New York’s senior U.S. senator, Chuck Schumer, speaking about the flooding on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, was recently quoted by the Buffalo News saying:
“There’s been terrible management by the IJC (the International Joint Commission), no cooperation by the Canadians — they don’t give a darn if our areas flood, and that has to come to an end. And we are here to do that, because this has happened over and over and over. It’s going to happen every few years unless we get permanent structural change.”
Given the gross inaccuracy of his statement, it was disappointing to see this, to say the least.
Attacking the foundation of what is frequently hailed as 110 years of exceptionally successful cooperation on boundary waters issues between the United States and Canada is counterproductive.
He joined in the chorus of hyperbolic and misguided blaming in the era of President Donald Trump and Gov. Andrew Cuomo
This could well result in drastic unintended consequences for Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River water quality and management if the Boundary Waters Treaty falls victim to this assault on science-based policymaking.
Unfortunately, while it may make those affected by this year’s flooding happy, political pandering really targets them by diverting attention and resources from real solutions and forestalling the hard choices ahead.
The writer is the former executive director of Save the River in Clayton.