Climate change and the Alberta flood

On the eve of new GHG regulations, new questions about the weather

President Barack Obama will outline new policies on greenhouse gas emissions tomorrow. Keystone XL apparently won’t be mentioned, but it is part of the subtext. And given the Harper government’s interest in aligning with American regulations, it will be interesting to see how the President’s approach to power plants compares to the regulations already announced by Peter Kent.

Mr. Kent had suggested new oil and gas regulations would be ready by “mid-year,” which would seem to suggest they should be announced any day now. The Pembina Institute previews the possibility.

Meanwhile, there is the matter of the flooding in Alberta and to what extent that flooding might be said to have been caused by climate change. Jason Kenney says there’s no connection. Alberta hydrologist John Pomeroy says climate change was a factor. And Andrew Nikiforuk thinks this will prove a moment of realization for Albertans.

Albertans have also learned that climate change delivers two extremes: more water when you don’t need it, and not enough water when you do. The geographically challenged have also become learned, once again, that water travels down hill and even inundates flood plains.

So climate change is not a mirage. Nor is it weird science or tomorrow’s news. It is now part of the flow of daily life.




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Climate change and the Alberta flood

  1. Of course climate change is a factor…..which is why I said the flooding was poetic justice.

    And when everyone discovers their insurance doesn’t cover it, the meaning of ‘adapt’ will also become clear.

    • you can’t buy flood insurance if you live on a flood plain – you ever been to Alberta? – you ever wonder why they call it High River – if you live on a flood plain don’t be surprised when your basement gets flooded a few times every hundred years

      • Nope you can’t.

        Yes, I lived in Alberta for 6 years.

        And I realize you’ve never noticed this but ‘hundred year’ events are now happening routinely.

        • If your previous reports are accurate, you lived in Cold Lake, Alberta. You were not near a river that flooded. I have lived adjacent to the Bow river for the past 23 years. The people who flooded this time have only flooded once before since I have lived in this spot. That was in 1990 or 1991. Despite all the hoopla about 2005, no one in that low-lying area adjacent to the Bow in Calgary flooded. This year is like nothing we have seen in almost 100 years in Calgary. As John g. pointed out, the last time Calgary flooded this way was 1932 and before that, the 1880′s. Now High River is a different story. It did flood big time in 2005.

          • Yeah, that 100 year thing is kinda worn out….coming every few years ….even months….anymore

          • It is like a tornado in Ontario…comes every few years or months.

          • No it’s not

          • Of course not. I hate to break it to you Emily but we all breathe the same air. Climate change affects every place so your province will still be affected by whatever is happening elsewhere in the world. It isn’t exactly exempt. Despite what you REALLY WANT TO BELIEVE, this isn’t poetic justice or divine retribution, southern Alberta just had a wet, cold spring and we flooded. The same thing could happen in Ontario and if you deny that, then you are a climate change denier.

          • THAT’S WHAT EVERYONE HAS BEEN TELLING YOU FOR 20 YEARS….WE ALL BREATHE THE SAME AIR.

            SO KNOCK OFF THE POLLUTION

          • Stop driving your car!

          • I drive a hybrid. The next one will be electric.

            Stop with the sludge

          • What about your big Victorian house? How are you heating that?

          • Well it was hot water heating through radiators, however I moved about a year ago.

            And if you think you can compare it to the tar sands……AHAHAHAHAHA

          • Compare you to the oil sands…no. However, I find it hard to believe that you, your family and your friends don’t use the products produced in the province of Alberta. People enjoy electricity and gasoline motored vehicles. They go on holidays. They use air-conditioning. Are you telling me you never ride on a plane? I say bs. You defend people like Al Gore who live in gigantic homes and use unbelievable amounts of resources. David Suzuki has multiple homes. It is completely hypocritical.

          • What the hell are you talking about?

          • She’s using those retro talking points. Haven’t heard anyone use them in about ten years.

          • Oh all the oldies are coming out tonight…..this flood has really thrown them

            I just read it might take 10 years to recover….gawd I hope they don’t wail on here for the entire decade!

          • You could always retire off of the site.

          • I’m sure Cons would like that. LOL

          • I don’t know about ‘Cons’ but I know I would sure like it.

          • Yeah, getting rid of people that disagree with you is something Cons are fond of doing.

          • I am not a “Con” and I like nothing better than a debate with a worthy opponent but I find it unpalatable to discuss things with someone who honestly believes that everyone who lives in my province deserves to be destroyed by flooding just because of where they live. I have never ever had anything to do with the oil and gas industry. I have never been employed in that industry or made money off of that industry and neither have my husband or children.
            However, when you yelled at me to stop polluting the country, you must have known that because you know I am a nurse. You are just like another of your ilk who believes that he has the right to be rude to his fellow contributors because he doesn’t like Vic Toews.
            The fact that you decide that the citizens of one entire province have earned your disdain is completely nonsensical. Frankly, I am not really interested in learning more about it. I just know that most of my friends have come to Alberta from other provinces including Newfoundland and Saskatchewan and as none of them work in oil and gas, you wishing them bad luck makes absolutely no sense whatever.

          • Well you’re either a Con, a Lib or a Dip…and since you constantly make things up, I assume you’re a Con.

            You and your family and friends have a vote….and the ability to work for a party…..and yet Alberta has been Con for 40 years….even thought they’ve made a complete mess out of it.

            Alberta as a whole is polluting the country.

            It has nothing to do with you being a nurse. You toss in these irrelevant notions all the time.

          • Yes and your an a** but I don’t hold you responsible for McGuinty’s actions. I also did not vote Tory in the last election and actively worked against them but they still won. Go figure.

          • 20 years of Alberta being told to rein in the pollution, so people are’t harmed by GW…..and still you haven’t a clue about the topic here.

          • Ah, if it isn’t Emily’s mean girl friend to the rescue. Given that this website hasn’t been running for ’10 years’, I am a little skeptical about your claims of the retro talking points. However, I cannot see how pointing out that using the oil that is produced in Alberta to your own personal advantage and then bitching about pollution is anything but hypocrisy. However, you and Emily tend to get involved in a lot of that kind of BS. These repeated innuendo’s about the sexual orientation of the cabinet ministers in the Harper govt that you two immerse yourselves in is quite nauseating. If those individuals are gay, what is wrong with that and HOW is it any business of you and your friend, Emily? How old are the two of you? Why do you find it such great fun to snicker behind your hands and try to drum up “juicy rumors” about things that are perfectly acceptable in our tolerant country. I shudder to imagine what a**holes you two were in high school. I am soooo glad things have progressed so much farther. Now enough of you two. Go pick on someone who is amused by your nastiness.

          • Apparently now the Alberta climate change flood was caused by gay cabinet ministers?

            Well that’s novel I’ll admit….haven’t heard that one before.

            LOL all part of the Alberta Victim Syndrome no doubt.

          • And how did the water get hot? Through some hybrid fuel cell that is absolutely pollution free I’m sure. You’re not very bright are you?

          • Snarking at me isn’t going to solve AGW and CC, sorry.

          • We’re not here to solve anything. We’re here to snark. If I get interested in solving something, the first thing I’ll do is quit wasting my time on these threads. This is a diversion. A meaningless one. That’s all it is.

            Perhaps you believe you can save the world, and maybe you’re even right, but you sure won’t do it here.

          • Well actually I’m working….and during a lull, rather than being bored, I chat to people on here and other sites.

          • I snark in your general direction.

            “Lull”?

            You seem to be experiencing a whole string of lulls, one after the other, judging by the volume of comments you churn out. You may be at work, but you’re not working. That’s not a criticism, I piss around at work all the time too. But I try to be honest with myself and admit that’s what it is. Try it some time (being honest with yourself, that is). It’s liberating.

          • I’ll be working till at least 4….and posting a comment only takes seconds.

            I run a business.

            Try FV…..she posts far more than I do, and she’s a recent poster.

          • hci – no point arguing with Em, she is a little off the scale so to speak and would argue about the flavour of cat litter if she could.

            Things like the periodicity of floods, particularly the big ones are usually the result of multiple cycles that come together. We simply don’t understand how this thing called weather works yet.

            Floods and climate change, heck even the IPCC and the AGW hacks know better than to link extreme weather to climate change or global warming or whatever term they come up with next, but that doesn’t stop Macleans or CBC or the media from getting their story out.

            They conveniently forget to note though, that even the NYT and New Republic admit there has been no warming for at least 15 years.

    • Luckily we live in Canada and the governments cover our natural disasters like damage caused by tornadoes, flooding and hurricanes even when insurance won’t cover it.

      • Well actually the taxpayer does.

        Gee, taxes…..the very thing Cons complain about

        • Yes and those of us that are taxpayers and don’t have damage are happy to pay for the damage to those who do. Luckily we are not like the US where people who live in New Orleans and other places devastated by damage get no help.

          • Yup, normally peope don’t mind

            But for Albertans who have refused to listen about GW for 20 years….to now want taxpayer help?

          • Hahaha! Oh please! That is quite ridiculous considering how much money Albertans pay in taxes to the federal government. We could withhold all our tax payments and instead use it to pay the damages that Albertans suffered. Then when the other provinces are hit with hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. I guess we will opt out of paying for that???

          • Ontario pays far more money in taxes than Alberta. Sorry

          • Yes and you likely get a lot more back in transfer payments. What is YOUR point because I have NEVER said that I believed your province didn’t deserve taxpayer’s money in a natural disaster. Your province is now a “have-not” province so you are not even giving any tax-payer money to any other provinces. I don’t know how you think you get a say.

          • Jesus….we pay billions into it…always have. Honest to gawd, Albertans are ignorant!

          • Everyone pays taxes Emily. You thinking that you should not have to pay for “some” people’s natural disasters because you don’t like the province they live in is the definition of “ignorance”, especially given that you yourself collect a federal old age pension. You are on the taxpayer dole and you are going lament about taxpayers picking up the tab for unfortunate people whose lives have been devastated. I guess you think it is “poetic justice” that three people died in this flood.

          • Yup, we do. And I pay more than most, so no I don’t collect any pension.

            That doesn’t give you the right to pollute the planet.

          • Yes, that’s me…personally polluting the planet. I drive my Escalade. It’s one of a fleet of vehicles, along with my Hummer and a very large old cadillac car that gets 5 kms to the litre. I also have a sludge pond of oil in my front yard so I can personally pollute the neighborhood ground water. I keep a herd of cattle in my back yard so I can contribute to the methane gas in the neighborhood as well and give people ecoli if I can. I am doing my best to pollute this planet as quickly and as efficiently as I can.

          • Ahhh personal guilt.

            You know, for a nurse, you can be uncommonly stupid

          • You know for a grandmother, you can a complete a**hole.

          • Oh…grandmothers are sweet little old ladies who knit? What year are you in?

          • Hope springs eternal that you are at least sweet to your grandchildren.

          • I don’t know who you think I should be sweet to……the people polluting the place and then getting hit by the results themselves?

            How would being ‘sweet’ help’?

            Sometimes stupidity is it’s own punishment.

          • This comment was deleted.

          • WHAHAHAHAHAHA!

            It’s been ’boutique oil’ and ‘ethical oil’ and ‘dirty oil’……and now it’s standing in for the Jews???

            You need some meds, pal.

            And you need to stop voting Con….

          • You have some notion about how grandmothers should behave do you? How limiting of you.

          • Yes, I feel most mature women have mellowed and have learned the importance of extending compassion and tolerance to others. However, when it comes to the mean embittered women like you and Emily, I realize that it would be completely naive to believe that you have an ounce of compassion or tolerance between the two of you for anyone outside your own little circle.

          • Oh grow up, you phoney. Take some responsibility for the crap you spew on here.

          • Hmm, I guess your question regarding my notion of how grandmothers should behave was rhetorical….

          • You’ve got those two figured out alright.

          • Let me guess you earned a B.A. in English from Lakehead…

          • PhD….science, economics….

          • In what field of science, from what school.

          • Gawd….I haven’t seen this gimmick from Cons in years!

            Maybe I could just give you my home address and phone number while I’m at it? LOL

          • You do not have a PhD in science, you are a joke. Your knowledge of statistics is below that of a 10th grader. Probably ignorant of predicate logic also.

          • No, the PhD isn’t in science, the master’s is

            Boy….somebody like you takes stats101 and thinks that makes them a genius. LOL

          • Nope, I took high level calculus based stats, required for quantum physics. Still no field given.

          • Oooooh, aaaaahhhhh, oooohhhhh.

            Stats 101

          • Nope, I took 300 level stat courses, also had overlaps in my 500 level quantum mechanics courses, doing R.A. work, and in laboratory work throughout my undergrad. I saved the Stats 101 for the econ majors. Still no field given for your master, also Political Science is not a hard science.

          • Oh my goodness….the brag list. Yawn.

            I said science and economics…..suck it up

          • You questioned my credentials and I answered. One does not get a Masters in just science. You have shown very poor reasoning skills, a disregard for evidence, and resorted to ad hominem. For all of those reasons I doubt you even have a masters in the humanities…

          • No, I said you had none.

          • The mind of a five year old in the body of a senior…

          • Okay, your audition for Summer Temp is over

            Marks are as follows…..

            Boldness A.

            Lying A.

            Subtlety D-

            Red Herring ability D-

            Use of slogans C

            Ability to think on your feet D

            Ability to turn on a dime D-

            All around amusement B

            You can report back to Con HQ now.

          • I think Nurse Ratched is calling you to take your meds.

          • Hey, it’s not a bad score kid. Don’t feel down

            But next time you get an assignment like this….take some time to do some research first.

          • Research on what? You have failed to provided any evidence for any of your assertions.You have failed to make a compelling argument. All that you have shown is that you are a liar, are ignorant, and have an ax to grind with Albertans.

          • Research on the person you’re supposed to attack.

            Smarten up, or I’ll have to take all your marks down by one.

          • Oh, I should know not to engage you because you have nothing of worth to say, because you do not engage in honest debate, because your comprehension of subject at hand is infantile, ect, ect.

          • Mmmm….night Gracie

          • Dont’ insult Tenth Graders they are smarter and more mature

          • Per captia? You are being disingenuous.

          • I’m assuming you meant that for HI. Albertans are big on the per capita gimmick

          • Gimmick, are you stupid? All statistics of this sort are normalized per capita.

          • It’s a Con gimmick on here, and I don’t have time for nonsense.

            Toronto alone has more people than all of Alberta

          • O’Reilly is a rightwing loon….same as you

          • So anyone who disagree with you is a right-wing loon. Not only do you use the same logic as O’Reilly, you also use the same type of ad hominem attacks as him. I guess voting Liberal makes me a right wing loon…

          • Noop, I don’t mind disagreement. Enjoy it in fact.

            But not nonsense….sorry

          • Nonsense like normalizing economic metrics? What type of black magic did they teach at the University of Phoenix during your Economics doctorate?

          • The topic here is Alberta and climate change. Not you, not me.

            I realize you’re trying to change the channel….but I have no interest in Con red herrings

          • In case your alzheimer’s is acting up, I will recap for you. You said that Albertans do not deserve federal relief funding, someone countered that Albertans have contributed large amounts of money through taxes thus deserve federal relief funding, you then disputed this by mentioning that Ontario as a whole pays more taxes, I then charged that you were being disingenuous by not taking into account per capita tax payments. You then went on to say that per capita metrics are a Con scam. Then to show you how idiotic your argument on per capita metrics was I compared what you said to what Bill O’Reilly said.

            Though if you wish to ignore your previous stupidity and talk about climate change lets do it. How do you think Alberta and Canada can curb its carbon emissions? Carbon tax or Cap and Trade? What are your thoughts on large scale energy storage? How about HVDC? What should be done to replace coal electricity in Canada? How does Alberta heavy oil compare to other crudes on a well to wheel basis? Thoughts on nuclear energy, gen 3, gen 3+, LFTR, wave reactors? Thoughts on thin film solar, dye sensitive cells, multi junction cells? What about battery tech for cars, Silicon anodes, Envia Li+, Li-Air, Zn-Air. Please give me some specifics on how Canada can curb its emissions, save me the platitudes about shutting down the oil sands. I want to know how you will displace current fossil fuel sources, how it will be funded, how it will effect people. I can not wait to hear the views a person with a M.Sc in “Science” and a PhD in “Economics”. I will press for details, evidence, and sound logic, though I expect none from you.

          • LOL well not only have you confused everything that’s been said, and I’m sure that’s deliberate…..it’s too late to walk it back son.

            And much too late to argue about accepted science. Sorry

          • Yes, your idiocy is on display for everyone. As for the science, I am guessing you are unwilling to engage because you lack any real knowledge.

          • Hey….you tell them to pay up, no matter how badly you’re screwing up now. They are running out of people to audition.

          • You are looking desperate, more drivel from Emilydunce.

          • AHAHAHAHAHA…!

          • Oh, I am pretty sure he is talking to you, Emily. That YOU are being disingenuous because Albertans pay more percapita in income tax. Ontario pays more tax but only because your population is soooo much bigger than Alberta’s. As for your complete bs about Albertan’s ignorance. Please explain to me what being a ‘have-not’ province means now that Ontario is one.

          • Ontario is 40% of Canada’s GDP.

            Alberta is 16%

          • Yes and Toronto has more people in it than all of Alberta.

          • I believe I already said that.

            It’s why we pay more in taxes and transfer payments than anyone else…..and provide the largest GDP

            Ontario is very wealthy….and we’d happily get rid of equalization payments

          • Per capita you dolt!

      • Yes, thank God for government in our time of need.

  2. Once again, I’ll point out that any single bad event is no indicator of AGW any more than any single cold day is an indicator that there isn’t AGW.

    However.. having to say “Once again” as many times as I have is.

    • Agreed. But the increase in the number and degree of extreme weather events, as a trend line, is, arguably, an indicator of AGW.

      And this, especially on top of the flooding in 2005, is definitely an extreme weather event.

  3. While climate change has certainly altered weather patterns in terms of timing and severity we haven’t exactly been smart about where we live. Years ago (2006) in Alberta a survey was done to identify areas prone to flooding and successive Alberta governments have held off on releasing it, in all probability because of the blight concerns of land owners and developers.

    Ask the people of Bangladesh what it’s like to live in low laying areas near a water source. This is not rocket science folks, but commercial interests and their high paid lawyers are as much to blame for this devastation as greenhouse gases.

  4. Oh FFS. Do you ever stop with this bullsh!t?

    What kind of climate change was going on in 1870? or 1932?

    If climate change was a factor, wouldn’t you expect a gradually rising trend in that chart rather than isolated flood events in an otherwise perfectly straight trendline?

    What’s next Wherry? Are you also on the “climate change causes asteroids” bandwagon?

    • Climate change is happening, sticking you fingers ion your ears and going la la la won’t stop it. If you have any real evidence to the contrary have at it, but Inhofe, his shills, a lieing Viscount and a retired TV weather man aren’t sources I’d call reliable.
      Oh and no half graphs with expanded axes, cherry picked data or quote mining either.

      • You’re the one ignoring reality. There has been no warming for 16 years. That’s a fact. It’s also a fact what john g is saying. Try the facts for once.

        • keep plucking that rather worn and tired chicken, you saying something doesn’t make it so

    • So it’s the wrath of God?

      • Since Alberta (and Calgary, in particular) is the last truly hard core bastion of Harper-Con support, I’ll go with that.

          • That pretty much seals it then. It is the wrath of God.

          • Bingo – he is so upset with Albertans he’s updated his planned ‘once every 100 year’ flood to ‘fairly frequently’.

          • I think you mean “She”, with a capital S.

          • You are such a troublemaker. :-)

          • Nope. Gaia starts with a capital ‘G’. Don’t bother debating with Emily or Jan or their niece Holly. I never reply to them, unless to insult them. I stopped taking them seriously as adults years ago when it became clear they had never transcended adolescence. Jan & Em are both in their 60s, and neither has matured since the 60s. And they seem almost proud of it.

            In all seriousness, have you ever seen one, single intelligent exchange that involved them? I have had one or two reasonable exchanges with Emily in the past. She’s not incapable of informed debate. She just comes across that way by choice. Which makes it all the more inexcusable.

            As for Jan, I suspect she doesn’t have a choice. For her it’s more of a hardware issue, if you catch my drift.

          • Nice…you seized on my trivial attempt at humour as an opportunity to launch into a personal attack on three other commenters.

            You evidently consider yourself brighter than them but, based on this exchange, I’d have to say you’re nowhere near as classy.

          • Yes, that’s precisely what I did. This seems to upset you. This is unfortunate.

          • Upset me? Don’t flatter yourself. I would waste emotional energy on issues like your boorish behaviour.

          • I can certainly understand how RagingRanter’s comments seem like “boorish behavior” but as someone who has been a victim of the “mean girls” nasty tirades, I can tell you that they have offended quite a number of people. Of course it is up to you to decide, but the latest ascertain that everyone in the province of Alberta deserves to suffer in these awful floods because we ALL caused global warming is a bit much. Our province is made up of all kinds of people including two First Nations reserves that have also endured devastating flooding. That kind of attitude is completely callous and disrespectful. If a person’s feels that way it is certainly their right but please in respect for the 3 people who perished in the floods, leave it off these comment boards.

          • Fine. But why did RantingRager (or whatever) drag me in by using my innocuous comment as a platform from which to launch a diatribe about three other contributors? If he has an issue with them, he should leave me out of it. And so should you.

          • Certainly.

          • Thx!

      • God is an equal oppurtunity employer creamed a lot of progressives in New York and New Jersey with “Sandy” last year

        • Before you get too bent out of shape, I was joking.

        • Don’t you mean “equal opportunity destroyer”?

          • Obviously God is on the side of Liberals. This is yet another reason Justin Trudeau should be Prime Minister. As if we need another one.

    • all sorts of climate change happen all the time that’s why they call it climate!

      • And the CPC got rid of the penny because they don’t believe in change.

        • Nice

    • Wasn’t the Alberta flooding in 2005 called, at the time, a “once in a century event”? How many more “once in a century events” have to occur within less than a decade before deniers concede there’s a trend here?

      • Look at the chart. There were 5 larger “once in a century” events than the 2005 flood during the last century. All of them before “climate change” (not including this one).

        Whoever called it a “once in a century” event doesn’t look back 100 years before saying such things.

        • And all of them were, no doubt, this severe.

          • correct.

          • Ah, no.

          • Had there been skyscrapers, road crossings, reservoirs, riverbed alterations and tens of thousands of people living near the confluence of the rivers then, along with other differences? Yes!

          • Um…you’re in ‘if a tree falls in the forest’ territory.

        • “The 9/11 catastrophe failed to impress me — after all, airplanes fly into buildings all the time.”

      • Southern Alberta did have a large flood in 2005 due to a lot of rain fall and the rivers did swell very large. However, you have people building right on the river beds and your damage estimates are based on the fact that people spent a lot of money building ostentatious properties in flood zones, some of which are right on the Elbow and Sheep Rivers. In Calgary in 2005, only 2000 homes were evacuated and these big homes were right on the Elbow and Bow river. The properties these homes are on have been flooded many more years than 2005. They are threatened by flood almost every year in the spring when the snow thaws in the mountains.
        Now compare this year. 75,0000 homes in Calgary were evacuated. The river flooded all of downtown and total neighbourhoods. Again, we had almost non-stop rain. Was 2005 really a once in 100 year flood? I don’t think so. I have lived on the Bow for 23 years and 2005 was high but 1990 or 91 was higher. That year my neighbors on Bow Crescent actually got flooded. They didn’t get flooded in 2005.

    • Your graph is a fairly meaningless measure of a weather event without knowing how the flow has been affected by dams, water consumption, glacial retreat, land use changes, etc..

      If you want to take the measure of a weather event, then measure the weather event – in this case rainfall.

    • Just checked the source of your chart and the data isn’t even right. It shows the peak discharge below 1500 cu.m./sec when the source it claims to be using actually shows a peak of close to 1700. That puts it at the highest level ever recorded aside from the claimed peaks in 1870-71. Those two years aren’t part of the Federal or Provincial online records which start in 1911, which is coincidentally where your graph jumps to after 1870-71.

      The bullshit is all yours.

  5. Spiegel Online – June 2013

    Climate experts have long predicted that temperatures would rise in parallel with greenhouse gas emissions. But, for 15 years, they haven’t. In a SPIEGEL interview, meteorologist Hans von Storch discusses how this “puzzle” might force scientists to alter what could be “fundamentally wrong” models.

    SPIEGEL: Would you say that people no longer reflexively attribute every severe weather event to global warming as much as they once did?

    Storch: Yes, my impression is that there is less hysteria over the climate. There are certainly still people who almost ritualistically cry, “Stop thief! Climate change is at fault!” over any natural disaster. But people are now talking much more about the likely causes of flooding, such as land being paved over or the disappearance of natural flood zones — and that’s a good thing.

    SPIEGEL: Yet it was climate researchers, with their apocalyptic warnings, who gave people these ideas in the first place.

    Storch: Unfortunately, some scientists behave like preachers, delivering sermons to people. What this approach ignores is the fact that there are many threats in our world that must be weighed against one another.

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-hans-von-storch-on-problems-with-climate-change-models-a-906721.html

    • It’s easy to cherry pick quotes, although a Der Speigel interview wouldn’t be my source choice for a global warming denial argument.

      Von Storch has also said, “Based on the scientific evidence, I am convinced that we are facing anthropogenic climate change brought about by the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.” (Statement to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, July 19, 2006 Hearing “Questions Surrounding the ‘Hockey Stick’ Temperature Studies: Implications for Climate Change Assessments”).

      Climatologists do not predict that temps rise in tandem with GHG emissions. 85% of the global heat uptake has gone into the oceans, increasing the heat content of the upper 700 meters of our oceans.

      There’s around a 95% probability that GHG-induced warming since the mid-twentieth century was larger than the observed rise in global average temperatures. Anthropogenic forcings are the dominant cause of warming. Natural forcing contributions are negligible.

      • And therefore, God is punishing Alberta for its sin and wickeness. If Alberta had mended its ways and voted Liberal, this would not be happening.

  6. “So climate change is not a mirage.”

    Wired – Apocalypse Not:

    No matter how often apocalyptic predictions fail to come true, another one soon arrives. And the prophets of apocalypse always draw a following—from the 100,000 Millerites who took to the hills in 1843, awaiting the end of the world, to the thousands who believed in Harold Camping, the Christian radio broadcaster who forecast the final rapture in both 1994 and 2011.

    Religious zealots hardly have a monopoly on apocalyptic thinking. Consider some of the environmental cataclysms that so many experts promised were inevitable.

    Over the five decades since the success of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring in 1962 and the four decades since the success of the Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth in 1972, prophecies of doom on a colossal scale have become routine. Indeed, we seem to crave ever-more-frightening predictions—we are now, in writer Gary Alexander’s word, apocaholic.

    The past half century has brought us warnings of population explosions, global famines, plagues, water wars, oil exhaustion, mineral shortages, falling sperm counts, thinning ozone, acidifying rain, nuclear winters, Y2K bugs, mad cow epidemics, killer bees, sex-change fish, cell-phone-induced brain-cancer epidemics, and climate catastrophes.

  7. “Mr. Kent had suggested new oil and gas regulations would be ready by “mid-year,” which would seem to suggest they should be announced any day now”

    Naughty, naughty AW.

    Kenney might at least want to get his TPs right… the once a century flood occurred in 05. According to Nenshi this one was worse by a factor or 3-4. And it unrolled in something like 36 hours or less. rather than a week in 05.
    This event may widen the differences between the AB Tories and Harper’s dinos. It’ll be interesting to see which way the public leans after this, given it’s Calgary and ground zero for the CPC.

    • ——didn`t know Nenshi was such an expert.

      • He is the Mayor and is able to look at historical flood data and compare it to the current one. It`s an unfair advantage to you poor bots trying to use this to defend Harps record on the environment.

        • God is punishing Harper at last. This is divine progressive justice.

      • Didn’t know you wasted your time listening to “lefties” like Nenshi.

    • The Alberta Tories are completely unpopular right now. 200 nurses have been laid off in the province while 99 healthcare executives are still getting 3.1 million in bonus money. As well services have drastically cut to people with disabilities.
      We have had a very, very wet, cold spring in southern Alberta. At first everyone breathed a sigh of relief when the rain started as a drought was expected. Then the rain never stopped and the flooding came fast and furious. It caught everyone off guard. There were no climatologists warning of it’s impending arrival. That is what Nenshi is talking about. People had pretty much no warning. That is why for people who weren’t even hear to now be throwing around climate change talk is pretty ridiculous. We have had two or three wet, cold summers in southern Alberta (but not more than the average precipitation) while in northern Alberta it has been dry and windy. This whole thing seems a bit contrived.

      • Are you saying Nenshi is wrong, that this even isn’t considerably more serious than 05? Because that is the salient point about CC – that severe weather events will keep on getting worse and possibly more frequent – as in this case. You can’t prove this was caused by AGW, but neither can you just dismiss it out of hand. I
        I’m just speculating on whether this might just widen the schism between Redford’s tories and Harper’s; at least as far as response to CC goes.

        • No. I am saying that 2005 in Calgary wasn’t all that bad. I think people exaggerated when they called 2005 a “once in a 100 year flood.” Nenshi is just using 2005 as a benchmark of a time when 2000 homes were evacuated in our city. This time 75,000 homes were evacuated. There is NO comparison between 2005 and seven years later in 2013. High River did get hit hard in 2005 but as I said, my neighbors on the Bow Ricer didn’t get flooded. They last got flooded in 1990 or 91. Yet 1990/91 isn’t even mentioned as a bad flood year. Why is that? We had one of the most costly hail storms in the provinces history in September that year. Of course that was before AGW was on the radar so no mention of it.
          Yes, the Elbow River floods often. It is like a stream normally. and people have build huge homes with lovely property right on it. Any increased precipitation and it floods.
          I am not dismissing AGW “out of hand’. I am just saying that every thing gets attributed to it, often at the same time. They attribute the dry weather in the northwest part of the province and the wet weather in the southern part of the province. Meanwhile, you will see the record setting days for extreme weather occurred early in the last century but those are dismissed. As John g. said, you cannot keep calling every flood “once in a 100 year events” when many floods and other weather crisis have happened that you have chosen to ignore.

          • Yet 1990/91 isn’t even mentioned as a bad flood year. Why is that?

            Probably because flooding was much worse in 2005 than 1990/91, considering that volumes in the Bow topped out at significantly lower levels in 90/91 than 05.

          • Obviously different parts of the Bow crested in 1990 than 2005 because property on Bow Cres. flooded in 1990 that did not flood in 2005.

          • You asked why 2005 is discussed as a bad flood year rather than 1990. The answer is pretty obvious when you look at the data. There may be reasons people were flooded in 1990 and spared in 2005 – change in flow pattterns, mitigation measures, check valves installed in sewage systems – but one reason they certainly weren’t spared was less water flow in the river.

          • It is possible though that water was re-routed after the flooding of 1990.

        • Just an added note to you, kcm2…..businesses like Burnco are complaining that they had NO warning of the impending flooding. Certainly given the true predictability of the effects of climate change, all of this brilliant scientists should have seen this flood coming for weeks, months if not years. According to Emily, Alberta is getting its just rewards and yet, we were hit with with a completely unexpected flash flood in Calgary. On my street, the police showed up on foot, in cars and by helicopter and gave us 30 minutes to evacuate fearing the Bow river was going to engulf the street. Within hours, all of the bridges into and out of the neighborhood were submerged. That is what Nenshi is talking about. Everything went to hell within a very, very short period of time with almost no notice.

          • You seem to be drawing exactly the wrong conclusion. All those brilliant scientists have been saying unpredictability, even down to 30 minutes, may be about to become the norm.

          • Now they are hypothesizing that it is due to wobbly jet streams that keep weather systems in the area for prolonged periods of time. Therefore, rainy systems don’t move off in a timely manner.

  8. After 28 years of science ONLY agreeing it COULD be a crisis and NEVER saying it *WILL be a crisis there comes a time when we ultimately must judge for ourselves if this CO2 death threat for billions of helpless children is real or not as 28 more years of “maybe” a crisis is unsustainable.
    Scientists have children so why don’t they end this debate and agree on giving a real warning of a real crisis?
    *Science has agreed climate change is real and is happening and could (nothing more) be a real crisis as not one single IPCC warning says it WILL be a crisis and not one IPCC warning is not swimming in “maybes”.
    And get up to date:
    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
    *Julian Assange is of course a climate change denier.
    *Obama had not mentioned the crisis in two State of the Unions addresses

    • Bah, taking shots at Julian Assange for exposing the rampant fraud in climate research, are we?

      I may have my disagreements with the man, but with the UEA hack being his first big break, he at least seems to be objective in the kinds of secrets he wants to expose.

      As for Obama not mentioning the “crisis” in recent SOU addresses, he certainly did, and again recently this spring.

      This has been a “crisis” since the 1970′s. Back then, we were supposed to be on track for a new ice age (Time magazine cover), but when world temperatures starting going up, they had to call it “global warming” instead. Twenty to thirty years later, when world temperatures started to decline and/or not rise much, suddenly now it’s “climate change”.

      So, yes, with the changing narrative, yes I’m skeptical, and no, I’m not on any corporate payroll either.

  9. of course Climate change is real that is why they call it ‘ Climate ‘ and not weather – the Climate is always changing and nothing man does or does not do matters one whit and never has – mother nature will deal with – every so many thousands of years we have an ice age – that is a Fact – last ice age ended and we are now on the way to the next one about half way I believe – interesting concept is maybe in a few thousand years we will need to go back to using fossil fuels just to keep the next one from happening too soon – intersting is point that when we terraform mars we will be pumping hydrcarobons into the thin air there if we can find any carbon and if not will have to grow a lot of algae first!

  10. Jason probably also believes that if he sails far enough in the right direction he’ll fall off the edge of the earth –

    • Let’s crowd source an expedition!

    • Jason would never sail anywhere. Not when he can stick some of that AB crude in the tank.

  11. Congratulations Aaron. You have become one of a small handful of journalists and columnists who are willing to say “climate change” in the context of the Alberta floods. The silence across mainstream media has been creepy. Your next challenge, should you be brave enough, is to develop an analysis of your own and try to avoid relying on he-said-she-said reporting.

    • Don’t hold your breath.

      • Well, in fairness to Aaron, he has done better than most. Most “journalists” and editors are either too ignorant or too subservient to their advertisers to print something critical and truthful about the complexities of climate change. Just prior to the floods, the Calgary Herald published insurance experts who claimed: 1) Albertans have the poorest understanding of climate change, 2) Albertans could expect increased water and increased flood damages, 3) these flood damages are being driven, in part, by climate change caused by humans. But since the floods, the Calgary Herald has said nothing. So Kudos to Aaron for saying something and even linking to an Andrew Nikiforuk article.

        • The people with the poorest understanding of climate change are the so-called scientists turned religious propagandists who have been trying to sell this gigantic scare fraud for so long, despite the obvious reality that they cannot predict what they’ll eat for breakfast tomorrow, let alone predict the complexities of climate.

          The other people with the poorest understanding are the sheep who are willing to buy into the fraud.

          • Yeah and the president of the World Bank is an alarmist too:

            LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – In fewer than 20 years, climate change impacts – from flooded major cities to crashing food production – threaten to fundamentally reshape the world economy and dramatically worsen human lives, the World Bank’s president warned on Wednesday.

          • The world bank is a bank. The guy knows no more about climate science than Bozo the clown.
            Facts are facts, and it doesn’t matter who you are, the facts remain the same.

    • Since no definitive link can possibly be established, it’s not “creepy” at all, it prudent. Those who try to make the case for a link just end up looking foolish. There may well be a link. The weather has certainly changed since i was a kid. But claiming any event, or cluster of events, is linked, it s stretch than simply cannot be verified.

      • I disagree. Whether there’s a relationship or not, and whether the experts think there is or not, it’s on every Canadian’s mind. Therefore it’s the job of journalists to provide summary and insight. Let’s face it, Canadians, on average, have a poor understanding of climate science. That means it is absolutely vital for news and media to be helping us. The fact that so few writers are taking part, is absolutely weird.

        I’ll give an example. The honourable Jason Kenney claimed that climate change was not a factor in the Alberta floods. But this statement is every bit as unjustified as saying that climate change was the cause. But not a single journalist has bothered to call him out on it. Why? Scientific illiteracy.

        • Journalists, on average, have a poor understanding of climate science, along with just about everything else. If Canadians are to learn anything, they’ll need to get curious and do their homework. Relying on the media to inform you is, well… there’s a certain Mark Twain quote that comes to mind about newspapers. I’m too lazy to type it out.

          • Yes. The press brands itself as being important to democracy. Sometimes I believe that. But they’re failing on climate change. Actually, they fail on a variety of issues. Might have something to do with the structural bias that results from having clients.

          • Do you mean “there are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics”?

            If so, then yes I absolutely agree with you.

            Indeed, the “researchers” at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia certainly were very, very good at cooking up statistics – just not very good at keeping their servers free from the prying eyes of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. :-)

  12. David Suzuki has written a good article that puts extreme weather events into the context of climate change. It all boils down to statistics. You can’t establish a pattern from a single event. But as global warming pumps more water and energy into the atmosphere, the frequency of these events will increase. “As many scientists warn, climate change isn’t coming; it’s here.”

    Is Alberta Flooding a Sign of Climate Change?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/david-suzuki/alberta-flood-climate-change_b_3480005.html?utm_hp_ref=canada-politics&ir=Canada+Politics

    • This is all the proof we need. David Suzuki is never wrong about anything. Conservatives are always wrong about everything. Suzuki is brilliant. Conservatives are fools. There’s no comparison. Case closed.

      • Bean?

        • Same M.O.

          • Jeez, you’d think if he was going to bother to change his name he’d try some other posting approach!

            Mind you, look at Tony/Hester….same old quotes

          • One trick ponies, like our old friend now calling himself Observant – ‘so obvious’!

          • ‘Observant’ is now posting on Kinsella again…..

          • He’s like a bad rash.

          • Well, KInsella knows the names he posts under, so a grab may be under way.

    • Ezra Levant compared Suzuki to Fred Phelps (Westboro Baptist homophobe) today. The oil industry should distance itself from Levant.

      • Ahhh gawd, Levant has been losing it for years….’Stockaholic?’…..but that Phelps thing is really off the wall.

        Levant is one of the few Cons of his age that appears to be married….perhaps his wife needs to ‘intervene’ as they say.

        • It’s true. Most conservatives Levant’s age are not married. They’re too contemptible. Who in their right mind would possibly want to marry such people?

          • Well Bean, would YOU want to marry Baird or Kenney or Anders?

          • I’m with you. Any male conservative of a certain age who is not married should be subjected to withering contempt from progressive people like yourself.

          • LOL Progressive people….by definition….don’t hold medieval opinions.

            Sorry Bean

          • Should any liberal woman of a certain age who is not married, also be subjected to withering contempt?

          • Not many it seems, Levant must have taken the last desperado.

          • You’re so right. Only a desperate woman would date or marry a conservative.

          • Do you actually have statistics to prove this claim? Just curious.

        • So, do pray tell, what kind of ‘intervention’ are you suggesting exactly?

          • A trip to the doctor for starters

          • For her or for him, and for what medical examination and/or procedure? And why?

          • Oh I’m sure you know the answers to that.

            I’m not into playing games, so if that’s where you’re going….bye

          • No, not at all, I’m not playing games, and I seriously don’t know what you’re saying.

            I try not to assume (especially bearing in mind the pop culture meaning of the word) what people are actually saying when they hint at things.

            I can think of a few things that you might be suggesting, but I wouldn’t want to assume that I know for sure.

            So, please, even if I’m the only one who doesn’t get it, go ahead and let us know what you’re actually thinking. Thanks.

          • Levant needs a medical invention because he’s crazy.

      • Actually, the “God hates qu****s” crowd is precisely what I thought of today when I read Emily’s’ comment stating that she has “noooooo sympathy” for the Alberta flood victims… because of how they vote. Seems the petty hatreds promoted by rabid progressives are motivated by much the same impulses as Phelps and his followers – the belief in divine rightness, and the belief that their target had it coming to them due to their refusal to repent. You guys are a lot closer to the religious nutters than you care to admit.

        • If the 10 Commandments were re-issued and augmented today, the two new mortal sins would be (#11) producing oil, and (#12) voting Conservative. That is why Alberta is being punished. For its sins.

          • I haven’t seen enough of your posts to know your style and/or views, but I do hope you were being sarcastic there!

        • But do you think Suzuki merits being compared to Phelps by Levant? The above article is what sparked it.

    • Extreme weather events are – usually – caused by changes in temperature. You would suspect that if we were truly experiencing global warming, temperatures would moderate and there would be less extreme weather events.

      • That makes no sense at all

  13. perhaps one point of clarification.

    The term “100 year flood/storm” is thrown about regularly without a good understanding of its original meaning and intent.

    the term is short-hand in the hydrologist/scientist community for an event that has a 1% chance of occurring. It certainly doesn’t mean that if a “1 in 100 year” event occurs, another one can’t occur for the next 100 years.

    this probability logic is also used to design, for example, storm sewer systems. Typically in municipalities, urban (significant infrastructure, buildings, paved areas,etc.) might be designed for a 1 in 50 year event (2% chance of occurrence) on the understanding that if a larger event occurs, damage will result, but that designing for a larger event will be prohibitively expensive. All about risk versus benefits.

    of course, as events such as this flood in Alberta occur, the tables have to be rewritten o bring this data in to play, and likely revise the definition of a 1% event.

      • You’re calling someone else a crackpot? The irony.

        For fun, I’ll post the top of that wiki page:
        Roy Warren Spencer is a climatologist, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the U.S. Science Team leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.[1][2] He has served as Senior Scientist for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center.[1][2]

        He is known for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work, for which he was awarded the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award.[2]

        And you, Maclean’s resident court jester and obsessive compulsive lunatic, is calling that person a crackpot.

        • Now look at the rest of the page.

          Yes, he’s a crackpot and so are you if you’re following his views.

          • So, he’s a crackpot just because he happens to be religious, in addition to being a scientist?

            Or, was there something specific about Dr. Spencer’s scientific work that you’re disagreeing with? Just asking.

          • Yes, he’s a crackpot…..religion throws his ‘science’ out of whack.

          • So are you saying that scientists, by definition, cannot be religious and still remain credible?

          • LOL well you won’t be much of a biologist or geologist if you are also a creationist.

          • It’s funny that you would say that, because I thought the same thing, back when I was in high school, so I challenged my grade 10 science teacher (at a Catholic school, btw) about it.

            His answer was that his faith need not be mutually exclusive with his pursuit of science, because his view was that God created the universe and then left it alone to evolve.

            He didn’t use the words “intelligent design” (because the term wasn’t in use at the time), but isn’t that what it is, more or less?

          • LOL what your catholic ‘science’ teacher told you is that God is irresponsible and uncaring, and you bought it.

          • Madam, methinks you know little to nothing of my Grade 10 science teacher, other than that he happens to be Catholic, and I dare say that his knowledge of science and his ability to teach the same, would probably beat your Grade 10 science teacher’s knowledge and ability hands down.

            But alas, due to the anonymous nature of this environment, there will likely never be an opportunity to have our respective grade 10 science teachers challenge each other’s knowledge and ability.

            And incidentally, before you think of saying something of the form, “Well he can’t have been that good, seeing as you’re a global warming denier”, alas, climate science was not part of the grade 10 curriculum, and thus he bears no responsibility or credit for this particular ThoughtCrime.

          • Science teachers aren’t scientists…..they’re only teachers, and they get assigned a subject to teach. He could be teaching art or gym next.

    • But if global warming is a bunch of BS, then why is God punishing Alberta?

      • Why did God punish New Orleans? Oh, well…. Joking aside, natural disasters happen anywhere. Hey, we got a hurricane in 1953 before global warming was even thought of.

  14. Aaron, have you actually left Ottawa and come to Calgary to scope things out? This is really quite funny because farmers in Alberta are perpetually worried year after year about drought. Perhaps you recall not so long ago when they had to bring hay in from the east to feel their livestock. Flood is rarely on their minds. Yet in the past few years in southern Alberta we have had pretty wet summers and yet still Holly Stick has come on the comment boards to point out that precipitation in Calgary is below average levels, indicating that global warming is active. Now as in 2005, we have had a particularly wet and cold spring with way over average rain fail and yes, sudden and vast flooding. Now people are saying this is proof of climate change. So apparently drought and rain are indicative of climate change, as are cold and warm. I am not a denier, I am just confused. Edmonton had a very serious tornado 25 or so years ago. Shouldn’t we have a lot of tornadoes? Shouldn’t the rivers be flooding yearly? I don’t understand why this climate change is not linear. If it is worsening shouldn’t things be happening all of the time everywhere?

    • If progressive people like David Suzuki are alarmed about climate change, then we should all be alarmed. Remember, he received a lot of votes on CBC’s Greatest Canadian contest. What more proof do you need?

  15. Question to Andrew Nikiforuk…and any other idiots still trying to link events like this to climate change.

    Here are some graphs of tornados, hurricanes, snow extent, etc., over time.

    Kindly point out on any one of these graphs at what point climate change became a factor.

    • Wherever David Suzuki points to on the graph. I think we should go with that.

    • Based on the consensus of scientific inquiry — more specifically, climatological research — it would be impossible to extrapolate from Christy’s cited graphs that climate change is a factor. From Skeptical Science, here’s a summary of the relevant factors you asked for:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com/satellite-measurements-warming-troposphere.htm

      The above link explains what’s missing from Christy’s graphs. BTW, Christy is a round-table speaker for the Marshall Institute; an ‘expert’ for the Heartland Institute. Just so you understand there’s a strong right-wing bias in play. I realize that’s what you’re comfortable with so far.

      Skeptical Science points out these discrepancies in a kindly fashion, so no need to feel intimidated.

  16. Of course the flood/s have something to do with climate change but will that change the mantality of ‘drill baby drill’…? I bet not as long as they can still smell a non-renewable petrol dollar in the ground. Sad but condemning your own local environment along with contributing more than your fair share of damage to the global environment is not a consideration that factors into the Alberta economic interest.

    • There’s a “maverick alert” on this issue in Alberta. I think I heard a clip from Ted Menzies saying the flooding is linked to climate change. Jason Kenny is saying no connection.

      • Well then Ted Menzies must be right. And as pointed out above, Jason Kenney is somewhat overweight and not even married, I don’t think.

  17. I know you have faith in your GW religion. Others will believe that the Alberta flood is God punishing homosexuals or because someone insulted a 12th century pedophile. I am sure you all have prophets that project disasters, but you aren’t much help to people in need.

  18. The floods in Southern Alberta were caused by NEXRAD stations in the U.S. & Canada. The storm system was actively driven up north by various Doppler stations into southern Alberta, where the flooding worsened. These Doppler stations in southern Alberta were working in conjugation with those (NEXRAD) in Montana. Each Doppler (NEXRAD) station is capable of using electromagnetic waves to steer/intensify/weaken nearby storm systems, usually preceded by high altitude aerosol spraying.

    • Damn, I thought it was the Cassadyne weather control weapon! (*)

      (*) a 1970′s era plot line in the soap opera “General Hospital”

  19. I have lived in Calgary for 8 years and in class we are learning about water and how climate change is a big concern. I think people need to more aware that we are living on flood plans. Most people know that Calgary has insane weather yet did were not prepared. I was very glad that I live on the edge of Calgary were it did not flood their was only a little bit of rain in my area.

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