Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said people are “safer than ever” from the threat of climate change and he criticized the Biden administration’s efforts to address the phenomenon as he unveiled an energy plan Wednesday , which puts oil and gas first.
DeSantis, who is vying for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, made the comments during a speech in Midland, Texas. He pledged to take a range of measures to roll back efforts to combat climate change, including proposals to make electric vehicles more expensive, increase domestic fossil fuel production and withdraw the U.S. from the landmark Paris climate accord.
“We’ve seen a concerted effort to stoke fear when it comes to things like global warming and climate change,” he said Wednesday, claiming Democrats are trying to “limit your ambitions.”
“They are even asking our younger generations to have fewer children or no children at all, on the grounds that children will somehow make our climate and our planet uninhabitable – and that is wrong.”
DeSantis’ comments come just weeks after a Category 3 hurricane slammed into Florida, bringing record-breaking flooding and warnings from scientists that climate change is leading to more dangerous and frequent storms. The United Nations secretary-general warned this week that humanity has “opened the gates of hell” and has not done nearly enough to limit planet-warming emissions, even under current commitments.
Florida’s governor appeared to dismiss scientists’ concerns Wednesday, saying that while the climate has “clearly” changed, his actions to increase energy production are actually a “practical way to reduce global emissions.” Warnings of a future of climate-related disasters are merely “fear tactics.”
“We are dealing with hurricanes in Florida,” the governor said. “We’re dealing with fires in Florida too, but I would say if…Joe Biden says, like in 10 years, he’s more worried about the climate than nuclear war, then I’m sorry, that’s it just like that.” isn’t it.”
On the lectern in front of the governor was a sign reading “$2 in 2025,” pointing to his campaign promise to lower gasoline prices to $2 a gallon if he were elected to the White House. The Biden campaign expressed outrage at DeSantis’ attacks, calling his plans “deeply frivolous and impractical” and “replete with the climate denial that defines the MAGA Republican Party.”
“Voters need look no further than DeSantis State – where his agenda is resulting in skyrocketing energy costs for his constituents and natural disasters causing tens of billions of dollars in damages – to know what DeSantis’ plan would mean for the country,” said Ammar Moussa , a spokesman for Biden’s re-election campaign, told the New York Times.