Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton joined long-time friend and her husband’s former VP Al Gore at a rally Monday, where she claimed Hurricane Matthew, the at-times Category 5 hurricane that last week swept through much of the Caribbean and parts of the Southeast United States, “was likely more destructive because of climate change," telling the crowd:
But Hurricane Matthew was likely more destructive because of climate change. 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. 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. The ocean is bubbling up through the sewer system. 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.
Seemingly unaware that living near the ocean may cause one to experience the effects of…well, the ocean, Clinton promised to fight man-made global warming by pushing an aggressive green energy agenda, including installing at least 500 million solar panels in the U.S. during her first term as president. (Side note: despite being hailed by our current president as a great alternative to job-producing energy sources like coal, solar energy currently makes up less than 1 percent of all electricity generated in the United States.)
But there are a few glaring problems with Clinton’s premise that Hurricane Matthew was actually worse because of “climate change” – the first and most obvious being the question, worse than what? There was no bare-minimum destruction standard for Matthew, or any other hurricane for that matter. It was what it was, and any one of a million different variables could have caused it to turn out differently. This wild assumption of a statement may seek to carry emotional weight to influence voters, but it’s heavily lacking in factual evidence.
But if past hurricanes are the standard by which Clinton and her climate town criers are judging Matthew, it doesn’t take long to deflate that argument, either. As noted meteorologist Anthony Watts points out in his response to Clinton’s comments, Matthew was far from the worst hurricane in history:
…Matthew only spent 6 hours as a category 5 storm, the record was the “Cuba” hurricane in 1932 with 78 hours as a Cat5.
…The worst hurricane ever to hit the USA was The Great Galveston Hurricane in 1900, which killed up to 6000 people, long before CO2 ever became an issue.
Watts also pointed out it’s been 11 years since a category three or higher hurricane or made landfall in the U.S. – something we’ve reported on extensively here at the Media Research Center – along with a handy chart showing that tropical storms and hurricanes pretty much haven’t changed – if anything, they’ve actually decreased – over the last 50 years.
Figure from Dr. Ryan Maue: Last 4-decades of Global Tropical Storm and Hurricane frequency — 12-month running sums. The top time series is the number of TCs that reach at least tropical storm strength (maximum lifetime wind speed exceeds 34-knots). The bottom time series is the number of hurricane strength (64-knots+) TCs.
So when making broad claims about the coming climate apocalypse, perhaps Ms. Clinton should collect a bit of back-up evidence from one of the "97 percent of scientists" who allegedly support the theory, and whose identities remain cloudy to this day.
But then again, this is the politically-motivated climate agenda we're talking about here: where the threats are made up, and the science don't matter.