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Biden Energy Sec Granholm: ‘We don’t know fully’ if ‘climate change’ caused Florida building collapse – CNN, Granholm suggest ‘climate change’ could have role

By Cortney O’Brien | Fox News

CNN and Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm were ripped by viewers on Tuesday for suggesting that climate change could have played a factor in the tragic building collapse in Surfside, Florida.

At least 11 people were killed and over 150 are missing in the aftermath of the collapse of the Surfside beachfront condo. Recent reports have revealed there were warning signs before the building fell as engineers reported several issues with the structure, but a local building official told board members that the building was in “very good shape.” Despite the new intel, CNN asked Granholm what role a changing climate could have had on the destruction.

“Given what we know about the changing climate, given that you’ve seen an increase in so called extraordinary tides, and the impact that that can have in areas like south Florida, do you think that climate would have played a role in that building’s collapse?” anchor Erica Hill asked. The segment was accompanied by the chyron, “Could Climate Crisis Have Contributed to Building Collapse?”

“Well, obviously we don’t know fully,” Granholm replied.

“We know that we’re losing inches and inches of beach – not just in Florida, but all around,” Granholm said.

The secretary said she needed to wait to see the analysis of the current investigation into the building collapse, but said that we should to “adapt” to and “protect ourselves” from the consequences of a changing climate. One possible solution, she suggested, was to pass President Biden’s infrastructure bills.


Viewers fumed that CNN and their guest appeared to be using the Surfside tragedy for political purposes.

“Absolutely ghoulish” and “beyond parody” other critics responded.


Other media have been accused of playing politics and playing the blame game in the aftermath of the Florida tragedy. The Intercept, for instance, appeared to pin the horror on the shoulders of Gov. Ron DeSantis, R., over the weekend with a suggestive tweet that juxtaposed what he wrote about deregulation in January 2019 with a CNN headline about last week’s disaster.

“These two things obviously have zero to do with each other, but people like Ken can’t help but try to ghoulishly seize on every tragedy to try to score point on political opponents,” conservative writer AG Hamilton said.


Energy Sec. Granholm also implies that Michigan is dealing with rising sea levels due to climate change. 

Granholm excerpt: “Well, obviously, we don’t know fully, but we do know that the seas are rising,” replied Granholm. “We know that we’re losing inches and inches of beach — it’s not just in Florida, but all around.” “Michigan, where I’m from, we’ve seen the loss of beaches because the waters are rising,” she continued. “This is a phenomenon that will continue… We’ll have to wait and see what the analysis is for this building, but the issue about resilience and making sure that we adapt to this changing climate — that’s gonna mean levies need to be built, that means sea walls need to be built, that means infrastructure needs to be built.”

But Lake Michigan is not impacted by rising sea levels. Last December, Chicago Meteorologist Tom Skilling explained that Lake Michigan is 600 feet above sea level and “the levels of the Great Lakes fluctuate a few feet in cycles that are independent of ocean levels.”

Tom Skilling, Chicago’s WGN-TV chief meteorologist explained in 2020: “The Great Lakes are land-locked bodies of water that drain via the St. Lawrence River into the Atlantic Ocean. Lake Ontario, the lowest of the Great Lakes, sits 246 feet above sea level. It (and the other four Great Lakes at elevations of 571 feet for Lake Erie, 577 feet for Lakes Michigan/Huron and 600 feet for Lake Superior) will not be affected by rising oceans, whose rise will be only about one foot by the year 2100. Oceans have been rising at an average rate of 0.14 inches per year in recent years, but the rise is expected to increase slightly in coming years. The levels of the Great Lakes fluctuate a few feet in cycles that are independent of ocean levels.”

Other climate claims about Lake Michigan include worse storms: 

New York Times: The climate crisis haunts Chicago’s future. A Battle Between a Great City and a Great Lake
By DAN EGAN – July 7, 2021

Excerpt: Climate change has started pushing Lake Michigan’s water levels toward uncharted territory as patterns of rain, snowfall and evaporation are transformed by the warming world. The lake’s high-water cycles are threatening to get higher; the lows lower. Already, the swings between the two show signs of happening faster than any time in recorded history.

A series of ferocious storms in recent years has made it clear that the threat this poses to a metro area of 9.5 million people is not abstract. “There are buildings just teetering on the edge of the lake. A few years ago, they had a beach. Now the water is lapping at their foundations,” Josh Ellis, a former vice president of Chicago’s 87-year-old, nonprofit Metropolitan Planning Council, said this year. “This is an existential problem for those neighborhoods and, ultimately, for the city.”