CNN's Avlon on Trump 'complicity' for Florence: Policies 'tearing down our defenses to climate change'

CNN's Avlon on Trump 'complicity' for Florence: Policies 'tearing down our defenses to climate change'
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CNN's "New Day" on Thursday explored the possibility that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump rallies in Nevada amid Supreme Court flurry: 'We're gonna get Brett' Trump: 'Good news' that Obama is campaigning again Trump boosts Heller, hammers 'Wacky Jacky' opponent in Nevada MORE is "complicit" for Hurricane Florence as the historic storm bears down on the Carolina coast, with co-anchor John Avlon arguing his environmental policies "have been tearing down our defenses to climate change."

"Is President Trump complicit in this storm?" asked co-anchor Alisyn Camerota in introducing the segment while citing a Wednesday Washington Post editorial pointing the finger at the president for being complicit for "extreme weather" due to Environmental Protection Agency policies and downplaying climate change.

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"His policies have been tearing down our defenses to climate change, which is often a blame for extreme weather," Avlon answered during a "Reality Check" segment for the CNN morning program. "On the same day Trump was discussing Florence, his EPA proposed rolling back restrictions on emissions of methane. That's just the latest environmental policy targeted by the Trump Administration."

"It is so bad, according to — two Harvard scientists said it could lead to 80,000 unnecessary deaths every decade," he continued. "Warmer water means more intense storms. When President Trump called Hurricane Florence tremendously wet, he was on to something."

"This isn’t rocket science, it is climate science," Avlon concluded. "As long as we continue to aggressively ignore it, the cost in lives and dollars will escalate. That’s your reality check."

The Post's editorial came to a similar conclusion on Wednesday.

"When it comes to extreme weather, Mr. Trump is complicit. He plays down humans’ role in increasing the risks, and he continues to dismantle efforts to address those risks," it read.

Conservatives mocked the Post on social media.

Hurricane Florence is being described by meteorologists as "catastrophic" with 20 to as much as 40 inches of rain expected to cause massive flooding, affecting millions of people in North and South Carolina.