In the midst of the tornadoes on Saturday afternoon, I wondered, how often has Illinois experienced tornadoes in December? Over the last 50 years (from 1968-2017), there were 25 December tornadoes in our state. Thirteen of those were in the last 10 years and the other 12 took place over the prior 40 years. By Tuesday morning, the National Weather Service had confirmed at least 26 tornadoes this past Saturday across Central Illinois; that’s nearly 50 years of December tornadic activity in a single day.
Climatologists have determined that the impacts of climate change are already being felt not just in increased average global temperatures, but in an increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters. In 40 years, we saw 12 tornadoes in December. Then we saw 13 in 10 years. And then we saw at least 26 in one day. This is a prime example of how climate change is affecting the planet. It’s not just that the world is getting warmer; it’s also that natural disasters are becoming more frequent and more dangerous.
I urge our representatives in Washington, Springfield and here at home — President Trump, U.S. Sens. Durbin and Duckworth, U.S. Reps. Davis and LaHood, and on down — to work together to pass legislation that reduces the impact of human activity on our global climate.
If nothing changes, we’ll continue to see the tragedies of Taylorville increase in frequency — and nobody wants that to happen.
Michael Gorman, Bloomington