Joe Biden has made it clear how important he thinks climate change is to this country. He talks about a “climate crisis” and wants to put John Kerry in a position defined as the “climate czar.” His other nominees for the Department of Interior and EPA also show his belief that climate change is what he calls “an existential threat of our time.”
His fellow Democrats agree with him. An NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll a few months ago asked voters, “Which one of the following issues is most important to you?” For Democrats, climate change ranked first, with coronavirus second. By contrast, Republicans ranked the economy first, and climate change did not even register with those polled.
The examples used to argue that we are facing a climate crisis don’t stand up to the empirical evidence, as Rich Lowry documents in a recent column. Flooding in the Midwest is supposedly an artifact of climate change. But Bjorn Lomborg cites a UN study that questions whether flooding is getting more or less frequent. Biden also blamed drought in the Midwest, while the federal government’s National Climate Assessment concluded that “droughts had decreased over much of the continental United States.”
Biden argues that California wildfires have been caused by warming temperatures, which is probably a contributing factor. But Lomborg also noted that land burning around the globe has fallen sharply since the 19th century.
Biden cited Hurricane Laura, the storm that hit Louisiana, as another example of climate-driven extreme weather. There does seem to be more storm activity in the Atlantic, but Lomborg writes that this is not necessarily due to climate change.
So many of the examples cited cannot be tied to climate change, much less the climate crisis Joe Biden wants us all to fear.