Another South Asian Flood? Still Not Climate Change.
We are told by a mob of climate activists that last month's flooding in Pakistan resulted from climate change. This is no surprise: everything, whether rain or the price of broccoli, is now said to result from climate change. That's how desperate the left is to use climate change as an excuse to transfer more power to government, especially the power to regulate energy.
In reality, flooding is common in Pakistan, as it is throughout South Asia, and it has been, presumably, since before human beings occupied the region. The 1974 Bangladesh flood killed 28,700, the 1993 South Asian monsoon killed 3,084, and the North India flood of 2013 killed 5,748. The South Asian flooding of 2007 covered parts of five countries, including Pakistan, and claimed over 2,000 lives. Widespread flooding occurred in these same countries again in 2017.
By comparison, flooding in China killed between one half and 4 million in 1931, while the 1887 Yellow River flood killed between 900,000 and 2 million. Neither of these floods was caused by climate change, nor likely was this year's flooding in Pakistan.
Twenty twenty-two's Pakistan flood is said to be "one of the worst in the country's history," covering as much as one third of the nation and claiming 1,200 lives, but it was driven by the same monsoon weather pattern that occurs every year. The 1974 Bangladesh flood, long before the era of climate change alarmism, killed nearly 30 times as many people. China's great flood of 1931 killed up to 3,333 times as many people. Again, long before climate change became a concern.
I am not denying the destructiveness of this year's flooding in Pakistan. Along with the loss of life, there has been great damage to agriculture and infrastructure, including the country's clean water supply, and hundreds of thousands have lost their homes. But flooding of much greater magnitude has happened before — long before — and these floods did not result from global warming.
Most of the Earth's Great Floods occurred long before humans invented the wheel, to say nothing of the internal combustion engine, which climate activists are trying to eliminate on the pretext of global warming. One particular example stands out.
As William Ryan and Walter Pitman explain in Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event That Changed History (Simon and Schuster, 1999), archaeologists have confirmed that a Great Flood of truly epic proportions struck the Black Sea region some 7,500 years ago, at a time when today's Black Sea was a dry basin surrounding a freshwater lake and was occupied by a large population that employed advanced farming techniques. This advanced civilization was completely dispersed when floodwaters suddenly filled the basin, creating what today we call the Black Sea. Distant memories of this epic flood, including the biblical story of Noah's Flood, were then recorded in many literatures (some of which preceded the biblical version).
There is indisputable evidence that this Great Flood took place as a result of the gradual melting of ice following the Great Ice Age. As northern ice melted, flood waters filled the Mediterranean, which had also been partially dry, and as water levels rose, the fragile land bridge at the Bosporus gave way and flood waters advanced into the Black Sea. All the inhabitants of the farming communities in the Black Sea basin were forced to flee — some to the west, some to the north and east, and some to the ancient biblical lands to the south, where they carried memories of the Great Flood with them.
Noah's Flood did not result from climate change, yet it was the greatest flood known to archaeologists. It resulted from the Earth's natural cycle of heating and cooling, a cycle that has played out millions of times over the course of the earth's history.
The magnitude of this cycle of events is beyond anything envisioned by global warming alarmists. In its worst-case scenario, the U.N.'s IPCC predicts that the oceans will rise by some three feet by 2100. In ancient times, the seas must have risen by 120 meters or approximately 360 feet over a period of 13,000 years, but the collapse of the Bosporus land bridge would have been far, far more rapid. Scientists estimate that the Black Sea basin went from dry farmland to the deep waters of present-day Black Sea in less than a decade, and that the shoreline rose at rate of one meter per day. No wonder those who fled carried with them indelible memories of the event and passed it down to later generations.
Certainly, the recent flooding in Pakistan has been destructive, but flooding in South Asia is an annual fact of life and entirely predictable, just as tornadoes are a fact of life in the American heartland and hurricanes are so on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of America. There is no evidence that these natural disasters have become more frequent or more severe: globally, deaths resulting from natural disasters have become far less since the 1940s, and they continue to decline every decade as humans find ways to protect themselves from natural dangers that have always existed and always will exist.
Nothing that climate alarmists do will make flooding, or other destructive weather-related events, cease to exist. In Noah's day, the only solution was to flee from nature. Now, with advanced technology and other resources we possess, in most cases, we can survive the storm and continue with our lives. Nothing of the magnitude of Noah's Flood will occur again in the foreseeable future, though it will occur when the earth's natural cycle shifts from its current long-term warming to a cooling period, and then from cold to warm again. Those are the climate events that we need to be worried about, and they have little to do with what is currently referred to as "climate change."
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture, including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).
Image via Pxhere.