Biden points to dangers of climate change on tour of Ida damage in NJ, NY
President Biden visited New Jersey and New York on Tuesday to survey damage from Hurricane Ida and underscore the dangers of climate change.
Biden used the trip to renew focus on his economic agenda to rebuild infrastructure and address climate change. The trip was his second in less than a week to an area ravaged by the storm, following his visit to New Orleans on Friday.
“Climate change is here. We’re living through it now,” Biden said during a meeting with New Jersey leaders to discuss the damage the state sustained from last week’s storms. “I think we’re at one of those inflection points where we either act or we’re going to be in real, real trouble, our kids are going to be in real trouble.”
Biden toured flood damage in Manville, N.J., and he was expected to do the same in a neighborhood in Queens, N.Y., later Tuesday. Dozens of people were killed in the two states after the remnants of Hurricane Ida flooded roadways and homes and crippled New York City’s subway system last week.
The president and administration officials have used the flurry of extreme weather — Hurricane Ida battered the Gulf Coast and the northeast as wildfires have raged across parts of the western United States — to highlight the consequences of climate change and argue for major investments in the White House’s infrastructure proposals.
“Every part of the country is getting hit by extreme weather,” Biden said Tuesday. “We can’t turn it back very much but we can prevent it from getting worse.”
White House officials said in a call with reporters on Tuesday they were urging Congress to pass at least $10 billion in supplemental funding to be put toward recovery efforts related to the damage from Hurricane Ida.
“The weather events such as these are just becoming more normal,” Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell said at the event with New Jersey leaders. “They’re becoming more common, but they’re more severe and they’re more intense. And the effects of climate change that are causing these storms are here. And it’s our job to make sure we are all ready to respond, as well as prepared.”