Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Can You Say "Climate Change?"

by Larry Powell
A sodden farm field near Neepawa, Manitoba.
Another "severe weather event," this one a doozy, has just blown through my neck of the woods. Deluges of rain over a huge area of the Canadian prairies, driven by strong winds, have brought flooding, property damage and washed-out roads to scores of communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It left power outages, dangling live wires, trees on top of cars, evacuations (including at least one hospital and one care home), flooded basements (including my brother's in Regina) and human misery, galore. Ditches and roads turned into rivers and farm fields into rice paddies. They were all part of a package deal included in slow-moving electrical storms that lasted for an agonizing three days or so, from west of Regina through to eastern Manitoba.

The storms were made all the worse due to the extremely wet spring which preceded them. Already sodden ground left few places for the water to go.
Waters of the Whitemud River touch the bridge at Neepawa. 
A friend who lives near the southwestern Manitoba town of Virden, John Fefchak writes, "We are fine where we live, but the town of Virden, it's a disaster. In all my years (and there's been quite a few), I have never been witness to such flooding. There was huge flooding in 1969, and guess, where they allowed the most recent housing development. It's called 'Seventh Heaven,' right in the same place. Too bad people don't pay attention or heed warnings.  Mother Nature will smack you every time! All those residents were evacuated yesterday!"

John adds, "Our little prairie creek, (the one the province allows arsenic into) is now a raging, white rapids river, spilling into the swollen Assiniboine about 3 miles downstream. 

"Just for the record, we have had 4.6 inches of rain in the past 2 days, and for the month of June…..nearly 11 inches. Our yearly average has been 14 inches. Our car dealership, Mainline Motors, is flooded out."
More crop spraying is being done from the air because fields are too wet 
for ground applicators. I spotted this crop-duster just west 
of Neepawa this morning. (P in P photos.)
And it all happened, yet again, without anyone bothering to utter the dreaded phrase, "climate change." The closest I saw was on TV when a meteorologist (no not a climate scientist, but one who tells you what the weather will be tomorrow), was asked if this was part of the broader "trend" (which I took to mean "climate change). She answered, predictably, "You can't definitely connect any single incident to....the....trend."

How in hell can humanity be expected to do something about this defining environmental crisis of our time when we can't even utter the words?

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