He is author of What Climate Scientists Think about Global Warming (Heartland Institute, 2007) and coauthor of State Greenhouse Gas Programs: An Economic and Scientific Analysis (Heartland Institute, 2003) and New Source Review: An Evaluation of EPA's Reform Recommendations (Heartland Institute, 2002).
He has presented environmental analysis on the CBS Evening News, CNN, and Fox News Channel; on numerous national radio programs; and in virtually every major newspaper in the country.
Taylor received his bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College and his law degree from the Syracuse University College of Law, where he was president of the local chapter of the Federalist Society and founder and editor-in-chief of the Federalist Voice.
Latest posts by James M. Taylor (see all)
- Heartland Daily Podcast – James Taylor: Debate on Global Warming - March 31, 2016
- PUC Out of Line in NV Energy’s Dispute with Casinos - January 22, 2016
- 2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record - January 19, 2016
Not 24 hours passed from the time a devastating tornado ripped through Moore, Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people including eight children, until shameless global warming activists in Congress began exploiting the grief and pain of a devastated community to tell an idiotic tale of global warming causing tornadoes. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), shame on you for being such hard-hearted and factually ignorant vultures preying on other people’s misery.
Before we even get to the objective facts regarding global warming and tornadoes, can we at least respect the human tragedy in Oklahoma and give victims a few days to grieve before we try to politicize their pain? Literally minutes after the F5 tornado devastated Moore, Whitehouse rushed out to the cameras to blame “polluters,” “deniers” and Republicans for the Oklahoma tornado. For goodness sake, Sheldon, even if you happened to be correct about global warming and tornadoes (more on that in a minute), can you stop playing political games for just one hour and allow a hurting town, state and nation to grieve without having to listen to your callous political divisiveness? Where is your sense of decency?
Barbara Boxer, to her benefit, waited almost a day before shamelessly politicizing this human tragedy. Her lack of human decency would be unparalleled in the Senate if not for the even more remarkable lack of human decency displayed by Whitehouse.
Now let’s get to those pesky little things called “facts.” I know these things are foreign to plastic, out-of-touch career politicians like Whitehouse and Boxer, but believe it or not they are relevant to the global warming debate in some circles.
When the Oklahoma tornado touched down Monday afternoon, it occurred at the culmination of the 12-month period with the fewest tornado strikes in recorded history. Did you catch that? We are currently experiencing the fewest tornado strikes in recorded history!
I guess it was inevitable that at some point a tornado would strike again. After all, to the best of my knowledge tornadoes have occurred since long before Oklahomans began driving SUVs and living with the benefits of electricity. According to the alarmists’ logic, because a tornado occurred and because the earth has gradually warmed in the century-plus since the end of the Little Ice Age, global warming must cause tornadoes – even when we are experiencing the fewest number of tornadoes in recorded history precisely when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are at their highest in centuries.
Nor has a gradually warming earth led to an increase in the severity of tornadoes. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data, the past 50 years have seen a steady decline in major tornadoes – the F3-F5 tornadoes that do the most damage.
If we want to play the climate association game and claim that global warming plays a role in all extreme weather events, that role is clearly to lessen the frequency and severity of tornadoes and virtually all other extreme weather events. F3-F5 tornadoes occurred approximately 50 percent more often from 1964 through 1984 than they did from 1984 through the present.
While shameless, opportunist, dishonest career politicians claim global warming caused the Oklahoma tornado, the undeniable fact is – if we choose to connect global warming to extreme weather trends – global warming has PREVENTED approximately 20 F3-F5 tornadoes each and every year during the past three decades. That’s 600 F3-F5 tornadoes that would have additionally occurred during the past three decades if not for the beneficial impact of global warming. Thank goodness that global warming is occurring to save so many lives.
These are facts that need to be told. But today should not be the day to tell them. That day should have been sometime next week, or next month, or later in 2013. But hard-hearted politicians can’t resist politicizing every last tragedy that strikes this country, even when they are wrong on the facts.
Can you imagine how it must feel to be one of the people personally affected by this tragedy who knows these global warming facts, is struck with overwhelming grief at the loss of a loved one, and then has to endure politicians like Whitehouse and Boxer predating on his or her unimaginable grief? I suspect quite a few people in families personally affected by the Oklahoma tornado know the facts and now have to endure the additional pain and frustration of listening to Whitehouse and Boxer callously telling lies about their personal tragedy in order to make political hay off their personal loss. Shame on you hard-hearted and ignorant politicians.
Global warming clearly has either no effect on tornadoes or is making tornadoes less frequent and less severe, but this is not a fact that people like me should feel obligated to discuss on a day and a week like this. Whitehouse and Boxer need to grow some common decency.
[First published at Forbes]