Skip to content

Joplin & Bill McKibben Ten Years On

May 22, 2021

By Paul Homewood


Today marks the 10th anniversary of the Joplin, Missouri tornado that killed 161, the first triple-digit toll since 1953. At the time the usual suspects quickly came out of the woodwork top blame it on global warming:




Caution: It is vitally important not to make connections. When you see pictures of rubble like this week’s shots from Joplin, Mo., you should not wonder: Is this somehow related to the tornado outbreak three weeks ago in Tuscaloosa, Ala., or the enormous outbreak a couple of weeks before that (which, together, comprised the most active April for tornadoes in U.S. history). No, that doesn’t mean a thing.

It is far better to think of these as isolated, unpredictable, discrete events. It is not advisable to try to connect them in your mind with, say, the fires burning across Texas — fires that have burned more of America at this point this year than any wildfires have in previous years. Texas, and adjoining parts of Oklahoma and New Mexico, are drier than they’ve ever been — the drought is worse than that of the Dust Bowl. But do not wonder if they’re somehow connected.

If you did wonder, you see, you would also have to wonder about whether this year’s record snowfalls and rainfalls across the Midwest — resulting in record flooding along the Mississippi — could somehow be related. And then you might find your thoughts wandering to, oh, global warming, and to the fact that climatologists have been predicting for years that as we flood the atmosphere with carbon we will also start both drying and flooding the planet, since warm air holds more water vapor than cold air. 


In fact McKibben’s disgusting climate porn could not have been more wrong. 2011 was no more than an outlier, and since then the frequency of strong tornadoes has continued to decline from the global cooling years in the 1970s:



In the last decade, there has been just one EF-5 tornado, the Moore tornado in 2013; this compares to a long term average of nearly one every year.

Fortunately the number of deaths resulting from tornadoes has also fallen, with an annual average of 31 in the last ten years.

Will McKibben now publicly apologise for misleading the public at the time?



McKibben also used the Texas drought in 2011 as another example of the effects of global warming. Needless to say, he was wrong about that as well:



  1. Broadlands permalink
    May 22, 2021 1:57 pm

    Wondering about global warming? Bill McKibben is responsible (along with his mentor, NASA’s Jim Hansen) for urging us to remove enough CO2 from the atmosphere to return the climate to its 1987 condition when it was only 350 ppm. That amount today would be about 65 ppm, or about 500 billion metric tons. If Bill would wonder about that he would see that is totally impossible. 17 gigaton a year by 2050?

  2. Jack Broughton permalink
    May 22, 2021 3:24 pm

    Roger Hasbin has been waxing poetic about the G7 Ministers responsible for Climate and Environment virtual meeting on 20 -21 May 2021. Their “report” is just a recital of good intentions all based around keeping the world temperature rise below 1.5 deg K, as per IPCC emergency report of 2018. No one is questioning why we should spend $100 billion over the next 3 years on this Canute style action or where the 1.5 deg K came from. Another G7 session is planned for June: with this lot of climatic-oafs, God help us all!

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 22, 2021 8:31 pm

      If XR – and now, Animal Rebellion – can disrupt civilised society, when the sleeping public wake up to this there is going to be a ‘reckoning’.

    • Mack permalink
      May 22, 2021 10:51 pm

      Yep, startling headlines from the Beeb. Virtuous G7 governments have agreed to carry on not funding foreign coal fired powerstations that they had previously agreed that they wouldn’t fund any more. In the meantime, Chinese and Russian leaders are falling about laughing as they fill their boots filling the energy and finance gap.

    • Devoncamel permalink
      May 23, 2021 1:45 pm

      The difference is Canute knew his actions were futile.

  3. Gerry, England permalink
    May 22, 2021 3:36 pm

    The Left never acknowledges their mistakes and certainly never apologises – all in the cause.

    I watched the German film Balloon the other evening and recommend it. It just shows the lengths people went to trying to escape from the nirvana that was East Germany.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 23, 2021 3:49 pm

      Thanks, Gerry. Now on my list of films to watch….after the GP. 🙂

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 23, 2021 5:05 pm

        Watching it now, Gerry. I remember the news item about it. The killing quote (so far) was the father telling his son that you cannot tell the truth in your own country. How true is that today….

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 23, 2021 6:27 pm

        Gerry, thank you, thank you for that link to Ballon. As I said, I recall the news report of it at the time but to see the realisation of t was mind-blowing!!
        What I found to be so ironic about the film was that it was hosted by our own quasi-Stasi BBC.
        An amazing film!!

    • Chaswarnertoo permalink
      May 24, 2021 7:51 am

      Psychopaths do not recognise error and fail to learn from it.

  4. Penda100 permalink
    May 22, 2021 4:06 pm

    The Washington Post and The Guardian sing from the same hymn sheet so no surprise that they push the alarmists cause.

  5. May 22, 2021 5:06 pm

    the fact that climatologists have been predicting for years that… blah blah…

    So what? 🥱 — Their predictions invariably fall short or fail altogether.

    • Broadlands permalink
      May 22, 2021 5:28 pm

      Just one example from Greenpeace: “Without urgent measures to rapidly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, the possibility of limiting the temperature rise below a dangerous level will have disappeared within a decade”. (2004)”

      Oops.. missed it?

      • Harry Passfield permalink
        May 22, 2021 8:34 pm

        Splitting infinitives has consequences. 🙂

  6. Duker permalink
    May 22, 2021 11:19 pm

    A couple of years after the Joplin tornado, reports from ASCE found zero or negligible damage that was ‘evidence’ the tornado was EF5 category (200mph winds). 80% of damage was that expected from up to EF2 category.
    Because of the large death toll, it seems that National Weather Service stuck to the EF5 rating despite the lack of evidence……
    Nowdays common place with hurricanes, the highest rating possible from satellite images/computer models is used to ‘come up with a number’

  7. May 23, 2021 7:27 am

    Everything bad is an impact of global warming by definition I guess. The only role of science here is to provide the scientific evidence for what we already know.

  8. Phoenix44 permalink
    May 23, 2021 9:06 am

    I do love warmer air that both holds more moisture and doesn’t hold it. If it gets warmer and so holds more moisture it can only then release the excess if it cools to the “normal” temperature. How does it do that and stay warmer than “normal”? That additional warmth must be lost from the atmosphere or all we are talking about is local pass the parcel events which are not climate change with permanently warmer air.

  9. AC Osborn permalink
    May 23, 2021 9:30 am

    Paul and others, you may find this useful, Tony Heller has version 2 of his software available for download. It now allows plotting of 2 values on one graph. ie CO2 v temperature etc.

  10. Coeur de Lion permalink
    May 23, 2021 10:02 am

    What is the G7 planning to do about the billion or so without electricity? Let the population explosion in sub Saharan Africa flock north to Europe? Luckily the generous Chinese are helping. So that’s all right then.

  11. Gerry, England permalink
    May 23, 2021 10:07 am

    I came across this uplifting video this morning so I thought I would share it assuming the link works.

    • Harry Passfield permalink
      May 23, 2021 3:54 pm

      Don’t know why, but I imagined the Legion being decimated. Oh joy! (not for the Legion, but for the demise of windmills).

    • Curious George permalink
      May 23, 2021 7:24 pm

      Misubishi 1000A wind turbines have been first installed in 2002. It would be nice to know how much power they supplied in their lifetime.

      • Chaswarnertoo permalink
        May 24, 2021 7:53 am

        Not enough. Hence demolition. A total waste of resources.

    • Stonyground permalink
      May 24, 2021 10:04 am

      Does anyone know where these turbines were and why they were being demolished? I would guess that they were worn out and at the end of their useful life. I’m also assuming that they are not going to be replaced as I would think that it would be possible to just replace the top part. It seems to be a bit of a messy way to do it, there will be a lot of cleaning up to do after they have been knocked over.

      • El Toro permalink
        May 24, 2021 10:32 am

        New Mexico, last month (there’s a caption at the start of the movie).

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: