Florida is ground zero for climate change
The November election gave depth and meaning to the adage that elections have consequences. While we in Florida are certainly going to bear the consequences of our elections for governor, senator and the legislature, unfortunately so will the rest of the nation — and the entire planet.
Many organizations and scientists worldwide have come to the conclusion that the number one threat we face as a planet is climate change. Many places on the planet are vulnerable to the devastation climate change will bring.
In our nation, Florida is ground zero and the most vulnerable to the problems climate change will bring.
We have already experienced the effects of climate change with record high temperatures all over the planet. Hurricane Michael should have been a clarion call for everyone to take action. The hurricane grew from a tropical storm to nearly a Category 5 hurricane in a short period of time. The reason being that the surface water temperature was some 4 degrees warmer than had ever been recorded on that particular date in the Gulf of Mexico.
In Florida, the voters elected a governor and senator that believe climate change is a hoax. This is a sad reflection on the voters of a state that has already seen the effects of rising ocean levels in the Miami area.
In the Panhandle, Hurricane Michael had brought destruction like never seen before in the area, just weeks before the election, but the Panhandle voted overwhelmingly for the two climate change deniers.
How many more times are they going to have to be hit with a hurricane to see the light? In fairness to the rest of the voters, it was a razor-thin margin by which each of the two races were decided.
It is sad to see Florida, the state suffering the most from the consequences of climate change, controlled completely by a party that does not take climate change seriously.
The Florida delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives is dominated by Republicans, as is the state legislature in a state where they are the minority party. But, because of gerrymandering, they have huge majorities.
The senate race was disappointing to so many, because Rick Scott had defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of billions of dollars and used that money to buy the governors office and used $64 million more of it to gain the Senate seat. As governor he presided over an administration that did more damage to the environment than any previous administration.
He gutted the EPA and the five water districts of all environmentalists and replaced them with developer-friendly non-scientist people. The Red Tide engulfing the state will be his legacy.
The voters also gave Republicans a huge majority in the state legislature, a party oblivious to the perils that climate change will bring to our state.
The legislature and governor need to take the first step in dealing with climate change: to accept and acknowledge the fact it is here. Refusing to believe we have a problem, is not a viable option, for there are too many issues they must address.
We must address coastal development along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, do we place more people and property in harms way along the coasts? Do we continue to rebuild homes in the path of storms at taxpayer expense, for the next storm to take out?
Do we continue beach nourishment at taxpayer expense for the next storm to wash away? Should inland residents subsidize the insurance for people that build in harm’s way?
Should the cost of insurance more accurately reflect the risks of building along the coasts?
Having a climate denying president, still pushing for burning more coal, is a sad reflection on our constitution when the voters overwhelmingly voted against the president.

Marvin Jacobson