Over at CNSNews, which bills itself as “The right news. Right now”, Craig Bannister observed that “The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season is off to its slowest start in 30 years, forcing the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to slightly decrease its predicted likelihood of an above-normal season.” Just slightly, mind you. Meanwhile NBC’s “Climate in Crisis” executes a neat pirouette with “St. Louis, Death Valley and now Dallas: Why ‘1,000-year’ floods suddenly seem so common… climate researchers say a warmer atmosphere has juiced the potential for extreme rainfall and damaging flooding. Although it’s difficult for scientists to immediately interpret the link between a single weather event – or string of events – and climate change, human-caused warming has rapidly shifted the probability of extremes so much that some of them say these numbers are losing their relevance as benchmarks because they’re changing so fast.” Once again scientists can’t say for certain, but they’re certain. Journalists say.
So it is that here in Canada, a federal task force is proposing mandatory flood insurance even for homes that don’t need it because everyone needs it even if they don’t. Blacklock’s Reporter points out that “Eighty percent of cities have neighbourhoods built on flood plains, by official estimate.” Now according to the old rule about not asking your barber if you need a haircut, the government might have leaned less heavily on insurance industry participants (see Appendix A of the report) to determine whether the government should force people to buy insurance. But it’s also worth pointing out that the more we build on flood plains, and pave them so they are less able to absorb rain and more likely to generate runoff, the more we will hear claims like this one from former federal Commissioner of the Environment Scott Vaughan, also quoted in the Blacklock’s piece, in a separate report from the Council of Canadian Academies, that flood insurance should be mandatory on mortgage applications “to ensure adequate protections from climate-related hazards”.
As Matt Ridley has wisely commented, “Obsession with climate change blinds people to more serious man-made environmental issues.”