It isn’t just about climate change, although that issue does pose a unique set of challenges to the state of Florida. It’s as much about the delicate balance of ecosystems that are being mismanaged, expert science that’s being maligned, and development guardrails made worthless.
That’s what 22 years of Republican rule in Florida’s statehouse has achieved for its residents – sheer ignorance of the facts that make us and our environment more unhealthy. Every day.
There is no “alternative science” to the reality that climate change will hit Floridians hard. It will increase the number and severity of hurricanes. It will elevate sea levels, and cause flooding along our low-level coastlines that surround the entire state. And it is warming the waters in a way that threatens our coastal environments and our ability to enjoy the precious natural beauty of our beaches.
Knowing that these events will happen requires our government to act to manage what it can in order to protect us. But the Republicans in charge do not see it that way.
Not nearly enough attention is being paid to mitigating not only the coming climate crisis, but additional concerns about the environment are just as serious. Wildlife habitat is disappearing at a record pace as population explodes and tourism growth is off the charts. Invasive species threaten to strangle native plants and endanger their survival. Disruption of our state’s natural water systems to accommodate development along with polluted runoff have already skewed the natural chemistry that is critical to supporting a healthy ecosystem.
Growth and development are natural evolutions of our world, in many ways. But the downside of not managing it properly is real. That’s the real threat to the future of many species…including people.
Solid, responsible government is supposed to take into consideration that certain rules to control the impact on our environment are wise and necessary. But that’s not what we have.
Vote to change this negligent leadership, by electing Democrats up and down the ballot. That is what is desperately needed to change a course that threatens all of us. And our future.
This article was written by Tish Hevel for the Collier County Democratic Party