President Joe Biden declared climate change “everybody's crisis” on Tuesday after touring neighborhoods severely damaged by the remnants of Hurricane Ida and said it's time for America to get serious about the danger or face ever worse loss of life and property.
Biden spoke after walking streets in New Jersey and then Queens in New York City, meeting people whose homes were devastated by flooding when the leftovers of Ida barreled through. The storm dumped record amounts of rain onto already saturated ground and was blamed for more than a dozen deaths in the city.
The president said scientists, economists and others have warned about climate change for many years and that the situation had now reached “code red” proportions.
“The threat is here. It is not getting any better,” Biden said in New York. “The question is can it get worse. We can stop it from getting worse.”
Biden struck a similar theme before he toured Manville, New Jersey, also ravaged by severe flooding caused by Ida.
“Every part of the country, every part of the country is getting hit by extreme weather,” Biden said in a briefing at the Somerset County emergency management training center attended by federal, state and local officials, including New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy.
Biden said the threat from wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding and other extreme weather must be dealt with in ways that will lessen the devastating effects of climate change.
“We can’t turn it back very much, but we can prevent it from getting worse," he said. Biden added that scientists have been warning for decades that this day would come and that urgent action was needed.
“We don't have any more time," he said.