Red River

The Red River is once again threathening to flood the Red River Valley area of the upper Midwest including Fargo, North Dakota. President Obama somehow finds the situation relevant to the Atmospheric Contingency Operation known as global warming. The Star Tribune reports:

President Obama used the flooding in the Red River Valley to insist that society needs to take global warming seriously.

In a White House interview with a handful of reporters, including Janell Cole of the Forum of Fargo, the president said the current flooding cannot necessarily be blamed on global warming, but he said it should be a signal to act.

“If you look at the flooding that’s going on right now in North Dakota and you say to yourself, ‘If you see an increase of 2 degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there?'” the president told the reporters. “That indicates the degree to which we have to take this seriously.”

Obama began by saying that “the science around climate change is real; it is potentially devastating.”

Obama to the contrary notwithstanding, there is no reason to think that the flooding has anyhing to do with global warming. The Red River is unfortunately prone to Spring flooding. It is a regularly recurring phenomenon. As Wikipedia explains:

The Red River in Manitoba and the U.S. States of Minnesota and North Dakota has flooded repeatedly through the centuries, endangering lives and property. The river is highly prone to flooding because of its northward flow. As spring approaches, the snow is melted from south to north alongside the riverflow. There is also the possibility that the surplus water can hit unmelted ice on the river and back up. The flatness of the terrain and small slope of the river is a significant factor.

To the extent that Obama’s comments mean anything, they represent what he has elsewhere termed the triumph of ideology over science, or another crisis presenting an opportunity that should not be wasted.

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