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Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has been making the legacy media rounds slamming the “climate change” narrative, deeming the latest pundit talking point a “hoax” after hitting the issue during last week’s GOP debate.
Ramaswamay argued during an interview with MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell that technology powered by fossil fuels significantly reduced climate-related deaths after Mitchell attempted to corner him for claiming during the debate that “more people are dying of bad climate change policies than they are of actual climate change.”
Mitchell cited a recent U.N. agency report that said extreme weather events compounded by climate change caused the death of two million people in the last 50 years. The GOP presidential hopeful countered the claim, citing “evidence that the number of climate disaster-related deaths is down by 98% over the last century.”
“The number of people who died of hurricanes, tornadoes, heatwaves, and other weather-related events in 1920 — for every 100 that died then, two die today,” he said, appearing to reference recent data on climate disaster-related deaths published by the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.
“And the reason why is more plentiful, abundant access to fossil fuels and technology powered by fossil fuels,” Ramaswamy said. “Eight times as many people die of cold temperatures than die of warm ones. The right answer to all temperature-related deaths is more plentiful abundant access to fossil fuels.”
Mitchell then pointed to Hurricane Idalia as an example, citing former St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster, who reportedly said he’s never seen anything like the natural disaster. Before Mitchell could move forward in her interview with Ramaswamy, the 38-year-old Republican interjected.
“If someone on the other side or an uneducated person from Arkansas who didn’t go to college and offered one weather event as an end of one anecdote to help support a theory of global climate change, you’d laugh them off the stage as a rube for saying they don’t follow data,” he said. “The same shoe has to fit the other foot. Follow the actual data.”
Mitchell said, “I’m not talking about one person’s opinion — we talk to professors, academics, industry people…”
“You literally just quoted one person’s opinion,” Ramaswamy interjected again. “With due respect, that’s exactly what you just quoted. And I think that that’s what’s driving this kind of false narrative as opposed to the facts that I’m citing.”
After he made similar arguments in the first GOP primary debate, left-leaning fact-checkers took aim at Ramaswamy’s claims. PolitiFact, which gave a “Pants on Fire” rating to his primary argument, did acknowledge, however, that deaths from climate disasters are down. “Although historical data does show deaths from weather disasters have declined since the 1900s, experts said that’s largely attributable to better disaster warning systems.” PolitiFact went on to assert that “such data does not undermine evidence that extreme weather worsened by a warming planet has taken millions of lives.”
During an interview with TMZ, Ramaswamy similarly challenged hosts Harvey Levin and Charles Latibeaudiere’s climate change arguments by pointing out variables relating to deaths and survival rates in the climate narrative.
“We’re in Los Angeles, and we just had this crazy tropical storm, and I’m an old dog, and I’ve never seen anything like that in my lifetime,” Levin said. “Maui burned up, at least Lahaina did, and the country is experiencing temperatures that we’ve never seen before, as is the world. And I heard what you said during the debate where you brushed aside climate change. What do you think is causing all this?”
After reiterating similar talking points he’d given on MSNBC less than 48 hours earlier, Ramaswamy said, “The right answer to all temperature-related deaths is more abundant fossil fuels. The earth is covered by more green surface area today than it was half a century or a century ago because carbon dioxide is plant food. These are the hard facts, not theories, that you don’t hear from the climate agenda.”
The Earth’s surface area is covered with more plant life today than 50 years ago – because, yes, carbon is plant food and surface temperatures are a little higher. I’m pro-environment. Clean air. Clean water. Preserving national parks. Ironically these things are put on the back… pic.twitter.com/bmGDQg7Guo
— Vivek Ramaswamy (@VivekGRamaswamy) August 31, 2023
This article has been expanded to include more context and links to relevant data.