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With Hurricane Ian dominating news coverage as it descends on Florida, some figures on MSNBC, CNN and ABC took time to rip into Gov. Ron DeSantis, R., and warn of the effects of climate change on The Sunshine State.
On Tuesday, MSNBC’s far-left host Joy Reid suggested that those temporarily leaving the state under hurricane evacuation orders were no different from migrants crossing the border in search of work in the U.S., connecting it to DeSantis’ stunt sending migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
“It’s a bit ironic now that you might have Floridians having to pour over the borders and go north and get out of the state of Florida in the exact same crisis we have been talking about on a trolling level in that state for a long time,” she said.
She added that DeSantis should be careful about “attacking people who have to move to save their own lives and safety,” because you never know when it will be your own people who may need to do the same. Reid also joked that the emergency situation in Florida will force DeSantis to do something other than “owning the libs.”
Commentary about the storm continued on “The 11th Hour” with host Stephanie Ruhle, who opened a segment with a scathing critique of DeSantis hitting on climate change, as well as the state of the property and insurance market in Florida.
“Florida Governor DeSantis has made more headlines for cruelty than governing lately in a state where the property and insurance market has almost collapsed, as insurance companies have folded or leave the state completely,” Ruhle said. “Climate change making the storms bigger and more costly—while Florida’s Republican legislatures mostly ignore the threat completely.”
On Wednesday, DeSantis also drew the attention of ABC’s “The View,” with the panel mocking and slamming him as he called on the federal government and other states for help.
Whoopi Goldberg reacted to an interview of DeSantis by agreeing that he and the president should put their differences aside and attempt to help the people of Florida. But, as Goldberg attempted to push a message of political civility, co-host Joy Behar interjected.
“Isn’t it socialism when the government helps you?” Behar smirked.
Sunny Hostin then jumped in, and added that Republicans seem to believe that as it pertains to Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
“Yeah, and the fire department’s got to come, and the police, I mean socialism,” Behar said as she did her best to appear scared.
Moments later, Behar read off a notecard of a quote from DeSantis in which he declared that he was not among the ranks of people he considered to be “global warming leftists.”
“This is what he thinks about climate change and now his state is getting hit with one of the worst hurricanes that they will ever see,” Behar fumed.
Discussions about climate change also were propagated in the last two days on CNN.
During one back-and-forth on climate change, CNN’s Don Lemon was shut down by Jamie Rhome, who serves as the acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center.
While speaking on meteorologists’ concerns that Hurricane Ian could enter “another period of rapid intensification,” Lemon asked Rhome what effect climate change has had.
“We can come back and talk about climate change at a later time. I want to focus on the here and now. We think the rapid intensification is probably almost done. There could be a little bit more intensification as it’s still over the warm waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico, but I don’t think we’re going to get any more rapid intensification,” Rhome said.
“Listen, I’m just trying to get, you said you want to talk about climate change. But what effect does climate change have on this phenomenon that is happening now? Because it seems these storms are intensifying. That’s the question,” Lemon asked.
Rhome replied he did not believe that climate change could be linked to any one event, and said that while climate change on the whole may make storms worse, he cautioned against pointing to singular events as directly related to a change in the Earth’s climate.
“Listen, I grew up there and these storms are intensifying—something is causing them to intensify,” Lemon said.
CNN chief climate correspondent Bill Weir also spoke about climate change while reporting in his rain jacket, as heavy winds and rain pummeled him and the surrounding area of Punta Gorda, Florida.
Weir began with a bit of history, noting that the coastal town was one of the first in Florida to put in a “climate adaptation plan” after the impact of Hurricane Charlie in 2004.
“This will be the test,” Weir added. “It’s hard to build power lines or building codes for a 17-foot storm surge, though. That’s the crazy variable here right now. Nobody has ever seen that. So we don’t know what that looks like. But this is exactly what climate scientists have been warning about for a long time, and now we get to see it up close.”