NY Times Says DeSantis's Lack of Green Radicalism Is 'Flooding Coastal Cities'

September 11th, 2023 10:16 AM

The New York Times ran its latest anti-DeSantis political hit job Saturday, “As His State Reels, DeSantis Shrugs Off Climate Threat,” by Nicholas Nehamas and Patricia Mazzei. Both have strong anti-DeSantis credentials borne out by their previous reporting. One could ask "News story or Democrat advertisement?" 

The Times tried to discredit DeSantis from another angle, this time his handling of environmental issues, accusing him of shedding a green mantle that he never really put on in the first place:

During his 2018 run for governor, Ron DeSantis not only pledged to protect Florida’s Everglades and waterways, he also acknowledged that humans played a role in exacerbating the climate change that threatened them.

“I think that humans contribute to what goes on around us,” Mr. DeSantis told the editorial board of The Florida Times-Union, a Jacksonville newspaper, according to a recording obtained by The New York Times.

The reporters signed on to standard liberal doomsaying on the heating planet, blaming it for more dangerous hurricanes and opportunistically tying that to his state’s recent weather woes.

Now running for president five years later, the Florida governor no longer repeats his previous view that humans affect the climate, even as scientists say that the hurricanes battering his state are being intensified by man-made global warming. Those storms include Hurricane Idalia, which killed three people this month, and last year’s catastrophic Hurricane Ian, which killed 150 Floridians.

On the debate stage last month, Mr. DeSantis declined to raise his hand when a moderator asked the Republican candidates if they thought human behavior was causing climate change. His campaign and the governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment about his views.

Instead, Mr. DeSantis has seemingly reverted to an old Republican Party line that climate change is happening naturally, without being accelerated by human behavior like the burning of fossil fuels. Decades of scientific research contradict that position. And it is also out of step with what polling shows many Americans believe.

The reporters even argue that a lack of impractical electric vehicles could cause flooding in Florida’s coastal cities.

On the 2024 campaign trail, Mr. DeSantis has promised to ramp up domestic oil and gas production and fight against mandates on the introduction of electric vehicles -- the kinds of steps that could worsen the sea-level rise that is flooding coastal cities in Florida and around the world. Mr. DeSantis says he is simply being realistic about the country’s economic and national security needs.

DeSantis just isn’t radical enough for the Times.

As the governor of a traditionally purple state on the front lines of climate change, Mr. DeSantis has been confronted with clear evidence that the environment is changing. But he has largely tried to treat global warming’s symptoms -- funding local projects to address flooding and storm surge, for instance -- rather than take steps to address what climate scientists say are the human-made underlying causes, such as by cutting back on the use of fossil fuels.

This newspaper always paints its own ideological opinion as Science -- "decades of scientific research" and "what climate scientists say" vs. the Republicans.