Hillary Clinton has tonight stood on a stage with Al Gore to remind Floridians – and anyone else tuned in online – that climate change is a clear and present threat to the US and the world.
Outlining what a Clinton administration would do to tackle the phenomenon, she sought to underline just how different her views were from her opponent, a man who almost makes it his hobby to ignore scientific data of any kind.
“The Paris agreement is our last, best chance to solve the climate crisis,” Clinton told the audience in Miami. “Trump wants to cancel it.”
Reminding the audience that Trump claims climate change is a Chinese hoax, she said: “We can’t risk putting a climate denier in the White House.”
“Our next president [must] step up to the challenge, to protect our planet, to grow our clean energy economy.”
She reaffirmed her focus on building new solar and wind power plants, and retrofitting the electrical infrastructure to make sure clean energy sources can efficiently connect to the grid. Clinton also said that she hopes to cut oil consumption by a third.
“If you need additional convincing, just remember what happened this week,” she added, making a pointed reference to Hurricane Matthew.
This powerful hurricane robbed several Americans of their lives shortly after it killed around 1,000 people in Haiti. Clinton claimed it was likely to have been more destructive thanks to climate change, and although there is no direct data to support that just yet, she’s almost certainly right.
Sea surface temperatures are indeed at all-time highs, and studies show that this is making powerful hurricanes and typhoons increasingly more destructive. Although most fear the terrifying wind speeds, it’s actually the storm surges that hurricanes bring that kill the most people through drowning or building collapse.
While cutting down on America’s fossil fuel consumption, she also said she wants to build better flood defenses against these increasingly potent hurricanes.
“Let’s focus on what’s really important in this election. This is what I want you to hear and understand,” Clinton declared. “One in eight homes in Florida could be underwater by the end of the century.”
Hurricane Matthew unleashed most of its fury on Haiti. NASA