Readers React: Will 500 tornadoes in a month finally get us to act on climate change?

Linwood, Kan., suffered heavy damage in a May 29 tornado.
(Kyle Rivas / Getty Images)

To the editor: The Los Angeles Times’ article on the recent storms gripping much of the country states that “a lack of data on tornadoes makes it hard to conclude whether climate change is a contributing factor” to the unusually large number of tornadoes that have occurred in the U.S. recently.

Tornadoes and other weather events — including droughts, floods, storms and more — are energy-exchange phenomena. The 1 degree Celsius increase in Earth’s global average temperature that has occurred during the past century, due to the greenhouse gas effect caused by burning fossil fuels, has caused an increase in the heat-energy content of Earth’s atmosphere equal to about 2 billion Hiroshima bombs since 1998, according to Skeptical Science.

It is highly likely that the increased energy content of Earth’s atmosphere has a causative correlation to the increase in the number of tornadoes.


Al Barrett, Santa Monica


To the editor: Hundreds of tornadoes in the past week. Record rain and floods. Record wildfires. Disappearing islands and coastlines. The planet gets hotter every year. It is a bad sign when we hear new names for terrible weather — think bomb cyclone, polar vortex or superstorm.

As I see it, Mother Nature is trying to warn us by demonstrating her power. Scientists are trying to warn us. Children hear the warnings, and they are getting angry about the fearsome future we are creating for them.

Still, we keep poisoning the planet by burning fossil fuels. We should heed Mother Nature’s warnings.

James Sallis, San Diego


To the editor: Drastic laws aimed at reducing abortion in the United States are advocated by the movement calling itself pro-life. Largely ignored by that movement are the floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires now common around the world as the result of human impact on the environment and atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. Human society and nature are at risk as conditions worsen.


Climate and population scientists predict the global human population will significantly decline over the coming centuries, as needed action is blocked by those denying climate reality. Pro-life advocates might note that the Earth has lost about half of its animal life since 1970 as human need for living space and agriculture has displaced habitat.

What except greed, profits and willful ignorance can explain our government’s refusal to take action in support of sustainability on our tiny planet?

Nathaniel Batchelde, Oklahoma City

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