LETTER: Yellowstone flooding and global warming – Las Vegas Review-Journal
For Pete’s sake, doesn’t anyone understand what happened with the Yellowstone flooding (“Rebuilding Yellowstone a costly and long task,” June 19 Review-Journal). Global warming and now climate change are broadly misused terms, ready to be twisted and inserted to explain any natural occurrences.
At the moment, I sit an hour from the east entrance of Yellowstone. While Las Vegas swelters, it has been an unusually cold spring in the northern Rocky Mountains. A regular succession of cold fronts swept across the area adding inches and sometimes feet of snow to a slightly less than normal spring snowpack. The ice on Yellowstone Lake usually melts completely by mid-May. Ice still covered most of the lake on May 31.
Despite alarmist claims of excessive heat leading to the brief flooding event, it was three days when the highs were in the upper 60s and one day reaching 72 degrees. Hardly a heat wave and quite normal. That was combined with rain which sped up the late snow melting. That’s the story: regional cold and unlucky timing for a few roads, and one Yellowstone worker dormitory that keeps being shown in news footage falling into the river.
A note to reporters: Stop going to the Center for Biological Diversity for so much of your natural resource information. The group’s spokespersons seem to have an answer, regardless of what they know. Quotes by the center in this article refer to thermal features and roads that have nothing to do with where the flood damage occurred and where roads will need to be repaired or relocated.
The real tragedy is how this event will be used by any number of environmental and activist groups to overdramatize and solicit donations that won’t help the wildlife and resources of Yellowstone one bit.