Hannity, Fox Business Denies Link Between Hurricanes and Climate Change, Says AOC Making Link for 'Political Reasons'

Fox News host Sean Hannity and Fox Business Network on Wednesday denied the link between climate change and hurricanes like Dorian, and accused Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of tying the two together for political reasons.

A Hurricane Dorian discussion on Fox Business' Varney & Co. this morning pivoted to denying the link between climate change and hurricanes and complaining about Ocasio-Cortez. After weather anchor Janice Dean provided an update for Hurricane Dorian, Varney suddenly focussed the segment on the freshman Democrat's remarks about climate change amid the storm.

"Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez sounded off on what she thinks caused this storm. What did she say?" Varney asked.

"She tweeted out with some images of a helicopter going over the Bahamas saying, 'I can hear climate deniers screeching it's always been like this and you are dim' — meaning calling her unintelligent — 'This is what climate change looks like. It hits vulnerable communities first. We need to decarbonize, cut emissions or we will let people die,'" anchor Deirdre Bolton said, before disputing Ocasio-Cortez's claim.

"What is unclear, obviously, is if there is actually a link to any of the changes that the atmosphere is going under, and these kinds of hurricanes which have existed for a very long time in this season," she added.

"She will make the link for political reasons," Varney concluded.

Fox Business Network AOC Hurricanes
Sean Hannity and Fox Business denied the link between hurricanes like Dorian and climate change on Wednesday, before then rebuking congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of tying the two together for political reasons. Fox Business Network/Screenshot

Later that afternoon, Fox News host Sean Hannity echoed the Fox Business Network host's remarks, also denying the link between climate change and hurricanes and rebuking Ocasio-Cortez for tying the two together. During Premiere Radio Networks' The Sean Hannity Show, the host said hurricanes have "gone on forever," implying that they cannot be linked to climate change.

"We have footage ⁠— AOC, who's the first person I was asking yesterday, that will tie Dorian to climate change. AOC wins, claiming climate change hits vulnerable communities first," Hannity said. "'This is what climate change looks like,' she said, using the damage from Hurricane Dorian to renew her calls for her new green deal and her action on climate change."

He added: "By the way, as Joe Bastardi often points out, this has gone on forever. This is ⁠— he could take you back to the 1800s and tell you what storm, where, and the impact and the damage and destruction. So, this is your Democratic party."

In exploring the link between climate change and hurricanes, the New York Times on Tuesday reported that scientists have argued that questions asking whether climate change causes hurricanes are unhelpful. As climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe tweeted, we should instead be asking "how much worse did climate change make it?"

Hurricane Dorian made its way very slowly from the Bahamas towards the east coast of the U.S. this week. Some Americans even took to social media to mock it's leisurely pace. However, many recent storms have similarly been stalling at a location for an extended period of time, such as Harvey, which caused unprecedented floods in Houston when it lingered over the city for days in 2017.

According to the Times, recent research has pointed to climate change as a contributing cause of these stalled Atlantic hurricanes. Studies also found that storms are more dangerous when they linger in one location.

"This is yet another example of the kind of slow-moving tropical systems that we expect to see more often as a response to climate change," Jennifer Francis, a scientist with the Woods Hole Research Center, told the publication. "Upper-level steering winds are slowing over the continents during summer, so stalling weather systems are more likely."