Florida's growing climate urgency

20141118 chelsea 122 Chelsea Henderson | October 15, 2019 |


You've read about the efforts of former and current members of the Florida delegation (think Curbelo, Ros-Lehtinen, Rooney, and Gaetz).

Newly elected Governor Ron DeSantis made news when he appointed the state's first ever Chief Science Officer and Chief Resilience Officer.

Now, for the first time in over a decade, a Florida State Senate Committee held a hearing to discuss the impact climate change is having on the state. "We lost a decade,'' said Sen. Tom Lee, the Republican who chairs the Committee on Infrastructure and Security. He noted the "a paradigm shift" on talking about climate change that occurred with the election of DeSantis, while also acknowledging "there's a younger generation of conservatives in this state that aren't as much in denial."

Julia Nesheiwat, the aforementioned chief resilience officer, told committee members her job is building a statewide strategy over the next couple of years that prepares Florida for the economic, physical and environmental impacts of climate change. "These aren't issues that are just 10, 20 years, it's happening now, we're seeing it now as we speak." She called climate change "a very dire and urgent issue that I think we need to address."

"The world is changing and so is the leadership in state government,'' Lee said. "What we can do in this environment? I don't know. But we have got to push that envelope."


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