming or Radical Environmentalists?
by ROGER ARONOFF
June 28, 2011
Many Global Warming Alarmists are pointing to the floods in the Midwest as the latest proof of global warming. But a powerful piece at AmericanThinker.com provides an alternative suggestion as to the real cause of the flooding: the perhaps unintended consequences of radical environmentalist policies regarding the system of dams on the Missouri River.
Al Gore gave a speech in New York last week in which he linked the flooding in the Midwest and the fires in Arizona to global warming: “Today, the biggest fire in the history of the state of Arizona is spreading to New Mexico. Today, the biggest flood in the history of the Mississippi River Valley is under way right now,” Gore said. “At what point is there a moment where we say, ‘Oh, we ought to do something about this?’”
One of Gore’s dimmer acolytes, Bill Maher, took up the issue on his show on HBO, “Real Time with Bill Maher.” Maher seemed to be hooked up to a machine that gave him a shock every time he uttered the words “global warming,” which he repeatedly did, before, in each case, correcting himself to say “climate change.” He said, "I don't call it global warming anymore because that is bad. It is climate change." Maher finally got it out, sort of, and asked, “Why doesn't he [Obama] point to this and say this is all because of climate change. He doesn't seem to use what he has to make a case.”
But in the article, “The Purposeful Flooding of America's Heartland,” in American Thinker, Joe Herring makes a very strong, well documented case, that the system of dams built in the area to tame the Missouri River and prevent this sort of thing from happening was well conceived and executed: “Some sixty years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) began the process of taming the Missouri by constructing a series of six dams. The idea was simple: massive dams at the top moderating flow to the smaller dams below, generating electricity while providing desperately needed control of the river’s devastating floods.”
But in the 1990s the plan was hijacked by radical environmentalists with a different agenda: “The Clinton administration threw its support behind the change, officially shifting the priorities of the Missouri River dam system from flood control, facilitation of commercial traffic, and recreation to habitat restoration, wetlands preservation, and culturally sensitive and sustainable biodiversity.”
Herring cites Greg Pavelka, a wildlife biologist with the Corps of Engineers in Yankton, SD, who told the Seattle Times that “this event will leave the river in a ‘much more natural state than it has seen in decades,’ describing the epic flooding as a ‘prolonged headache for small towns and farmers along its path, but a boon for endangered species.’”
Herring also documents that, through a series of emails last February, “Ft. Pierre SD Director of Public Works Brad Lawrence sounded the alarm loud and clear,” but the alarm of this “flood of biblical proportions” was not heeded. Why don’t the mainstream media follow up on Mr. Herring’s findings?
For people looking for some straight talk about global warming from some actual scientists who aren’t part of that consensus we’re always hearing about, I recommend The Heartland Institute’s conference this Thursday and Friday, which will be webcast here. This will demonstrate why Maher, and Gore and the other alarmists prefer to call it “climate change,” and not “global warming.” The evidence doesn’t support the warming theory. One of the participants will be Australian scientist Bob Carter, who recently pointed out that “Between 2001 and 2010 global average temperature decreased by 0.05 degrees, over the same time that atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increased by 5 per cent. Ergo, carbon dioxide emissions are not driving dangerous warming.”