Tornado Tours – Seriously?

A storm spotter photo of Saturday's tornado in Kansas.

Storm spotter photo of May 2013 tornado in Kansas.

Yes, I have been a storm chaser, and I loved it. And yes, I have been part of a “group of chasers” going into storms.

But no, I would NOT take novice pedestrians into a storm chase. The El Reno, Oklahoma twister confirms that.

Just Text

A picture of an EF5 tornado in Oklahoma.

The deadly EF5 tornado in El Reno, Oklahoma, May 2013.

There is no doubt that our science education, both in the media and in the public schools, is falling FAR behind in the US. By the time students graduate from public high school, they do NOT know much about geography  or Earth Science (about the US or any other country), and most graduates have NO IDEA how violent storms form or how to react in a natural disaster.

Sorry to sound cynical, but most of the kids I know these days live for their I-phones. When a disaster occurs, they just start texting. Most get darn annoyed if they lose signal, and few pay attention to the danger around them.

We desperately need to revamp our attitudes and awareness and, today, the drama of a natural disaster has morphed into big business as opposed to a humbling respect for Earth changes.

Respect The Earth

I suppose humans have always enjoyed a thrill – there are tight-rope walkers, knife throwers, race car drivers, sky divers, and lion tamers. But tornado tours? One thing for sure, those who toured the El Reno tornado DID have the experience of their life, and are lucky to be alive.

A cartoon picture of a mad scientist with buildings in background.

Our desire to control the immense power of the Earth has become dangerously unnatural.

We’ve Got It Backwards

Today, we are ALL facing a new reality that the Earth, and its enduring movements, determine all life on this planet, your life. And everything can change in an instant.

Our villages, cities, states, nations, and countries are meaningless to the Earth’s mountains, volcanoes, streams, rivers, oceans and seas. Our human world has become unnaturally divided from the natural world, and humanity has begun battling with the Earth when our “possessions” are threatened. We look at the Earth today as if we are waging war against Nature. Humans feel victimized when violent storms get in their way.

We’ve got it backwards, though.

The Earth is our home, and it is an awesome place. We are the guests here, but we are overstepping our boundaries and have worn out our welcome. Sadly, mankind’s influences are no longer a natural part of the Earth’s standard operating system. The Earth will win this battle at the end of the day.

I’m all for teaching others about the power of tornadoes and violent storms, but tornado tours are a bit over-the-top for this storm chaser. Stay safe on your next tour, y’all.