As a part of his
war on coal climate change agenda President Obama’s administration has issued “fact sheets” about the various states. Below is the “fact sheet” for North Dakota (White House link here) which makes some pretty illogical assumptions about flooding and other issues in the state.
I don’t think you’ll hear many local policy makers, even on the left side of the aisle, echoing the President’s talking points about North Dakota because they’re pretty illogical.
For one thing, President Obama blames flooding in Minot, Bismarck and the Red River Valley on global warming. That doesn’t make any sense. Red River Valley flooding is due to three primary factors:
A) The melt on the river is problematic because it runs from warmer climates in the south to colder climates in the north. The headwaters of the river thaw faster than the downstream waters, which creates ice dams and flooding.
B) The Red River Valley is flat. Really, really flat. So shifts in river levels have a dramatic impact on flooding.
C) The use of drain tile by farmers in the valley has accelerated the rate of drainage into the river. That means the river has to move more water faster during times of heavy precipitation. This creates problems.
None of these issues has anything to do with global warming.
As for the flooding along the Souris (Minot) and Missouri (Bismarck) rivers, that was due more to extraordinary snowfall over the winter upstream in Montana/Canada and a protracted winter followed by an abrupt summer warm up (and a lot of rain). You could argue that the snow fall and rain was due to “climate change,” I guess. Or it could just be, you know, weather.
The “fact sheet” also mentions recent disaster declarations in numerous North Dakota counties, but those declarations are more political than anything else. They’re invoked to put in motion certain automatic federal funding mechanisms. There are “disasters” declared in North Dakota every single year. It’s a symptom of the strange politics of agriculture, not global warming.
What’s interesting is that nowhere in President Obama’s report does he mention North Dakota’s actual clean air and clean water. You’d think it would be important to mention that North Dakota has high-quality water, and is one of only six states to meet every one of the EPA’s air quality standards.
I guess “facts” like that don’t it the narrative.