CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Acosta thought it was time during Monday’s White House press briefing to make a fool of himself, partnering with his fellow journalists in lobbying the Trump administration to both believe that global warming caused Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and rejoin the Paris climate deal to stop them.
Riding high off winning the 2017 Presidential award over the weekend from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Acosta told Homeland Security Advisor Tom Bossert that the Obama administration “saw a connection between climate change and Homeland Security and that the frequency and intensity of powerful storms like Harvey and Irma could pose a problem for future administrations.”
He painted a doomsday scenario in which FEMA won’t have money to respond to natural disasters but then used his rant to complain that the administration left the Paris climate deal:
You could have a FEMA budgets that can’t keep up with the demand when you have powerful storms hitting the country. Is that something that you think this administration should take a look at? We know the President pulled out of the Paris Climate accord. Are these storms giving this administration some pause when it comes to the issue of climate change and Homeland Security?
Yes, Jim, we know you miss Barack Obama, but he’s not President anymore. And, sorry, but NBC’s Ron Allen already suggested that a piece of paper (the Paris deal) could stop hurricanes like 2016’s Hurricane Matthew.
Bossert pointed out that four hurricanes hit Florida over six weeks in Florida in 2004, so he emphasized that “what’s prudent to us right now is to make sure that those response capabilities are there” while “[c]ausality is something outside my ability to analyze right now.”
“I will tell you that we continue to take seriously the climate change, not the cause of it but the things that we observe and so there’s rising floodwaters. I think one inch every ten years in Tampa and things that would require prudent mitigation measures,” he added.