Calgary Flood Damage an Outcome of Poor Policy not Climate Change or Global Warming says Friends of Science

Share Article

Global warming activists and pundits around the world were quick to try and link recent catastrophic flooding in the energy capital of Calgary with climate change. Wondering why governments continued to allow development on ‘flood plains’ knowing homeowners could be completely wiped out, Friends of Science sets the record and the science straight on Calgary, Alberta, Canada’s historic floods and wishful thinking on the part of policy makers.

Visualization of solar wind.

Visualization of solar wind. Cyclical variations in the powerful magnetic fields of the sun affect earth's climate in a number of ways.

Before the 2013 flood, the eight worst recorded floods in Calgary's history occurred before 1933. In 1879 and 1897, the floods were about 35%'s not climate change, it's a flood plain.

The catastrophic flooding in Southern Alberta was not due to climate change or global warming but to exceptional rainfall and above average snow-pack. The floods wiped out most of Calgary’s downtown core for more than a week. The world-famous Calgary Stampede was flooded too, but stated the show would go on come 'hell or high water' and it did.

Friends of Science say the reason for the mess is simple – ‘flood plain.’

“Before the 2013 flood, the eight worst recorded floods in Calgary's history occurred before 1933. In 1879 and 1897, the floods were about 35% worse. It's not climate change. It's a flood plain,” says Len Maier, President of Friends of Science Society, the critical review organization that has studied climate science for over a decade. “Wishful thinking by authorities caused people to believe that floods were a thing of the past.”

Social and news media has been equally flooded with global warming activists like Suzuki and Nikiforuk claiming climate change and global warming are the cause.

“The sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2),” says Maier.

Maier points out that those on the “climate-change-caused-it-and-it-will-get-worse” bandwagon are ignoring the UN Climate Panel/IPCC draft AR5 report that states there has been no observed increased the magnitude or frequency of floods world-wide.

IPCC alarmists also predicted that global warming would reduce the snow-pack. This would have reduced the flood risk.

"That prediction was an obvious failure," says Maier.

Calgary was flooded in 1879, 1897, 1902, 1915, 1916, 1923, and 1932. In more contemporary times it was flooded again in 2005. Alberta Sustainable Resources and Natural Resources Canada issued clear statements that Calgary’s core and most of the Bow and Elbow sit on flood plains.

The island home of the Calgary Zoo was devastated by the flood. The idyllic urban nature park named Prince’s Island Park in central Calgary was underwater – once home to Peter Prince’s Eau Claire Lumber Mill that thrived on the flood plain of the Bow River.

“Peter Prince was a Quebec lumberman and entrepreneur. He had teams of men who would go upstream to the foothills of the Rockies and cut great swaths of forest. Then they would float the logs downstream,” points out Maier.

Some are now questioning the intended East Village development which the City of Calgary’s own municipal lands corporation took on as developer. Since 2007, this 49 acre downtown plot has had $180 million in infrastructure improvements gone into the ground. The development is to be funded by a special tax “...the Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) was created specifically for the Rivers District project.”

Much of the push for urban core development comes from a city document called “PlanIt” which is largely based on theoretical ‘climate change reduction’ policies. These call for urban densification and walkable communities. A National Music Center and expensive new public library are part of the area plan.

On page 2 (10/40) of the land East Village development document, in bold print, it states “much of the plan area lies within the flood plain of the Bow and Elbow Rivers and would be impacted by major runoff events on both rivers.”

A new footbridge, almost completed, linking the East Village to nearby St. Patrick’s Island Park costing some $25 million was damaged by the flood.

“Taxpayer’s money should be spent on practical mitigation of future flood damage. ‘Climate change’ is a red herring; a convenient alibi for decades of inaction. We need policy on flood plain development, improved forecasting and flood management infrastructure,” said Maier.

About Friends of Science

Friends of Science have spent a decade reviewing a broad spectrum of literature on climate change and have concluded the sun is the main driver of climate change, not carbon dioxide (CO2). The core group of the Friends of Science is made up of retired and active earth and atmospheric scientists. Membership is open to the public and available on-line.

Friends of Science
P.O. Box 23167, Connaught P.O.
Calgary, Alberta
Canada T2S 3B1
Toll-free Telephone: 1-888-789-9597
E-mail: contact(a)

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Michelle Stirling
Follow us on
Visit website