The nation has seen more than 1,000 tornadoes so far this year. In Alabama and elsewhere on April 27, there were some 290 deaths when twisters ripped through Tuscaloosa. Nearly 125 are now dead in Joplin, MO, with some 1,500 still missing, and at least 5 are dead in Oklahoma tonight as the result of still more deadly tornadoes in the past few hours. There have been other deaths from this outbreak as well, as far north as Minneapolis this week, making 2011's death toll from tornadoes, to date, the worst since 1953, (long before the advanced weather forecasting and warning systems we now have in place.)
[Update 11:44pm PT: And this just in, the National Weather Service reports tonight that Denning, Arkansas, a town with 100 homes in Franklin County, has been destroyed. "Spotters reported that this large tornado was up to a mile wide at one point just before it struck Denning."]
But that's just the tip of the melting iceberg.
We rarely --- almost never --- run complete articles from elsewhere here. However, the following piece from Bill McKibben of 350.org, as published last night by the Washington Post, cannot and should not be truncated. It should be read in full by everyone in this disastrously disinformed nation...
A link between climate change and Joplin tornadoes? Never!
By Bill McKibben, Published May 23, 2011
Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesn’t mean a thing.
It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas — fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they’ve ever been — the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if they’re somehow connected.
If you did wonder, you see, you would also have to wonder about whether this year’s record snowfalls and rainfalls across the Midwest — resulting in record flooding along the Mississippi — could somehow be related. And then you might find your thoughts wandering to, oh, global warming, and to the fact that climatologists have been predicting for years that as we flood the atmosphere with carbon we will also start both drying and flooding the planet, since warm air holds more water vapor than cold air...