At least six people were injured and hundreds left homeless when a tornado swept through a residential street in north-west London today.
Although later on in the article ( The Guardian ) we read that no-one is really sure that it is a tornado. Some say a micro-burst, some say gusts, some say a squall. Some say “like standing behind a jetliner”, but I would distrust anyone who had been foolish enough to do that; and if they didn’t do that, how do they know what it is like? “It was like some sort of cyclone” or, possibly, a micro-burst or a squall. “I heard what seemed like large clay dominoes falling, which I think were roof tiles”, and if not tiles from a roof, what? Clay Pigeons?
My guess is that a Tornado swept through the minds of the editors and made them think that they would get more hits on their page with “Tornado” rather than “Gust”.
The tornado is the latest to hit Britain in recent months, sparking warning that such weather events are likely to increase in frequency because of global warming.
Now we are getting used to this; not to mention blasé. “Sparking Warnings” is equivalent to “Sparking Fear”, and fear is used by those who seek to exercise control. Think about it: the last time someone expressed a fear-mongering warning, you were supposed to be grateful for the advice, and to feel obligated to return the favour with something (obedience?) of value to the fear-mongerer.
We need rational arguments based on facts, not extrapolated fears. “Likely to increase” just doesn’t cut it for me. I have written elsewhere that in any one hundred years we are bound to have (by definition) the hottest July in a hundred years, the wettest winter in a hundred years, and now the highest winds in a hundred years. That is no proof of global warming, and hence no foundation for a warning.
Terence Meaden, the deputy head of the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation, said the UK has the highest number of reported tornadoes for its land area of any country in the world.
This is going to be a given from now until the collapse of human civilization. As the world population grows, as the number of people per square mile increases, so will the observations of any phenomena. When Britain was populated by a million people, high winds could roar through the country seen by no one. As the population grows, so do the targets for weather’s impact. Get used to it.
Dawn Butler, the Labour MP for Brent South, said she believed the tornado was an indication that climate change was having an effect. “This is a sign that we have to take it seriously and we have to look at how we live our lives,” she said. “It is quite devastating.”
Politicians have to say something, otherwise they feel they are not working. That doesn’t mean that what they say makes sense. She believed. Based on what? Is this another of those gut-feelings? She believes that this is a sign that climate changes has an effect? Of course it has an effect. We all know (don’t we?) that a change in climate affects us.
But I’m not sure about “Devastating”. One strong wind event in, say, 50 years still pales by comparison with automobile-triggered death and destruction.