WASHINGTON – One day after Hurricane Michael became the strongest hurricane to ever hit the Florida Panhandle, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on Republicans to acknowledge the effects of climate change.
“At some point, we have to acknowledge that the intensity of these storms is much greater than in past years and is a symptom of a changing climate,” Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a floor speech on Thursday.
He added: “Climate change is real, it is being driven by human activity, it is happening right now. These are facts; they are not in dispute.”
When Michael made landfall on Panhandle beach cities Wednesday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) rated it just shy of Category 5. Winds up to 155 miles per hour were reported at that time. The hurricane has since been downgraded to Category 1.
Flooding and pounding rain have devastated the panhandle as well as parts of southeastern and southwestern Georgia. The Carolinas have experienced heavy rain.
Two people are reported dead from the storm, a man in Florida and an 11-girl old girl in Georgia. More than 300,000 are reportedly without power.
Republicans say climate change exists but that there is not sufficient evidence to definitively state that human activity causes it.
The general consensus among scientists is that excessive carbon use has exacerbated the effects of climate change.