Sunday, June 8, 2008

In 2003, EPA Predicted Heavier Rain Events

Then-Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist and I attended a conference in Chicago in 2003, hosted by Mayor Richard Daley, where officials from the EPA told Midwestern elected leaders that climate change models predicted heavier rain events.

The EPA officials were urging the Midwestern leaders to adapt their planning and spending to more aggressively confront storm water and related services because heavier, intense rains were going to be come more frequent.

Part of the message was: forget the notion of the "100-year-storm." They'll come more often than that in the Midwest as the atmosphere warms.

Again - - this wasn't advocacy science or partisan scare tactics.

This was basic municipal planning/dollars-and-sense advice from people in the George W. Bush administration to Midwestern mayors offered as an inter-governmental service because climate change was going to hit cities' budgets and constituents in difficult new ways.

The EPA officials had it all in a very power point format - - which I requested, and was assured was coming - - but it never did, and I left the Mayor's staff in January 2004 and didn't make a federal case out of not receiving it.

Now I wish I had.

Seems pretty relevant this weekend, no?


Anonymous said...

"They'll come more often than that in the Midwest as the atmosphere warms."

The atmosphere is NOT warming. In fact, the data shows the opposite, over the last several years. It is certainly NOT warmer now, here or anywhere else, than it is in a typical year.

Nice try, though - using any weather anomaly to attempt to justify your global warming dogma. It snows? Global warming. It doesn't snow? Global warming? Rain? Yep! Hurricanes? No Hurricanes? You got it! Any natural variations can be assigned whatever causation you want, from global warming to rain dances, but that does not make it true.

Anonymous said...

I have an idea. Let's ship all this extra water off to New Mexico, Arizona and Georgia.

Oops, nevermind. We just created a law to prohibit that.

Anonymous said...

I may have to stop being anonymous, in light of the two previous comments. (That's not me.)

In reply to comment #1, re "nice try," it was the EPA, not James Rowen, who was sounding the alarm.

But what I really wanted to say, speaking of the EPA ... what a devastating report last night on "60 Minutes" of a watchdog agency failing to do its job, with lethal consequences -- unfortunately, just one example of many from this administration.

James Rowen said...

Thanks to the last anonymous.

It is interesting that Bush's EPA does have some local people and technical experts that are still trying to the right thing.

The head of the EPA region headquartered in Chicago really took on BP and its plan to dump ammonia and sludge into Lake Michigan at the refinery near Chicago.

For that and other aggressive enforcement actions, she was recently fired.

The EPA is also raising air quality standards nationally - - not as high as some would like - - but there has been opposition here in Wisconsin from both the WMC and the Doyle administration.

It's demoralizing when you find local leaders asking for public health regulations that are not as strong even as the Bush administration proposes.

Air temperatures have been rising in recent years. That is not in dispute.

What we need is policy-making that acknowledges it.

I put up a post today about how rain events led to flooding in the Root River - - the very tributary that might be used as the discharge route for Waukesha to return diverted Great Lakes water to Lake Michigan.

Note that Cory Mason, the state Rep. from Racine, has already said he didn't want Racine to become Waukesha's toilet.

It's a real concern.

Anonymous said...

Policy-making that acknowledges rising air temperatures?

Ummm...okay, how about this:

2009 Senate Bill 1, relating to rising air temperatures.

This bill prohibits air to rise in temperature. Any air that violates this prohibition would be subject to a fine of at least $10 each day and not more than $10,000 each day.

All better?