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Op-Ed: Did Global Warming Kill The Boy Scouts?

By Johnny Simpson     Jun 13, 2008 in Environment
With increasing frequency, climate alarmists point to dead bodies after natural disasters and shout "Global Warming!" This time it's the Iowa twister that raged through a Boy Scout camp, killing 4 and injuring 40. History and facts tell a different story.
This headline on Drudge regarding the twister that devastated a Boy Scout camp in Iowa caught my eye:
'(Boy Scout) Deaths Called Consequence of Global Warming'
Here's some key excerpts from the OpEd 'Global Boiling' by the staff at the Center For American Progress Action Fund:
The evidence for the consequences of global warming is appearing with alarming frequency. This morning's headlines are filled with tales of deadly weather:
At least four people were killed and about 40 injured when a tornado tore through a Boy Scout camp in western Iowa on Wednesday night"; "two people are dead in northern Kansas after tornadoes cut a diagonal path across the state"; "[t]wo Maryland men with heart conditions died this week" from the East Coast heat wave.
These eight deaths come on top of reports earlier this week that the heat wave "claimed the lives of 17 people" and the wave of deadly storms killed 11 more: "six in Michigan, two in Indiana and one each in Iowa and Connecticut," as well as one man in New York.
Tornadoes this year are being reported at record levels. States of emergency have been declared in Minnesota, California, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Michigan because of floods and wildfires. Counties in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, South Dakota, and Wisconsin have been declared disaster areas due to the historic flooding that has breached dams, inundated towns, and caused major crop damage, sending commodity futures to new records.
So natural disasters are occurring with alarming frequency.
What else is new, besides the pants-wetting panic GW alarmists like the CAP staff experience with every new and damaging meteorological event?
Not exactly what I'd call making sound judgments based on empirical data.
According to a Google search of recent news reports, America IS experiencing a record tornado season.
This one article by the Student Operated Press, 'Record Season of Deaths in US' also caught my eye:
This year may set records for tornadoes and tornado-related deaths. We`re only halfway through the tornado season and we have already seen 111 tornado-related deaths, making this the deadliest tornado season since 1998, said Greg Carbin, a meteorologist at NOAA`s Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla.
It is only the third time since the 1974 super tornado outbreak that there have been more than 100 tornado-related deaths during a single tornado season in the U.S., added Harold Brooks, a research meteorologist at NOAA`s National Severe Storms Laboratory also in Norman.
In 1998 and 1984 there were 132 and 122 tornado-related deaths, respectively. 2008 will likely equal or exceed that record.
Recent years averaged about 1,200 tornadoes and 60 tornado-related deaths reported annually across the United States. Most tornadoes occur from late winter to mid-summer, mostly in the Southeast in the early part of the season, followed by the Midwestern and Plains states in the later part of the season.
There is also no shortage of GW alarmists, including Senator John Kerry, blaming those tornadoes on Global Warming.
But before we sign off on that $6 Trillion Climate Security Act and the package of repressive laws sure to follow because of a few devastating tornadoes, a few questions.
What are the facts?
What is the history?
And what do real climatology experts have to say on the subject?
First, this entry on tornadoes from Wikipedia:
'Associations to climate and climate change'
Associations to various climate and environmental trends exist. For example, an increase in the sea surface temperature of source region (e.g. Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean Sea) increases moisture content, potentially fueling an increase in severe weather and tornado activity, particularly in the cool season.[55]
Although insufficient support exists to make conclusions, evidence does suggest that the Southern Oscillation is weakly correlated with some changes in tornado activity; which vary by season and region as well as whether the ENSO phase is that of El Niño or La Niña.[56]
Climatic shifts affect tornadoes via teleconnections in shifting the jet stream and the larger weather patterns. The climate-tornado link is confounded by the forces affecting larger patterns and by the local, nuanced nature of tornadoes.
Although it is reasonable that the climate change phenomenon of global warming may affect tornado activity, any such effect is not yet identifiable due to the complexity, local nature of the storms, and database quality issues. Any effect would vary by region.[57]
This, from the Tornado Project:
The United States gets about 1000 recorded tornadoes every year. Today, only a few are killers, but that has not always been so. About 200 US tornadoes have killed 18 or more people. Of those, about 150 occurred in the 70 year period between 1879 and 1949.
There have been about 45 tornadoes since 1950 that have killed 18 or more people. In the 1950s, there were 18 tornadoes that killed 18 or more people. In the 1960s, there were 12 tornadoes that killed 18 or more people. In the 1970s,there were 11 tornadoes that killed 18 or more people. And in the 1980s, there were only 2 tornadoes that killed more than 18 people.
In spite of an ever-burgeoning population, death figures continue to go down as improved forecasting, detection, communications, and public awareness increase.
And though the SOP stated we have seen 111 deaths from tornadoes this year, 1925 saw a lot worse from one single F5 category twister.
From NOAA:
'What were the deadliest U.S. tornadoes?'
The "Tri-state" tornado of 18 March 1925 killed 695 people as it raced along at 60-73 mph in a 219 mile long track across parts of Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, producing F5 damage. The death toll is an estimate based on the work of Grazulis (1993); older references have different counts.
This event also holds the known record for most tornado fatalities in a single city or town: at least 234 at Murphysboro IL.
Here is a list of the 25 deadliest tornadoes in US history, again from NOAA.
Notice that all occurred more than fifty or more years ago.
The biggest outbreak of tornadoes occurred over a two-day period back in 1974:
'What was the biggest outbreak of tornadoes?'
147 tornadoes touched down in 13 U.S. states on 3 and 4 April, 1974. Here is a map of them, with F-scale damage plotted beside each.
Time Magazine blamed that outbreak on Global Cooling.
Yet surprisingly, even Time is not as sure as CAP and Senator Kerry on the Global Warming Factor this Time around.
I'm sure Senator Kerry and CAP et al were just too busy to look all these references up.
Or is it that their minds are made up already, and don't confuse them with the facts?
It's bad enough that GW alarmists blame every weather event on Global Warming.
It's quite another to use the corpses of dead Boy Scouts before they're even buried to promote their agenda.
Boston lawyer Joseph Welch once famously asked of Senator Joe McCarthy "Have you no shame?"
I ask the same of GW alarmists who haven't even the decency to wait until bodies are cold to prop them up as victims of Climate Change, or even check some basic facts before they start running off at the mouth publicly before the victims' families have even buried them.
Then again, Global Warming IS bigger than a few dead Boy Scouts and their mourning families, isn't it?
It's bigger than all of us, and the facts be damned.
Haven't you ever seen 'Day After Tomorrow'?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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