Did President Joe Biden announce in September 2023 that his administration intends to "increase the number and intensity of the extreme weather events"? No, that's not true: A social media video used incomplete footage of a speech to imply that Biden intends to use weather wizardry to bolster fears about climate change. In remarks on September 2, 2023, Biden discussed federal assistance for Florida residents in response to the destruction caused by Hurricane Idalia on August 30, 2023. The complete White House transcript of Biden's speech shows that the president misspoke. His full statement referred to government responses to extreme weather events linked to climate change, which is expected to increase storm severity and frequency.
The claim about Biden's remark originated in a video on Instagram on September 6, 2023, with a video overlay that read, "Biden IN 'HIS OWN' WORDS... To INCREASE the NUMBER and INTENSITY of the extreme weather events." The post's description read:
Presenting Joe Biden, the president who recieved the most votes of any presidential candidate in U.S. history. I'm not going to add anything or any commentary to what he said. He said it himself.
This footage of Joe Biden speaking is from FOX35 Orlando's coverage of his visit to Florida after Hurricane Idalia tore through the sunshine state earlier this week that was posted to Youtube on September 3rd, 2023.
Props to my friend Jon for sending this one to me today.
This is how the post appeared at the time of writing:
The video footage was genuine and unedited but its lack of context implied that Biden, in making these remarks, had revealed a nefarious plan for his administration to manipulate the weather.
Actually, at the 7:16 mark of a video of the speech posted on YouTube by the White House, Biden mentioned gathering his cabinet to figure out how to respond to extreme weather events. The subtitles for the footage, which include two minor bracketed additions to clarify the president's remarks, read:
I also convened my entire Cabinet as part of a whole-of-government response. And that response is to [the] increase in [the] number and intensity of the extreme weather events and be wary -- we're going to use all the resources available to the government to do it.
The clip shared on Instagram left out the rest of his speech, in which Biden spoke about the expected role of climate change in increasing the frequency and strength of weather events.
Both the transcript on YouTube and the official White House transcript of the speech include those comments:
Earlier this week, I visited FEMA Headquarters in Washington to thank the emergency responding personnel who are working 24/7 here in Florida and throughout the Southwe- -- Southeast and in Maui, in Hawaii. I want to reiterate that appreciation today.
I also convened my entire Cabinet as part of a whole-of-government response. And that response is to [the] increase [in] the number and intensity of the extreme weather events and be wary -- we're going to be -- use all the resources available to the government to do it.
Nobody can deny the impact of climate crisis -- at least nobody intelligent can deny the impact of the climate crisis anymore.
Just look around -- around the nation and the world for that matter: historic floods, intense droughts, extreme heat, deadly wirefires -- wildfires that have caused serious damage like we've never seen before.
False claims often target climate change controversies. Lead Stories also has debunked a claim that Antarctica has experienced no temperature increase in over 70 years, that a comparison of two German news channel weather maps -- one from 2017 and one from 2022 -- proved climate change isn't real and that U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris gave a speech to say reducing population is a goal of the climate change movement.