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.
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: