Climate alarmists frequently claim increased extreme weather proves pernicious human impact on the environment. Even if they have to invent it, as with British media gullibly reprinting a recent study from the IPPR, “the UK’s leading progressive think tank”, claiming a 15-fold increase in floods (despite Met Office records showing no change in heavy precipitation) and a 7-fold increase in wildfires worldwide since 2005 (despite the global numbers actually declining). Or Elizabeth May’s pseudo-Churchillian speech to the Oct. 15, 2018 “Emergency Debate” in Parliament on climate change citing "tornadoes in Ottawa" as further punishment for our gas-guzzling ways. But if greenhouse gases really drive tornado activity, count it as another benefit of fossil fuels because… tornado numbers are going down. Not only are total counts in the US declining, but the number of strong ones is at a 60-year lows. 2018 was the first year on record with no violent tornadoes in the US.
Even if tornado counts were going up, attribution of individual storm events to global warming and carbon dioxide levels would be scientifically invalid. As the Irish Met Office reminded its employees the same week May made her ill-informed intervention, “It is a fact that a current weather event is occurring in a climate that is approximately one degree celsius warmer than pre-industrial times. But that alone does not mean that the event would not have occurred if the climate were colder by one degree.” But when the event doesn’t occur at all, as with the non-existent rise in tornadoes, making the attribution is as foolish rhetorically as scientifically.