Even as the poor folks in Moore, Okla., pick through the rubble of their homes, businesses and schools, radical environmentalists are using the tornado that killed them for political purposes.
And the radicals aren't telling the truth.
Within hours after a deadly tornado ripped through Moore, liberal activists were telling us that's the price we pay for not doing anything about "global warming." Climate change has resulted in more and stronger tornadoes, they claim.
That's just not true.
Severe weather is not becoming more frequent in the United States. Neither are the most dramatic type of it, tornadoes.
Scientists at the National Climatic Data Center collected statistics on "strong to violent" tornadoes (F3 and stronger) from 1957-2012 and laid them out on a bar graph. The three worst years were 1957 (about 97), 1965 (about 98) and 1974 (about 131). Last year? Only about 28 really nasty twisters were reported in the U.S.
Like many other weather phenomenons, bar graphs showing tornado frequency during the past 60 years show cycles - but emphatically, no general increase over the years.
How about what the National Weather Service defines as "severe weather" in general? That includes high winds, heavy rains, etc.
Last year the NWS recorded 22,498 instances of severe weather in the U.S. That's about where the annual count has been during the past few years.
Ten years ago, the numbers were in the 25,000 range.
The same trends hold for hurricanes. Check the National Hurricane Center's bar graph for tropical storms between 1850 and 2004 and you'll notice the same up-and-down cyclical pattern encountered with tornadoes.
Most decades during the past century have had more severe hurricanes, Category 3 and worse, than during recent years, according to the NHS.
One particularly interesting notation by federal tornado watchers makes a point the radical environmentalists would prefer you didn't understand. "Tornado observations have generally improved with time, as better observing practices and instruments (especially weather radar and satellites) were utilized," the National Climatic Data Center admits. In other words, many tornadoes in the past may not have been recorded.
So the science is settled, as President Obama says - just not in the way the alarmists claim.
Myer can be reached at: email@example.com.