Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed Republicans after flash flooding hit the nation’s capital Monday, suggesting their “inaction” on climate change was to blame.
Washington, D.C. received 2.79 inches of rain in one hour on Monday, according to data obtained by the Washington Post. The amount of rainfall was historic, topping the previous record 2.05 inches that hit the area in 1945.
Some simply saw a case of extreme weather. But Ocasio-Cortez, a freshman Democrat and climate change advocate, saw an environmental calamity of Republican making.
“Unprecedented flooding is quickly becoming a new normal,” she said on Twitter. “Despite that, Republicans are tripling down on fossil fuels w/no plan to transition off them, or make the critical infra investments we need to prep for the climate crisis.”
In a followup tweet, she added: “Climate change intensifies flooding, wildfires, & extreme weather. It’s more than 1 day or 1 storm; it’s all of them. Places are flooding where they haven’t before; there are 90-degree days in Alaska in June. The GOP will mock & sow confusion until it’s their home swept away.”
Climate change intensifies flooding, wildfires, & extreme weather.
It’s more than 1 day or 1 storm; it’s all of them. Places are flooding where they haven’t before; there are 90-degree days in Alaska in June. The GOP will mock & sow confusion until it’s their home swept away.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 8, 2019
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and “casual tornadoes”
While Ocasio-Cortez didn’t elaborate on how Republicans or the fossil fuel industry were connected to Monday’s storm, this isn’t the first time she has tried to connect a D.C. weather event to climate change. After severe thunderstorms and tornadoes swept through the capital in May, she claimed that climate change was now producing “casual tornadoes” around the country.
But Ryan Maute, a research meteorologist who formerly served as an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, said that Ocasio-Cortez is conflating weather with climate.
“No idea what she means with ‘casual tornadoes’ and how this line of severe thunderstorms is proof of any ‘climate crisis,'” Maute said at the time. “It’s just the weather in D.C.”
“The Congresswoman AOC does not know the difference between weather and climate,” Maute said in a followup tweet. “Let’s try an easy analogy: Weather is what outfit you wear heading out the door. Climate is your closet wardrobe.”
Major media outlets have made much of President Donald Trump’s propensity for using specific instances of weather phenomena as evidence against climate change. Maute’s takedown of Ocasio-Cortez shows that the faulty logic breaks in the opposite direction as well.
CNN has not-so-subtly highlighted how the Green New Deal architect’s imprecision on climate science parallels that of the president. In January, the outlet fact-checked a dubious Ocasio-Cortez claim about climate change right alongside his. The authors, Weekly Standard fact-checker Holmes Lybrand and CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller, presented the two leaders as opposing extremes in the debate over the earth’s rising temperature.
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