Several experts contacted by Fox News Digital argued that there was not enough evidence to suggest that climate change caused Hurricane Ian or any individual natural disaster.
The expert comments come as a slew of media, Democrats and progressive commentators continue to blame the hurricane on man-made global warming. Hurricane Ian slammed into southwest Florida on Wednesday as a Category 4 storm, knocking out power to more than a million residents and prompting stern safety warnings from Florida officials.
“What they’re trying to do is politicize the pain and suffering of these people to promote their green agenda,” Gregory Wrightstone, executive director of climate policy think tank CO2 Coalition, told Fox News. Digital in an interview. “Well, their policies and program promoting renewable energy will result in far greater economic destruction for the country and for Florida.”
In the past few days, news outlets including The New York Times, Associated Press, Politico, NPR and Axios have run stories reporting that climate change is behind Hurricane Ian and the intensifying fast from the storm. A Time magazine article said “the science is well known” that climate change created the conditions for Hurricane Ian.
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Also, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appeared to suggest that Americans should vote for Democrats to avoid future hurricanes during an interview Tuesday. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill., tweeted Thursday that “the rapidly intensifying storms we are seeing with Hurricane Ian will become more common and more dangerous” as the climate changes.
And a string of progressive commentators and climate activists have taken to social media to similarly link the hurricane to global warming.
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“Ian is a climate change hurricane,” Pam Keith, a former Democratic Senate candidate and founder of the left-leaning Center for Employment Justice, tweeted on Wednesday.
“[Hurricane Ian] is a classic example of the impact of climate change on people,” added Nina Turner, senior fellow at the progressive think tank Institute on Race, Power and Political Economy. “Climate change is not politics, it is reality.
However, Wrightstone and the other experts contacted by Fox News Digital dismissed those arguments, arguing that individual storms cannot be linked to climate change.
“If you read this [the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)] said about hurricanes, there just isn’t enough data,” Steve Milloy, senior legal officer at the Energy & Environment Legal Institute, told Fox News Digital.
“There is nothing to back up what they say,” he continued. “There were about 16 major hurricanes between 1916 and 1965, but only six since 1965. So clearly major hurricanes are happening with lower levels of carbon dioxide. That doesn’t matter to them.”
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A NOAA study last reviewed in July concluded that its models and analysis did not support the idea that greenhouse gas-induced warming is driving a sharp increase in the number of tropical storms or hurricanes. in the Atlantic. The study, authored by NOAA senior scientist Tom Knutson, added that it was “premature to conclude with great confidence” that the increase in human-made greenhouse gases had an impact on the world. hurricane activity in the Atlantic.
Jamie Rhome, acting director of NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, echoed the study’s findings in an interview with CNN on Tuesday, pushing back against presenter Don Lemon’s argument that Hurricane Ian’s intensification is related to climate change. Rhome said he would “warn against” associating a storm with climate change.
“Trying to blame global warming for Hurricane Ian not only defies scientific evidence – the clear weight of scientific evidence – but it is a despicable politicization of a real tragedy that requires our attention and focus on those negatively affected. “, James Taylor, the president of the conservative think tank Heartland Institute, said in an interview with Fox News Digital.
“These types of hurricanes existed before the invention of SUVs and coal-fired power plants,” Taylor added. “In fact, they were much more frequent and severe before coal-fired power plants and SUVs.”
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Wrightstone, who is also an expert reviewer for the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), added that the number of hurricanes this year has actually been lower than in previous years.
“The IPCC sees no correlation between warming temperatures and more hurricanes,” he told Fox News Digital. “And we’ve seen it this year. Until this hurricane, which is massive, the number of hurricanes was almost historically low.”