By Blake Haas
BLOOMINGTON – On the heels of a deadly tornado that claimed 74 lives, Illinois’s Senior Senator calls for support of the climate change provisions in the House-passed Build Back Better Act.
During a speech on the Senate floor, Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said although there is no apparent connection between the deadly tornado and climate change, scientists say climate change is making weather patterns more ‘volatile and destructive.’
“How many times in the past year have members of the Senate come to the floor to respond to a once in a century heatwave. A once in a century storm that has hit their home state. I’ll just say for tornados – you can’t be a kid growing up in the Midwest as I was and not know about tornados.
How many times in the middle of the summer (we were) rustled out of bed as the sirens went off. And mom would take us down to the basement, the safe place until the storm would blow over. That was a summer phenomenon, I just have to remind you, we just went through a December tornado in that area, unheard of years gone by.”
Over the summer, the northwest experienced massive wildfires in the worst heatwave on record; Texas suffered a polar vortex, and western states experienced droughts.
“When we talk about Build Back Better, the reconciliation bill, and that part of the bill that is focused on environmental resilience – being ready to protect ourselves and to bounce back if necessary when extreme weather hits – it’s the topic of this morning’s newspaper, and it will be tomorrow’s as well,” Durbin added.
“We ought to be coming together, and filly put aside our political differences and realize that climate change is a threat to us now and an even greater threat to our children and grandchildren.”
The historic tornado swept through Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee.
Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.
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December 14, 2021 at 01:34PM