During a recent tornado warning for Washington DC, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) issued a tweet claiming the tornado warning illustrated that “climate change is real y’all.” Ocasio-Cortez’s tweet revealed just how little she knows about climate change.
Ocasio-Cortez wrote in her tweet, “we DO know that tornadoes HAVE been changing. They are no longer being limited to the Great Plains, and are shifting to other regions of the country.”
If Ocasio-Cortez knew American history, she would know that tornadoes have never been “limited to the Great Plains.” If she knew here American history, she would have known that a tornado that touched down as part of an intense storm in 1814 prevented the British from doing worse damage to our Washington DC when the redcoats sacked our nation’s capital during the War of 1812. An excellent historical narrative published by The Vintage News observes, “in 1814, a huge storm and an accompanying tornado, although still destructive, actually helped save the American capital from further occupation and destruction by British troops and became known as the ‘Storm that Saved Washington.’” More British soldiers were killed by the monster storm than were killed in the preceding battle outside Washington DC.
Objective data show that tornadoes, and particularly F3 and stronger tornadoes, are becoming less frequent and severe as our planet continues its modest recent warming. This may be inconvenient for Ocasio-Cortez’s alarmist tweets, but it is quite reassuring to people actually impacted by climate change.