Monday, April 20, 2009

Red River Valley of the North Flood, 2009: April 20

News as I ran across it this evening:
"Spy plane shows worth as flood-fighting tool"
The Southern Ledger (April 14, 2009)

(from Southern Ledger, used w/o permission)

"As the swollen Red River threatened Fargo this spring, thousands of eyes were trained on the city's miles of sandbag walls. But just in case the townspeople missed something, the eye in the sky was watching, too.

"A Predator drone of the sort used by the American military to launch missile strikes in Iraq and Afghanistan was sent up three times in recent weeks to give officials a bird's-eye view of the floodwaters, marking the first time one of the unmanned, remote-controlled planes has been used for flood-fighting in the U.S.

"Equipped with radar and infrared cameras that can see in the dark and peer through clouds, the aircraft provided remarkably detailed, real-time video images of ice floes, flood patterns and any trouble spots along the levees...."

I remember when lines like "sensors indicate three life forms" were, literally, the stuff of Star Trek.

Last month, I'm pretty sure the pilot flying a drone from a base in Grand Forks didn't say "life forms" or "sensors" - but that's what was being done. The Predator's radar and infrared 'sensors' were a valuable tool during the flood.

There's been a heavy military presence on the American side of the border during this flood: many of the soldiers were National Guardsmen either building dikes to save their own neighborhoods; or defending someone else's home while theirs either stayed dry - or not.
Caution! This link, quote, and micro-review are not politically correct.
Repeating data or opinions expressed here in an academic setting may be harmful to your academic career.

"Obama flunks Global Warming 101 on Fargo"
Canada Free Press (April 20, 2009)

" 'When the freedom they wished for most was the freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and never was free again.' Edith Hamilton.

"President Obama used recent flooding in Fargo, North Dakota to push his misguided belief in global warming. His comment, '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 two degrees, what does that do, in terms of the situation there?" ' is speculative and completely wrong.

"A two-degree warmer North Dakota would mean less snowfall, therefore less flooding. Spring flooding along the Red River of the north is due to snow melt and the geography of the region. This year the cold winter caused heavy snow in the south basin and all across the northern continental US. Obama's comments do what the focus on global warming does; diverts us from real issues. In this case it is flooding and people living in naturally high-risk areas...."

There's quite a bit of information - including maps - about the last major glaciation in North America in this op-ed piece, as well as some informed opinions that defy the doctrine of Global Warming.

I'm old enough to remember when an ice age was going to come in a few centuries, or maybe a few thousand years. That speculation was alarmist, but had a fairly solid factual base. The coming glaciation was seen as a continuation of the ice age we're in now. (Background: Human civilizations grew during an interglacial period. Or, maybe, at the very end of the most recent ice age.)

Now, it's global warming that we're supposed to be afraid of. If I'm careful with my health, I may live long enough to see another glaciation be the climate crisis du jure.
"Raw Video: Coast Guard Evacuates Flood Victims"
Associated Press, YouTube (April 19, 2009)
video 2:08
"The U.S. Coast Guard rescued people trapped by rising flood waters along the Red River in Fargo, North Dakota. (April 20) "

List of posts about this flood:

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