IN JUNE, climate scientist David Keith and his neighbors in Calgary, Alberta, were ripping carpets and drywall from their flooded homes — again. In 2005, a “flood of the century” had shattered city records. The 2013 flood was even bigger and forced 100,000 residents to flee to higher ground.
To Keith, the city’s second 100-year flood in less than a decade seemed a little ironic. Calgary is the nerve center of Canada’s oil industry, including tar-sands giant TransCanada, developers of the Keystone XL pipeline, and home to plenty of folks who don’t seem to worry much about climate change. Maybe, Keith mused in an e-mail from the flood zone, this latest example of extreme weather would be “a bit of a reality check.”