Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton told supporters global warming likely made Hurricane Matthew “more destructive” while at a campaign event with former Vice President Al Gore.
“And if you need additional convincing, just remember what happened this week,” Clinton said at a Miami rally Tuesday.
“Hurricane Matthew killed at least 26 people in our country, more than 1,000 as far as we know right now in Haiti. North Carolina is still dealing with serious flooding,” she said, adding that “some will say, we’ve always had hurricanes.”
“They’ve always been destructive. And that’s true,” she said.
“But Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change,” Clinton warned.
Clinton is hitting the campaign trail with Gore to attract younger voters who are more likely to be worried about global warming. Gore endorsed Clinton earlier this year, and is telling young, disaffected voters she is their best chance to deal with global warming.
“Right now, the ocean is at or near record high temperatures, and that contributed to the torrential rainfall and the flash flooding that we saw in the Carolinas,” Clinton said at the campaign event. “Sea levels have already risen about a foot — one foot — in much of the Southeast, which means that Matthew’s storm surge was higher and the flooding was more severe.”
“Plus, as you know, the impact of climate change goes beyond extreme events like hurricanes. It’s become a daily reality here in Miami.” Clinton said, then claimed Miami Beach now floods at high tide.
“The ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system,” she said. “Sometimes, people call 311 because they assume a water main must have broken when actually, it is the sea rising around them. So if you need proof that climate change is real and that it’s costly, there you go.”
Environmentalists consider Florida to be on the “frontlines” of global warming since it’s a low-lying state that’s especially vulnerable to sea level rise. Clinton was repeating the claim made by President Barack Obama that Miami regularly floods at high tide due to sea level rise.
That’s not exactly true. Miami Beach generally sees its streets flood during “king tides” — which generally happen in October. King tides have always been around, and Miami Beach has installed extensive pumping systems. The city can also get some flooding after heavy rainfall at high tides.
Hurricanes, on the other hand, have been an increasing problem for Florida, including Miami, due to increasing development in the region. In 2015 alone, news reports indicated Florida was adding 1,000 people a day — that’s more potential hurricane victims.
Matthew is the most recent storm to hit Florida’s coast, possibly causing billions of dollars in damages. Matthew made landfall as a Category 2 hurricane, and liberal pundits have already linked the storm to global warming.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), however, found in 2013 there’s little to no evidence global warming is making hurricanes any worse.
“Current datasets indicate no significant observed trends in global tropical cyclone frequency over the past century,” the IPCC found in 2013. “No robust trends in annual numbers of tropical storms, hurricanes and major hurricanes counts have been identified over the past 100 years in the North Atlantic basin”
“In summary, confidence in large scale changes in the intensity of extreme extratropical cyclones since 1900 is low,” the IPCC found.
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