Buttigieg Blames Climate Change for Rise in Severe Flight Turbulence

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - APRIL 24: U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg speaks during
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Please fasten your seatbelts and remain seated at all times, it looks like we’re in for a bumpy flight. No less an authority than Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg says so, claiming Sunday that climate change is one of the driving forces behind a rise in severe flight turbulence.

Buttigieg set out his prediction by first declaring “The reality is, the effects of climate change are already upon us in terms of our transportation.”

He was speaking on CBS’ Face the Nation, forecasting severe turbulence is something that will continue to“affect American travelers, whether here or abroad.” Buttigieg continued:

We’ve seen that in the form of everything from heat waves that shouldn’t statistically even be possible threatening to melt the cables of transit systems in the Pacific Northwest, to, as you mentioned, hurricane seasons becoming more and more extreme and indications that turbulence is up by about 15 percent.

That means assessing anything and everything that we can do about it.

study cited by CNBC published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters last year found there have been increases in clear-air turbulence (CAT) between 1979 and 2020, with “severe-or-greater” turbulence – the strongest category of CAT – becoming 55 percent more frequent over the North Atlantic over the course of that time period.

“Our climate is evolving,” Buttigieg went on. “Our policies and our technology and our infrastructure have to evolve accordingly, too.”

Buttigieg spoke a Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London to Singapore last Tuesday encountered severe turbulence which injured over 30 passengers and is believed to have led to the death of a British man from a suspected heart attack.

RELATED: Emergency Crews Swarm Bangkok Airport for Flight that Experienced Deadly Turbulence

Phongsakorn Rodpai via Storyful, @terlerrrr /TMX

“To be clear, something that extreme is very rare. But turbulence can happen and sometimes it can happen unexpectedly,” Buttigieg explained.

“This is all about making sure that we stay ahead of the curve, keeping aviation as safe as it is. It’s not for nothing that it became the safest form of travel in America. We’ve got to treat that not as some mission accomplished.”

Since assuming his leading role at the Department of Transportation on February 3, 2021, Buttigieg has placed a strong emphasis on his desire to address climate change.

RELATED: Passengers Injured on Delta Flight 175 Amid Severe Turbulence

Before that he claimed in 2019 climate change caused the Syrian Civil War and mass migration out of Central America, as Breitbart News reported.

“There’s evidence that droughts that might have been partly worsened by climate change contributed to everything from the Syrian Civil War to the migration out of Central America that’s starting to hit our own borders, and this is just the very beginning,” Buttigieg told interviewer Alisyn Camerota.

“We could see climate wars in the future. Let’s not let that happen.”

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: skent@breitbart.com


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