Tag Archives: flooding

Whiny Americans and the Blame Game

Missouri River Flooding

Montana and Wyoming got a year's worth of rain in 2 weeks in May. Snowpack in the upper part of the Missouri River basin was at record levels. On Missouri River Dams, water was necessarily being released at record levels, for three straight months, to try to deal with an unprecedented amount of water. So of course, this being America, nature doesn't get the blame for a natural disaster! No, it's the damned government!

I’m a federal government employee.  Given the atmosphere in the U.S. right now, that seems to make me and all other government employees a target of every Tom, Dick, and Harry who has a gripe.  It seems like every problem in the U.S. is somehow blamed on the government.  High gas prices?  It’s not Middle East tensions, skyrocketing demand in China, or the fact that Americans continue to insist on driving the most massive and inefficient vehicles on the planet.  No…it’s the damned government’s fault!  Damned Obama, HE’S causing high gas prices!!   And what about the economy?  Damn government!!  THEY should be able to snap their fingers and “fix” it, while also simultaneously cutting spending on tools that COULD potentially help to fix it!!

To me it all stems from the attitudes of Americans in general, where personal accountability and just plain ol’ common sense seem to be in very short supply.  In America, if your life sucks, it is NEVER your own fault!!   There’s always someone ELSE to bitch about, some evil person who is personally causing your own shitty life.  I’m sure the lawyers of the world LOVE Americans and their craving to always blame another human being for all the ills of the world. 

I was reading the Lincoln Journal-Star this morning (given we’re Nebraska natives), and came across this article about farmers along the Missouri River who are having to deal with massive amounts of sand dumped on their fields from last year’s floods.  The floods also had a big impact up here in South Dakota, and given the attitudes of folks up here about government and the role it supposedly played in the flooding, I guess I should have known where this story was heading.   One of the farmers in the story is talking about sending a $100,000 “bill” to the government, to pay for the clean-up of sand on his fields.

In the Great Plains in general, agricultural profits in general are vulnerable to a host of issues, but on a regional scale, two factors tend to drive profitability for a given year… 1) the weather, and 2) government incentives.    With the Missouri River flooding, it seems that folks are now starting to blame the government for the weather and other naturally occurring events.  Record flooding on the Missouri?  Clearly record snowpack and record spring rains in the upper part of the Missouri basin weren’t the cause of the flooding!  No, it was that damned Corps of Engineers!  Clearly the damned Corps should have been able to magically snap their fingers and make record amounts of water in the Missouri Basin just disappear!

Given just how heavily Great Plains farmers depend on government programs to maintain profitability of ag lands in the region, I find it pretty laughable to have these bozos blame the government for the flooding.  The people who blame the government for everything that’s wrong in life and for being too intrusive overall also seem to often be the same people who bitch about the government not doing enough to solve their every day problems.  TAXES ARE TOO DAMNED HIGH!!  GOVERNMENT IS TOO DAMNED BIG!!!  I WANT MY TAXES LOWERED, BUT, I STILL WANT MY FARM PAYMENTS, PERFECT ROADS, AND PERFECT SCHOOLS!!!

Sorry, Nebraska farmers.  Dealing with the aftermath of last year’s flooding is tough, no doubt.  But please, just shut the hell up about record flooding being someone’s “fault”.   As a wise man once said…Shit Happens.   I can’t imagine living my life with such a bitter and hateful edge that every event in life has to be blamed on other human beings.

Texas sets all-time record for U.S. State – Hottest Summer Ever

Texas Drought Index

Historic summer heat record. Historic drought. Historic fire season. And still Rick Perry doubts climate change is happening.

They always do things bigger in Texas!  Texas has broken a weather record that has stood for over 75 years.  Oklahoma during the Dust Bowl days of 1934 had the all-time record for a U.S. state for the hottest summer ever.    Texas this summer blew that record away by over a degree and a half (that’s A LOT in climate terms).  Oklahoma’s 1934 record is now 3rd, as Oklahoma this summer also beat that 1934 record.  Louisiana this summer was close behind, and now has the 4th hottest summer record. 

If I were a vindictive person, I might call this karma coming back to bite Rick Perry in the butt, for his continued, idiotic proclamations regarding his disbelief in climate change.

What an amazing year it has been for weather in the U.S.  Besides the heat this summer, some states have had their one of their driest summers ever…and yet others have had their wettest summers ever!!  In April, we also had the biggest tornado outbreak ever recorded.  We had record snowfall in the Rockies this winter, and near-record rainfall in Montana in the Spring, both of which caused record flooding for the Missouri River and other rivers.  

Science predicts more extreme weather as a result of climate change.   Ah, if only Americans gave a damn about science, or even BELIEVED in science any more.