MIAMI President Barack Obama once again used Miami as an example of a place already feeling the effects of climate change, giving reporters Tuesday a somewhat exaggerated example about the city's high tides showing the costs of letting seas continue to rise.
"I think that as the science around climate change is more accepted, as people start realizing that even today you can put a price on the damage that climate change is doing – you know, you go down to Miami and when it's flooding at high tide on a sunny day and fish are swimming through the middle of the streets – you know, that there's a cost to that," Obama said at the Paris climate talks.
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While Miami Beach has certainly suffered from sunny-day floods during high tides, recent reports about fish swimming in the street have come from further north in Broward County and are far from widespread. No one's pulling out their fishing rods on the road.
WSVN-FOX 7 reported in September that a mullet was spotted swimming in Fort Lauderdale. A member of the Miami Herald and WLRN radio's Public Insight Network reported in October that she saw fish in the streets of Hollywood during a king tide.
Former Vice President Al Gore told the public radio show The Takeaway last week: "I was in Miami last month and fish from the ocean were swimming on some of the streets on a sunny day because it was a high tide. In Miami Beach, Fort Lauderdale, many other places – that happens regularly." "Regularly" sounds like a bit of a stretch.
Obama referenced Miami last year when he spoke about climate change to the United Nations. "Along our eastern coast, the city of Miami now floods in high tide," he said then.
– with Jenny Staletovich