President Obama’s claim on Tuesday that fish are swimming in the streets of Miami because of climate change has no basis in fact, local news outlets are reporting.
Obama made the fishy claim, which echoes comments former vice president Al Gore recently made, during a press conference at a climate summit in Paris.
“I think that as the science around climate change is more accepted, as people start realizing that even today you can put a price on the damage that climate change is doing — you know, you go down to Miami and when it’s flooding at high tide on a sunny day and fish are swimming through the middle of the streets — you know, that there’s a cost to that,” Obama said.
But as the Miami Herald and other Florida news outlets noted, there is no evidence that high tides in Miami are bringing fish en masse to city streets.
“While Miami Beach has certainly suffered from sunny-day floods during high tides, recent reports about fish swimming in the street have come from further north in Broward County and are far from widespread. No one’s pulling out their fishing rods on the road,” the Herald’s Patricia Mazzei reported.
She pointed to a WSVN report from September of a mullet swimming in Fort Lauderdale and another report from October of a fish swimming in Hollywood during king tide, but noted that the sightings have been rare. She cited no reports of fish being spotted in Miami.
Obama may have picked up the false fish claim from Gore, who has become a climate change activist since leaving the White House.
During a radio interview last week, Gore said that when he was in Miami in October “fish from the ocean were swimming on some of the streets on a sunny day because it was a high tide. In Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, many other places — that happens regularly.”
“‘Regularly’ sounds like a bit of a stretch,” the Herald’s Mazzei asserted.