National Hurricane Center Director Shuts Down Don Lemon's Attempt to Use Ian to Push Climate Change Narrative


CNN host Don Lemon was joined by Jamie Rhome, the acting director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Hurricane Center on Tuesday to discuss the storm track and expected effects of Hurricane Ian.

Lemon opened the interaction by framing his questions regarding the storm in a context focusing on “climate change,” after discussing the particulars of the storm itself which it seemed Rhome was interested in answering.

According to Fox News, Lemon told his audience that meteorologists have said Hurricane Ian could enter “another period of rapid intensification,” prior to making landfall.

He asked Rhome, “What effect climate change has on this phenomenon?”

“We can come back and talk about climate change at a later time. I want to focus on the here and now. We think the rapid intensification is probably almost done,” Rhome answered.

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“There could be a little bit more intensification as it’s still over the warm waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, but I don’t think we’re going to get any more rapid intensification.”

He then attempted to continue describing the hurricane’s development, “If you look here, you can actually see pretty interesting for your viewers,” he said.

“You can actually see a second eyewall forming around the inner eyewall, and that’s basically the second eyewall has overtaken the original eyewall, and that should arrest development,” he added before being interrupted by Lemon.

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The CNN host was undeterred and continued, “So, listen, I just — I’m just trying to get that you said you want to talk about climate change, but what — what effect does climate change have on this phenomenon that — that is happening now. Because it seems these storms are intensifying. That’s the question here,” he asked.

Rhome replied, “I don’t think you can link climate change to any one event. On the whole, on the cumulative, climate change may be making storms worse. But to link it to any one event, I would caution against that.”

Lemon then began to argue with the National Weather Service expert who possesses twenty-plus years of experience studying hurricanes, according to the National Weather Service.

“OK. Well, they — listen, I grew up there and these storms are intensifying something is causing them to intensify. So, this storm is just — it’s a massive one. Its effects are also being felt in the southern part of Florida.”

Lorrie Goldstein, editor emeritus of the Toronto Sun tweeted the exchange observing, “This is just hilarious. Don Lemon gratuitously insults actual hurricane expert by claiming his anecdotal evidence — ‘I grew up there’ — makes him an expert, too.”

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The exchange hearkens back to a Sept. 19 interview with Hilary Fordwich, a British-American businesswoman and commentator on the royal family following the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

During the interview, Lemon asked if the British royal family should pay reparations for African slavery and appeared surprised when Fordwich suggested that not only should African nations who originated the slave trade pay reparations, but that said funds should be given to the descendants of Britons who fought to end the Atlantic slave trade.

“I think you’re right about reparations in terms if people want it though, what they need to do is — you always need to go back to the beginning of a supply chain. Where was the beginning of the supply chain? That was in Africa,” she said.

“Across the entire world when slavery was taking place, which was the first nation in the world that abolished slavery? First nation in the world to abolish it … was the British.”

Bethany Mandel, a Contributor for Desert Media and Fox News Columnist suggested in a tweet, “With his job reportedly on the line, it is not great for Don Lemon that every video of him going viral is just getting owned.”

Lemon is currently transitioning off of his primetime show on CNN to a morning co-hosting role with Poppy Harlow and Kaitlan Collins. He recently made headlines for ardently arguing that this change from a solo primetime show to a morning show with two other hosts does not represent a “demotion.”

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