Sep 7, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden on extreme weather: "This is code red"

President Biden surveys damages from Hurricane Ida
President Biden surveys damage from Hurricane Ida in Manville, New Jersey. Photo: Madnel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said climate change and increasing extreme weather are a "code red," while surveying Hurricane Ida's devastation in New York and New Jersey on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Ida left more than 60 dead and caused "double-digit billion economic damage toll" in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast according to a report from insurance broker Aon, showing the increasing impact of human-caused climate change.

The big picture: One-third of Americans have experienced a weather disaster since June, according to a Washington Post analysis of federal disaster declarations.

Our thought bubble: Scientists have found clear links between extreme precipitation events like the one that flooded large parts of New Jersey and New York City and human-caused climate change. Biden is making the case for funding to build new infrastructure that can better handle the new climate reality, since most bridges, tunnels and power lines in place today were designed for a climate that no longer exists, per Axios' Andrew Freedman.

What he's saying: "We got to listen to the scientists and the economists, and the national security experts, they all tell us this is code red," Biden said.

  • "The nation and the world are in peril. That's not hyperbole. That is a fact."
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