Amanpour Cues Guest to Fret Over Trump Undoing Climate Regulations

News & Politics

On Monday’s Amanpour & Co. — simulcast on both PBS and CNN International — host Christiane Amanpour promoted the liberal alarmist view that a President Donald Trump would be a danger to the environment as she interviewed ProPublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten.

Pivoting from a segment that discussed the possible impact on foreign policy of President Trump being elected again, Amanpour fretted:

Now, the other concern about Donald Trump is his effect on the climate after rolling back many environmental provisions in his first term, not to mention pulling out of the Paris climate accord. April 22nd, today, is World Earth Day, and my next guest says the verdict is in: Americans are already being displaced by the climate crisis, and it will only get worse. Abrahm Lustgarten is a climate reporter, and he works for ProPublica. His new book, On the Move, explores how climate is about to profoundly reshape American life.

After Lustgarten promoted the prediction that wildfires caused by rising temperatures will affect migration within the U.S., Amanpour followed up by repeating the liberal trope blaming global warming for Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans in 2005:

…in your book, you write, “People have always moved as their environment has changed, but today, the climate is warming faster, and the population is larger than at any point in history.” And in one — one chapter, you talk about Hurricane Katrina, and what it did to Louisiana. You detail the life of one woman who became a climate migrant — just one story — but explain how climate, you know, affects just this one individual.

Her guest recalled the case of a woman who left New Orleans after the 2005 flooding and gave up on the possibility of ever living there again in spite of initially intending to move back.

But the strength of Hurricane Katrina when it hit New Orleans as a category 3 storm was not unprecedented, and the catastrophe happened because of a failure to maintain the levees so they would hold the flood waters back. And on the subject of recent hurricanes being stronger and more frequent than in the past, it has been pointed out by right-leaning meteorologist Joe Bastardi that hurricane activity goes through cycles that last for decades, and that there have been previous periods of strong storm activity or more frequent storms.

According to NOAA’s list of hurricanes that have made landfall in the U.S. since 1850, in the 25 calendar years from 1998 through 2022, there were 15 hurricanes of at least category 3 strength that made landfall in the United States, compared to 18 between 1945 and 1969. Additionally, between 1998 and 2022, there were seven hurricanes that were at least a category 4 while, between 1945 and 1969, there were 11.

The segment concluded with more handwringing about how Trump might effect the climate if he gets back into office:

AMANPOUR: Are you concerned about, you know, since the evidence of Trump in his first term was to, you know, roll back so many protections, are any locked in and sort of Trump-proof now?

LUSTGARTEN: No, nothing’s locked in. And there’s enormous risk of reversing some of the positive progress, not both American emissions cuts, which have been legislated, but the example that we set globally. So I think it’s a very precarious position, and if you take back some of those measures, you know, it will have dramatic consequences globally.

AMANPOUR: Abrahm Lustgarten, thank you so much indeed.

Transcript follows:

PBS’s Amanpour & Co./CNN International’s Amanpour

April 22, 2024

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Now, the other concern about Donald Trump is his effect on the climate after rolling back many environmental provisions in his first term, not to mention pulling out of the Paris climate accord. April 22nd, today, is World Earth Day, and my next guest says the verdict is in: Americans are already being displaced by the climate crisis, and it will only get worse. Abrahm Lustgarten is a climate reporter, and he works for ProPublica. His new book, On the Move, explores how climate is about to profoundly reshape American life. He’s joining me now from Berkeley, California.

(…)

ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN, PROPUBLICA: – and we had a terrible fire season — this was 2018-2019, string of fires near where live in the San Francisco Bay area, and it really made clear how much Americans are also being effected by rising heat, by smoke, by the danger of fires, by sea level rise on our coasts, and caused me to start looking, not only at my own situation, but to consider, from a reporter’s perspective, what this means for Americans as the climate gets hotter.

AMANPOUR: So, we’re going to discuss the effect in a moment, but in your book, you write, “People have always moved as their environment has changed, but today, the climate is warming faster, and the population is larger than at any point in history.” And in one — one chapter, you talk about Hurricane Katrina, and what it did to Louisiana. You detail the life of one woman who became a climate migrant — just one story — but explain how climate, you know, affects just this one individual.

LUSTGARTEN: Yeah, so, Collette is the subject of this story, and she is from a town called Slidell, Louisiana, just a little bit north of New Orleans, and when Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005 in her area, her town was really devastated. She was living in Washington, D.C., and she moved back to Louisiana, and she moved back with this hope of — from a legal perspective and from an organizational perspective, and as a member of her community, seeing if she could help rebuild and help keep that community in place and kind of prevent this migration — this diaspora.

And her story is a 15-year battle to do that, and sort of slowly coming to realize that, in some sense, it is a losing proposition or a difficult proposition in southern Louisiana, and that’s because Hurricane Katrina, so many years ago, was really the start of a shift of population out of that region, and we see, you know, along the Louisiana coast, which is sinking and being subsumed by sea level rise already, a gradual decline in population, and so, Collette’s story is kind of an example of the nuance of American climate migration, where it’s not black and white, it is not a disaster happens and people move, but it is sort of a long and emotional battle…

(…)

AMANPOUR: You also have a chapter called “The Great American Climate Scam.” What is that?

LUSTGARTEN: Well, one huge question that comes up when you look demographically at where people live in the United States is why — as climate impacts have grown, as hurricanes have become more common and more powerful, and as heat has overwhelmed the South — why those are still some of the fastest growing parts of the country, and there’s a lot of reasons for that, but one of the sets of reasons is a host of perverse incentives that the United States has always had to attract people and effectively blind them from the risk that they face in moving to places like coastal Florida, and one of those subsidies is the provision of homeowners insurance, or property insurance, and Florida’s a great example of this.

After Hurricane Andrew in 1992, insurers were leaving the state, and it might have suggested that property was uninsurable, but the state stepped in and said, “We don’t want all these people to leave the state because of this economic risk, so we are going to provide our own insurance,” and so they created a state-subsidized plan that basically said, “Anybody can get insurance, and we’ll promise it’s going to be cheaper than any other insurance on the market.” And that’s the type of thing that has attracted many more people to Florida and has been replicated across 30-odd states in the country, and that’s the kind of just one example of policies that tend to sort of blunt the risk and the personal economic household decision-making that people have to make about where they live in this country.

(…)

AMANPOUR: Are you concerned about, you know, since the evidence of Trump in his first term was to, you know, roll back so many protections, are any locked in and sort of Trump-proof now?

LUSTGARTEN: No, nothing’s locked in. And there’s enormous risk of reversing some of the positive progress, not both American emissions cuts, which have been legislated, but the example that we set globally. So I think it’s a very precarious position, and if you take back some of those measures, you know, it will have dramatic consequences globally.

AMANPOUR: Abrahm Lustgarten, thank you so much indeed.

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