At last week’s CNN town hall forum focused on the “Climate Crisis,” the major Democratic presidential contenders said Florida was lucky to have avoided a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian. But that didn’t stop them from blaming the storm on climate change.
U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY, also blamed climate change for Hurricane Dorian, insisting that’s why her Green New Deal is needed.
Members of the media jumped on the bandwagon by going after Republicans from the Sunshine State.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., “are finally admitting that the climate is changing,” said WFOR reporter Jim Defede to CBS News.
Defede noted during his time as governor, Scott ignored the issue of climate change. During the Scott administration, “the word was forbidden,” said Defede. He said Scott finally acknowledging climate change, was a “dramatic step.” Contrasting the former governor to the current one, Defede credited DeSantis for embracing the idea of climate change as opposed to Scott.
Democrats and most scientists say the research shows climate change impacted by human behavior contributed to the formation of Hurricane Dorian and other major storms impacting Florida in recent years. But not all of those in the meteorology community agree.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) research meteorologist Tom Knutson said “we struggle really to find strong evidence of human influence on hurricane activity via the past data.”
Knutson said increasing sea surface temperatures could factor in as more storms are likely to intensify into Category 4 or 5 storms but the modeling shows the total number declining.
Dr. Mike Binder of Public Opinion Research at the University of North Florida (UNF) said it will be interesting to see how both parties explain their positions on climate change in the upcoming election cycle.
“Republicans are not going to be talking about this because there’s a large segment of the party that doesn’t believe, thinks it’s not a man-made issue, isn’t concerned about it or those types of things,” Binder said.
But Binder also added that Democrats may hesitate about discussing certain parts of the issue, like the Green New Deal.
Binder pointed out that the Green New Deal could hurt in some swing districts.
Reach Ed Dean at firstname.lastname@example.org.