As Hurricane Ian hits Florida, Fox News undermines climate change
As Floridians prepared for landfall from Hurricane Ian, Fox News focused on climate denial. The storm, a catastrophic Category 4, could be the first to inundate Tampa in over a century, and already poses “serious risks” to the Gulf Coast.
Jesse Watters used the storm to mock climate action and later Tucker Carlson referred to severity warnings as a “scam,” though he did admit that the threat from Ian was real.
And within an hour of the Cuban Ministry of Mines and Energy announcing that the entire island’s power grid had collapsed in the wake of the storm, Sean Hannity declared Democrats noting climate change’s potential impacts on hurricanes were “politicizing a tragedy.” He hosted his favorite climate denier Joe Bastardi to emphasize that hurricane frequency in Florida has not increased.
By focusing only on Florida’s past frequency of storms, Bastardi omitted a crucial climate impact of hurricanes. As global warming causes ocean temperatures to rise, the warmer water fuels higher winds that can intensify more quickly, creating storms with a greater likelihood of reaching intense Category 4 or 5 levels.
As the AP noted:
Fox prime-time’s flippant attacks on scientific reality are not surprising, however, as the network continues to launch unhinged attacks and carry on their legacy of climate denial.