Florida mayors are pleading with TV moderators to press presidential candidates on climate issues during primary debates in the Sunshine State this week. In an open letter, 21 bipartisan mayors demanded that debate moderators raise climate issues, noting that it would be “unconscionable for these issues of grave concern for the people of Florida to not be addressed.” Florida is especially vulnerable to climate change, notably sea level rise and extreme weather impacts. As the first wave of debates kick off in Florida tonight, all eyes will be on the TV hosts to give climate change some air time — and it will be up to party candidates to respond to the people they intend on representing.
Florida governors say it would be “unconscionable” for moderators to not ask about climate change at the next debate https://t.co/DrX2kFWpfw
— Jamie Henn (@Agent350) March 7, 2016
- Climate change hurts Floridians. Florida is especially vulnerable to climate change, facing the highest risk of flooding throughout the country due to rising sea levels and extreme weather impacts, all of which threaten people’s health. With oceans expected to rise between 6.6 and 30 feet by 2100, Florida could be forced to displace thousands of people, creating a climate change refugees crisis.
- The cost of climate change is adding up. With the worst climate impacts to hit Florida, the costs of mitigating and adapting to worsening climate impacts are already adding up in the billions, “[posing] a serious threat to the economic stability and future habitability of South Florida”. If the next US president intends on truly representing Florida, he or she will need to be prepared to address issues like reductions to greenhouse gas emissions and investments in coastal infrastructure.
- With cities stepping up during the climate crisis, federal leaders will need to pull their weight. Across party lines, Florida mayors have realized that their state is at the forefront of the climate crisis. With their latest call for debate moderators to step in and make climate a pressing issue, it’s now up to primary candidates to step in regardless and let the people of Florida know that they are taking their needs seriously.
- Florida mayors join forces to call for climate questions at primary debates (Guardian)
- Florida Mayors Demand Climate-Change Questions at Miami Primary Debates (New York Magazine)
- The Fight To Hear Debate Questions On Climate Change In A State Struggling With Sea Level Rise (Climate Progress)
Tools & Resources
- Letter: Joint letter from Florida mayors (Office of the Mayor)
- Fact sheet: Climate Change Health Threats in Florida (NRDC)
- Article: Florida Is Sinking. Where Is Marco Rubio? (Mother Jones)
- Article: Report: Florida at highest risk for flooding from climate change (Sun Sentinel)
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- East Coast cities will be inundated by tidal flooding before midcentury
- RT @mmfa 21 mayors throughout Florida are urging networks to address climate change in Miami debates http://mm4a.org/1Ryxjlu
- RT @thinkprogress The fight to hear debate questions on climate change in a state struggling with sea level rise http://thkpr.gs/3756957