How Anthropogenic Climate Change Is Killing Detroit, MI

Climate Change In Detroit, MI
Climate Change In Detroit, MI

There are people in Detroit, MI who believe that water is a human right. There are others that are simply having a hard time believing how expensive their bills have gotten. The City of Detroit responded by proposing to cut municipal water service for people who didn’t pay their bills. This has lead to a movement to have water provided to them for free.


Never accuse God of lacking a sense of humor. Detroit has been deluged with heavy rain in recent days and their sewer systems have been overwhelmed. This has caused heavy flooding in the city. A local politician has decided that he loves !SCIENCE! Metro Water Commissioner, Jim Nash, blames the recent flooding on Global Warming.

“The system worked exactly like it was supposed to, but we’re seeing these rain events that used to be unusual but just aren’t anymore,” Covey said. “This is going to become more normal and we need to understand that ‘100-year storm’ is an outdated term.”

Oh, wait… NOAA tracks severe rainfall events by frequency. Regardless of whether you believe the IPCC models or the recent record of satellite data more accurately tell us about global mean temperature; there is no overarching trend in frequency. Their data for recent years follows below.

Not Exactly Noah's Flood
Not Exactly Noah’s Flood

Image Credit: (Steven Goddard)

The bottom line here is that Detroit’s political figures are lying. They are lying even if you assume Global Warming as a known geophysical fact. You cannot blame something on Global Warming that is not happening. Even if we assume a priori that AGW is all Bush’s fault, it can’t be magic. It does not serve as a Get Out of Stupid Free Card for incompetent political hacks.


There are many logical reasons why Detroit has a screwed up drainage system. In 1950, the city had 1.8million residents. It has fewer than 800,000 today. Detroit built municipal infrastructure to operate on a scale that would support 1.8 million people. That costs more than 800,000 residents can possibly pay for to maintain. This is particularly true when 1/5 of the working age cohort is unemployed and about 1/3 of the city lives in poverty. When 60% of the population left, Detroit, MI suffered anthropogenic climate change of the sort NASA, NOAA and the IPCC have no models to account for.

The USEPA describes what needs to take place for a city to operate a safe and effective sewer system.

Storm drain systems need to be cleaned regularly. Routine cleaning reduces the amount of pollutants, trash, and debris both in the storm drain system and in receiving waters. Clogged drains and storm drain inlets can cause the drains to overflow, leading to increased erosion

Detroit can no longer afford to perform these essential city services on a scale to support 1.8 million residents. The place needs to down-scale and accept reality. Accepting reality means not blaming their misfortunes on Global Warming. This doesn’t explain local weather phenomenon any more than it explains local intellectual low pressure systems that seem to remain anchored over the Detroit, MI municipal government. Until the citizenry of Detroit, MI figure out that they are personally as well as collectively responsible for Detroit, MI, the Political and Sociological Climate Change that came to this city after WW II will continue to ruin it as a place to live or do business.



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