Most Americans likely reacted with shock, sorrow and compassion upon hearing about the deadly tornados that tore through six Midwest states last Friday night, killing 90 as of the date of this column. But not the White House. There, the initial reaction was heavily flavored with “How can we exploit this tragedy to advance what’s left of our climate agenda in the Build Back Better bill?”

What came out of Joe Biden’s mouth at a Saturday press conference was pure word salad but you get the drift of what he’s trying to say: “All I know is that the intensity of the weather across the board has some impacts as a consequence of the warming of the planet and climate change. The specific impact on these specific storms, I can’t say at this point. I’m going to be asking the EPA and others to take a look at that. The fact is that we all know everything is more intense when the climate is warming. Everything. And obviously it has some impact here, but I can’t give you a quantitative read on that.”

Biden’s director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was much crisper: “This is going to be our new normal, and the effects that we’re seeing from climate change are the crisis of our generation.”

These are bold statements from people who have no expertise in weather or climate.

To put their irresponsible wildness in some perspective, consider the opening words of a New York Times op-ed from a self-described “tornado climatologist” and a believer in human-caused catastrophic climate change: “It is not unusual for people to ask me after a spate of storms like the ones that ripped through the center of the country on Friday whether climate change has anything to do with it. The answer is: It’s complicated.”

But is it even really “complicated”?

Hours after the tornadoes struck, CBS weatherman Jef Berardelli tweeted that December tornadoes were rare and this one was aided by warming from climate change. Checking on his claims, I found that while December tornados indeed rare, they do happen.

I found news reports of a 1957 tornado outbreak that struck five Midwest states and killed 19 in December 1957, which was many emissions of greenhouse gases ago. There was another multi-state hurricane that ripped through the Midwest in December 1966, also way before the current climate panic.

More research turned up inconvenient data from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showing that there is no increase in tornados over the past 25 years and no increase in hurricane intensity since 1954.

This research took hardly any time to produce but apparently even that much time was too much time for the Biden administration to do.

The Biden administration has set an arbitrary deadline of Christmas for passing its multitrillion dollar spending orgy known as the Build Back Better (BBB) bill. Although West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin has succeeded in stripping out of the bill most of it most dangerous climate provisions, there remain climate spending provisions (mostly subsidies) totally about $555 billion. And Manchin is still pushing back against some of these provisions. So passage of BBB is anything but certain, especially by Christmas.

For the Biden administration and the climate activist community, the December hurricane is a very convenient tragedy. Penn State climate activist and supposed scientist Michael Mann told NBC News that BBB would “address” the problems of deadly tornados. That is, of course, as false as Mann’s claim that he was a Noble Prize winner.

There is no evidence that manmade greenhouse gas emissions have anything to do with tornados and, even giving the notion the benefit of the doubt, any emissions reduction brought about by the BBB bill in the future would be a very small percentage of ongoing global emissions. The math is simple.

Bad weather often has tragic consequences. It is both appalling and revealing that the struggling climate activist movement keeps trying to exploit these unforeseeable and unavoidable tragedies in desperate hopes of advancing its twisted political agenda.

This article originally appeared at Real Clear Energy


  • Steve Milloy

    Steve Milloy publishes and is a Senior Fellow with the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow.