Christopher Booker writes in the Telegraph:
Australia was told to prepare for droughts as a result of climate change, and let down its guard against flooding
Ever more alarming facts are emerging to show how Brisbane’s floods were made infinitely worse by cockeyed decisions inspired by the obsession of the Australian authorities with global warming. Inevitably, the country’s warmist lobby has been voluble in claiming that such a “freak weather event” (as the BBC called it) is a consequence of man-made climate change. But far from being an unprecedented “freak event”, the latest flood was nearly a foot below the level of one in 1974 and 10 feet below the record set in 1893.
For years, Australia’s warmists have been advising the authorities that the danger posed to the country by global warming is not floods but droughts: not too much rain but too little. One result, in Brisbane, was a relaxation of planning rules, to allow building on areas vulnerable to flooding in the past. As long ago as 1999, this was seen as potentially disastrous by an expert Brisbane River Flood Study (which was ignored and for years kept secret). Instead of investing in its flood defences, Australia spent $13 billion on desalination plants. (Queensland’s was recently mothballed because of the excess of rain.)
Last week’s most disturbing revelation, however, was the contribution to Brisbane’s flooding by the South East Queensland Water company’s massive release of water from its Wivenhoe dam upstream from the city (for details see “Brisbane’s Man-Made Flood Peak” on the Regionalstates blog). Instead of controlled releases through the previous week, the company allowed the level to rise to within a few inches of the top of the dam before releasing a vast volume of water, with devastating consequences for Brisbane 36 hours later.
The rest here.
Which brings us to California, which has had a similar infatuation with all things green to prevent a hotter planet. AOL New:
Is a ‘Superstorm’ the Next ‘Big One’ for California?
For years, California residents have worried about warnings from the U.S. Geological Survey that someday the state will be hit by a giant earthquake known as the “big one.” Now the agency is warning of a new type of big one — a “superstorm.”
The USGS says California could experience what it calls the “ARkStorm Scenario,” a potential meteorological pattern that could produce weather of epic proportions, including up to 10 feet of rain, extensive flooding and more than $300 billion in damage. It’s estimated that one-quarter of the homes in California would be affected by some sort of flood damage in this scenario.
The goal of the analysis is not to generate fear but to prepare residents and emergency personnel for what could be the worst-case scenario from a meteorological perspective. The project is part of the National Real-Time Flood Mapping initiative to improve national flood management.
The massive ARkStorm is considered a plausible weather scenario based on previous flood records, including modern and prehistoric, along with projected climate-change projections.
Extreme weather patterns are common in California, and when established, the weather patterns often produce a nearly nonstop barrage of storms for days or weeks on end, resulting in excessive low-elevation rainfall and mountain snow in a topography especially susceptible to mudslides and flash flooding.
The rest here.
Regardless of what you think of global warming, the point is that politicians are ignoring inevitable, short-term threats — a flood in California, a hurricane hitting NYC, an earthquake in the Midwest, multiple genocidal dictators in Africa, etc. — while spending an inordinate amount of resources and dialogue on the long-term implications of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.