Tucker Carlson Shames Media, Dems for Using Hurricane Ian as Political Opportunity


If you’ve been anywhere near a television these past few days, you’ve doubtless seen it: As the horrifying footage from Hurricane Ian plays on the screen, a grave-voiced anchor or commentator will talk about how anthropogenic climate change is, in some way, responsible.

Except it’s not true — not by a long shot, Fox News’ Tucker Carlson said on his Thursday show. Instead, the left is using the destruction caused by the Category 4 hurricane to push its agenda and punish people who didn’t vote for its preferred candidates.

When natural disasters such as Hurricane Ian happened, the host said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” “the one thing you don’t do is immediately jump forward to score some sort of cheap and sleazy political point from it. That used to be obvious. But for the past several years it’s been clear it’s no longer obvious, at least to one political party.”

“You saw this happen after the forest fires in California two years ago,” Carlson said. “It happened after tornadoes killed people in Midwest last year, and it’s happening again now. Immediately on cable television on the floor of the legislative bodies across this country, self-described experts are demanding that you accept responsibility for whatever natural disaster has just occurred.

“It’s your fault, including for Hurricane Ian. You did this because you didn’t support giving Joe Biden trillions of dollars to fight climate change. So you caused it.”

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If you somehow managed to miss all of this, well, you’re luckier than most. However, for your edification, Carlson played some of the most noxious blame-game cable news commentary from CNN and MSNBC.

There’s Stephanie Ruhle from MSNBC: “Florida Republicans deny climate change as a monster storm barrels towards the coast.”

And Ali Velshi, same network: “Charleston, like Miami, gets water that comes up on a good sunny day. That’s climate change because water levels are rising.”

The network also said Hurricane Ian, “in a way, is kind of bad news for the people that are still trying to deny climate change as a factor.”

Are Democrats politicizing Hurricane Ian?

This wasn’t just unseemly, Carlson said — although it was certainly that. “People are dying, so wait just a moment before putting forward your demands for more political power,” he said.

However, the Fox News host said, “it’s also factually untrue.”

“So, you just heard one hare-hat say ‘it used to be one or two hurricanes a season it would happen. Now it’s happening all the time.’ And you hear this all the time, and it’s a way of terrifying you into handing politicians more power over your life,” he said. “But the fact is, it’s a lie. It’s not even remotely true. I mean, it’s not a close call.”

Carlson pointed to data from 1900 to 2020 — 120 years worth — showing “no increase in hurricane frequency in the continental United States.”

“We do know that in that same period, deaths of human beings from natural disasters such as hurricanes have dropped a lot, by about 90 percent, and the death toll is forecast to drop even more as people respond to the changing environment. That’s what people do,” he said.

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Not only that, but in sheer numbers, scientific agencies predict fewer hurricanes, not more of them, Carlson said.

“Government scientists at the [National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration] and even the professional alarmists at the [International Panel on Climate Change], predict that hurricanes will become 25 percent less frequent throughout the 21st century,” he said.

“And that makes sense because the current Atlantic hurricane season is the slowest one in a quarter-century. So none of that is to downplay or minimize in any way the savagery of Hurricane Ian or the sadness of what it’s done to your fellow Americans. It’s horrible, but it does raise the question, how exactly are you responsible for it?”

OK, fine — so maybe scientists say the number of hurricanes will go down — but the intensity is going up. Don’t take it from just any old scientist, though. Take it from CNN’s Don Lemon, who has lived on the Gulf Coast and knows about these things.

“The science shows what the science shows,” Lemon said.

“Really, what I was trying to explain, this is just the phenomenon of the intensifying storms over the years, what it is,” he continued. “Not trying to say, it’s one that, you know, one particular storm, we could gauge something, but listen, you get an idea. You’ve been doing this for a while.

“I’ve been covering this for, you know, since I’ve been in the business for 20 years, have lived in the Gulf Coast. You see the intensity of the storms increasing, and that’s the science definitely shows that.”

However, Carlson said anchors like Lemon never provide evidence for this, they “just assert it.”

“So, how does Don Lemon know that? Because of a longitudinal study he’s done?” the Fox News host said. “Well yeah, in a way he ‘lived in the Gulf Coast’ so he knows the storms are getting more intense because he’s been in this business a long time.”

Except, Carlson said, the dire circumstances being predicted really aren’t all that dire.

“According to the latest models from the NOAA, the worst-case scenario is that hurricanes get 5 percent stronger this century,” he said. “We’re 22 years into the century, 78 years to go. So, hurricanes are 25 percent less common and at most 5 percent more intense.

“Do the math. Well, as scientist Roger Pielke put it, ‘Even under the most extreme scenarios of climate change, future disasters will look a lot like today’s.'”

“So, it’s not really about science, is it?” Carlson said. “Because actually there’s no science behind these claims. No, it’s what everything is in this intensely politicized country. It’s another opportunity to punish people who don’t vote the right way, to cow them into submission, to seize the moral high ground, to punish your opponents.”

And the left needs all of that it can get right now — which is probably why you had Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota saying this even before Hurricane Ian made landfall in the United States:

Yes, you heard her correctly: “We just did something about climate change for the first time in decades. That’s why we’ve got to win this as that hurricane bears down on Florida. We’ve got to win in the midterms. We understand that.”

Sure, parts of coastal Florida may be underwater, and that’s a human tragedy. But the Democrats’ poll numbers are underwater, too — and, to a certain brand of hack political opportunist, there’s no tragedy worse than getting wiped out at the ballot box.

Be they a commentator or a congresswoman, they’re more than willing to use a natural disaster for their own benefit. Vote for Democrats, they’ll stop hurricanes. Vote for Republicans, you deserve ’em.

This could almost be satirical if it weren’t so serious.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture