Barring the unforeseen, the state of Kansas will have passed an entire April without a single tornado for only the fourth time since records have been kept.
This would seem to be good news, but for climate alarmists, it’s a head scratcher. They are not quite sure what to think about the tornado-free April or about tornadoes in general. All they know is that the absence or presence of tornadoes, their strength or lack of strength, their very direction for that matter, has something to do with climate change, whatever that is.
Some sample headlines:
Earth Institute, Columbia University: “Increasing Tornado Outbreaks: Is Climate Change Responsible?”
Climate Central: “Extreme Tornado Outbreaks Are Becoming More Extreme.”
IFL Science: “Climate Change May Be Shifting The Path Of American Tornadoes.”
Accuweather: “Is Climate Change Causing More Powerful Tornadoes?”
Christian Science Monitor: “Is climate change behind the rise in extreme tornado outbreaks?”
The CSM article by Eva Botkin-Kowacki is fairly typical for the genre. Like the others, Botkin-Kowacki projects the tornado debate through the prism of “climate change,” using the old but still useful global warming model.
“As global temperatures warm,” she writes, “climate scientists expect to see more tornadoes reaching their long, swirling bodies down to Earth. But the data isn’t exactly cooperating in a straightforward manner.” The climate is not cooperating? There’s a shocker.
Writing objectively, Botkin-Kowacki continues, “Scientists have reported that, over the last 50 years, the average number of tornadoes that touch down in the United States each year has not risen.” At this point, Botkin-Kowacki might have stepped back and reasoned, ‘Let’s see. If a warming earth means more tornadoes, and yet we are not seeing more tornadoes, maybe the earth is not warming in any meaningful way.’
To reason in this fashion would have challenged warming/climate change dogma, so Botkin-Kowacki does her best to reaffirm her and her readers’ faith. “But analysis of this data suggests that the most extreme outbreaks, when several twisters appear as part of a single weather event, are on the rise.” Phew!
Not so fast. “Surely climate change is playing a role in the rise of those extreme events, a team of researchers at Columbia University expected,” she writes. “But when they analyzed the data they didn’t find the signs they expected.”
This prevarication continues throughout the entire article. Botkin-Kowacki quickly reassures her audience, “No, that doesn’t mean climate change isn’t behind the rise of extreme tornado outbreaks across the country, study lead author Michael Tippett, a mathematician at Columbia University, tells The Christian Science Monitor in a phone interview. ‘We’re just saying that it’s not playing the role that we expected.'”
At the end of the article, Tripett expresses the need for “numerical models which simulate the environment . . . to isolate what’s going on.” Among the variables that need to be controlled, Botkin-Kowacki casually allows, is “climate change.”
In psychology they call this kind of reductionism, “Maslow’s hammer.” said Abraham Maslow for the ages, “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail”–even a tornado.