Three recommended reads for today:
Bill McKibben warns that you shouldn't draw any links between the wild weather we are seeing and climate change.
Propose your own physics; ignore physics altogether. Just don’t start asking yourself whether there might be some relation among last year’s failed grain harvest from the Russian heat wave, and Queensland’s failed grain harvest from its record flood, and France’s and Germany’s current drought-related crop failures, and the death of the winter wheat crop in Texas, and the inability of Midwestern farmers to get corn planted in their sodden fields. Surely the record food prices are just freak outliers, not signs of anything systemic.
And Rachel Tabachnick writes in Alternet about the text books used for some of the private religious schools which are being funded by public vouchers around the country. I wasn't surprised to read that the New Deal was written out of the history books, but I was surprised to see that set theory has been removed from the mathematics texts.
Jeff Masters writes about the latest tornadoes and compares the fatalities from the recent tornadoes to ones in the first half of the 20th century.
The first tornado warning wasn't issued until 1948, and virtually all tornadoes from the 1950s and earlier hit with no warning. On average, tornado deaths in the United States decreased from 8 per 1 million people in 1925 to 0.12 per 1 million people in 2000. Had this year's tornadoes occurred 50 years ago, I expect the death toll would have exceeded three thousand.
And he provides some links where you can help those affected by these deadly tornadoes:
For those who want to lend a helping hand to those impacted by the widespread destruction this month's severe weather has brought, stop by the Red Cross website, or portlight.org blog. Portlight has been very active bringing aid to the victims of this year's tornadoes.