We shouldn’t be surprised by weather disasters, environmentalists say.Over the last six years, much of Illinois has been affected by droughts, floods and tornadoes, says Max Muller of the group Environment Illinois, who says the disasters are a consequence of global warming. “Federally declared weather-related disasters affected 97 Illinois counties. Twelve million people live in those counties. Twenty-four of 25 Illinoisans live in those counties,” he said.

The only Illinois counties not to have been part of a federal disaster declaration due to weather (including floods) since 2006 are Champaign, Clinton, Edwards, Kankakee and Vermilion.

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U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) says disasters are expensive. “These disasters cost more and more money, because we live in a more expensive world. They disrupt economies. They disrupt agriculture,” he said.

Durbin and Environment Illinois are supporting EPA regulations to cut carbon emissions from vehicles and power plants. The emissions, they say, bring about climate change. Muller says the blame for any single incident can’t be attributed to climate change, but climate change raises the chance of disastrous weather.

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