Sanders: 'Hurricane Dorian has everything to do with climate change'

Sanders: 'Hurricane Dorian has everything to do with climate change'
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE (I-Vt.) on Tuesday directly linked Hurricane Dorian with climate change, lambasting the fossil fuel industry for its contribution to the climate crisis.

"The fossil fuel industry is now the equivalent of the tobacco industry. It creates death and destruction, then spends billions denying its responsibility," the Vermont lawmaker tweeted.

"Let us be clear: Hurricane Dorian has everything to do with climate change, which is the existential crisis of our time," he added.

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas as a Category 5 storm on Sunday, with five confirmed deaths so far.

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The storm is now likely to hit the Eastern Seaboard, with strong winds and heavy rains expected to batter the region.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE declared a state of emergency for Georgia on Sunday as Hurricane Dorian continued to head toward the U.S. Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina are also in states of emergency ahead of the storm’s attack.

Virginia became the latest state to declare a state of emergency, with Gov. Ralph Northam (D) making the declaration on Monday. The hurricane is expected to hit the southeast portion of the state Thursday.

Scientific research has found that climate change is increasing the intensity of tropical storms, resulting in more rainfall and flooding.

Storms are also increasingly stalling, as Dorian did over the Bahamas, although that phenomenon has not been directly linked to climate change, according to scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association.

Sanders unveiled a sweeping multitrillion-dollar climate plan last month that has received praise from environmental activists.

The Vermont lawmaker has frequently targeted the fossil fuel industry while discussing climate change, promising to sue companies in hopes of extracting huge settlements that could help fund his proposed transition to a clean energy economy.