Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said humans are “safer than ever” from the threat of climate change, and he blasted the Biden administration’s effort to address the phenomenon as he unveiled an oil- and gas-first energy plan on Wednesday.
DeSantis, who is vying for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, made the comments during a speech in Midland, Texas. He pledged to enact a slew of policies to roll back efforts to address climate change, including proposals to make electric vehicles more expensive, ramp up domestic production of fossil fuels and remove the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate agreement.
“We’ve seen a concerted effort to ramp up the fear when it comes to things like global warming and climate change,” he said Wednesday, claiming Democrats were trying to “circumscribe your ambitions.”
“They are even telling our younger generations to have fewer children, or not to even have children, on the grounds that somehow children are going to make our climate and planet unlivable — and that’s wrong to say.”
DeSantis’ comments come just weeks after a Category 3 hurricane slammed into Florida, bringing record-high floodwaters and warnings from scientists that climate change is fueling more dangerous and more frequent storms. The secretary-general of the United Nations warned this week that humanity has “opened the gates to hell” and that even under current commitments, has not done nearly enough to limit planet-warming emissions.
In the DeSantis Administration, green will mean go.
I will demand faster approvals than any President in history.
If bureaucrats are slowing down energy projects, then those bureaucrats will lose their jobs. pic.twitter.com/3wvzS1iB54
— Ron DeSantis (@RonDeSantis) September 21, 2023
The Florida governor seemed to reject scientists’ concern on Wednesday, saying that although the climate had “clearly” changed, his policies to increase energy production were in fact a “practical way to reduce global emissions.” Warnings about a future of climate-related disasters, he said, were merely “fear tactics.”
“We deal with hurricanes in Florida,” the governor said. “We deal with fires, too, in Florida, but what I would say is when… Joe Biden says that he’s more worried, like in 10 years, with the climate than a nuclear war, I mean, I’m sorry, that’s just not true.”
The lectern in front of the governor held a sign reading “$2 in 2025,” pointing to his campaign promise to lower gas prices to $2 a gallon should he be elected to the White House. The Biden campaign took umbrage with DeSantis’ attacks, calling his plans “deeply unserious and impractical” and “chock-full of the climate denialism that defines the MAGA Republican Party.”
In an Aug. 30 satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Hurricane Idalia is shown over Florida and crossing into Georgia while Hurricane Franklin, to the right, moves along off the East Coast.
“Voters need look no further than DeSantis’s own state — where his agenda is leading to skyrocketing energy costs for his constituents and natural disasters are causing tens of billions of dollars in damages — to know what DeSantis’s plan would mean for the country,” Ammar Moussa, a spokesperson for Biden’s reelection campaign, told The New York Times.
Evan Massoud is a political analyst with a knack for dissecting policy and governance. He provides readers with informed perspectives on political developments at home and abroad. Evan’s dedication to civic engagement extends to volunteering in local politics.