President Obama will be in Miami today to get a briefing on the upcoming hurricane season and to warn the public about the dangers of climate change. A day earlier, the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said this hurricane season will be below-normal, with only a six to 11 storms predicted and three perhaps making landfall. Obama is using this annual visit to pander his long-standing climate change beliefs that historically simply haven’t come to pass.
In the past ten years, no Category-3 or higher hurricane has made landfall, and those that have gone ashore have hit unusually dense areas with large populations and seaside structures, a formula for disaster when any hurricane strikes. It’s been the longest dry spell of hurricanes since the Civil War, even though computer models predicted hurricanes would increase in number and intensity in a world that includes warmer ocean temperatures.
During his visit to Miami, Obama will talk about how the federal government and local communities are doing to prepare for climate change. According to WTVD, “the news of a below average season came as local and state emergency managers, meteorologists, and researchers gathered Wednesday at East Carolina University’s 6th annual Hurricane Conference.”
Using executive fiat and the regulatory agencies at his disposal, Obama has acted to limit carbon dioxide “emissions from vehicles and power plants that are blamed for global warming.” But according to NOAA, carbon dioxide levels have reached a new global level of 400 parts per million for March, even though global temperatures have not risen for nearly 19 years.
Scientists also believe that in years in which an El Niño occurs, hurricanes are not as strong and are fewer in number, though history has shown otherwise. So far this year, a small El Niño is already occurring in the Pacific ocean, though its strength and length has not yet been determined.
Last week, the president addressed the Norfolk Naval Academy during its commencement and warned them that climate change is the nation’s greatest security threat. These remarks came as Ramadi, Iraq, was being captured by ISIS and the juxtaposition of the two left both Democrats and Republicans exasperated that climate change would take precedence over a terrorist organization.
While in Miami, Obama is likely to bring up examples of recent natural events to highlight his climate change narrative, once more shining a spotlight on Miami and flooding in previous years. As reported here, the so-called flooding in the streets of Miami is nothing new as the land mass the city sits on has actually gotten larger in the past 50 years. Sea level rise around Florida as measured by tidal gauges show it has leveled off to about 1 mm per year.
Flooding in the streets of Miami and elsewhere has nothing to do with higher sea levels and more to do with a higher density of people living near the coast and outdated drainage systems unable to accommodate Miami’s growing population. Miami is on track to have its ancient drainage system overhauled under Governor Rick Scott’s multi-year program to update Florida’s aging infrastructure systems.
The annual hurricane briefing is usually done in Washington, D.C., but the president remained in Miami overnight after a pair of Democratic fundraisers late Wednesday. White House spokesman Eric Schultz said, “We thought that this year it would be appropriate to go down to the Hurricane Center in person, take a look at a lot of the new technologies they’ve been employing.”