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By signing bill removing climate change from Florida law, DeSantis shows he is living in denial • Florida Phoenix

Governor Ron DeSantis is an addict. Not to drugs, but to fossil fuels. He is showing all the signs, but no one has had the courage to call him what he is.

Doubt me? Look what he did last week.

DeSantis signed a bill removing most mentions of climate change from state law. He did so even as most of South Florida faced record temperatures.

Dangerous levels of heat are becoming routine in Florida as state leaders look the other way and do little to combat global warming. (Getty Images)

“The heat index increased to 109 degrees Fahrenheit in Fort Lauderdale, 107 degrees in Hollywood and Kendall, 105 degrees in Key West and Opa-locka, and 104 degrees in Miami,” WSVN-TV reported.

If this is what May feels like, can you imagine how sweltering our summer months will be? We’ll go outside and immediately turn into big puddles (which will probably breed a lot of mosquitoes).

This heat wave is not a coincidence either. The most recent report from the Florida Climate Center notes: “Florida has had a record warm start to the year so far. “Florida’s state average temperature so far this year (January-May) is the warmest ever recorded.”

Their report last year said much the same thing: “Many stations in Florida recorded a record hot year in 2023 based on annual average temperatures. These stations include Pensacola, Daytona Beach, Tampa, Orlando, Venice, Punta Gorda, Fort Myers, Naples, Miami and Key West.”

This isn’t a bunch of wild-eyed tree-huggers waving a warning flag. The Florida Climate Center is an arm of the state government, which the governor apparently never consults.

DeSantis signed this extravagant bill “even though the state of Florida over the past few years has experienced record heat, record flooding, record rainfall, and record insurance rates, and corals are dying across the state,” El said. WTVJ-TV meteorologist Steve McLaughlin.

Why would he do something that made him the target of ridicule across the country? He couldn’t help it. He is trapped in an addiction where the higher the octane, the higher he feels.

Clearly, our poor governor is in a state of denial, refusing to accept that there is a problem. Unless we convince him somehow, the situation will only get worse.

Delusional infestation

You can tell DeSantis isn’t thinking clearly if you read the bill he signed. It contains so much nonsense that the sponsors could have been sued for copyright infringement by Dr. Seuss’ estate.

I mean, it prohibits the construction of windmills off the coast of Florida. Windmills! No windmills are being planned now or in the future for the Florida coast. Our breezes are like our politicians: too gentle to be reliable.

You could also ban star-bellied sneezes or carry wockets in your pockets. It has exactly the same impact on people’s lives.

When he signed the bill, DeSantis boasted in a post on X (formerly Twitter): “We are restoring sanity to our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of radical green bigots.” I bet his office sound system was blaring Bruce Springsteen’s “Pink Cadillac” or Prince’s “Little Red Corvette” while he added John Hancock to his bewildered one.

Sanity? What sanity? Friends, the “radical green bigots” who put that language into the law in the late 2000s were your fellow Republicans. They were not wearing dyed shirts or sandals. They wore blue jackets, representative ties, and tasseled loafers.

They could see that rising sea levels and temperatures were becoming a serious threat. That’s why they wrote laws that said the state would establish policies to address it. They set goals to reduce fossil fuel use in Florida and encourage clean alternatives like solar energy.

Polls showed he was popular with voters of both parties and neither party.

How could DeSantis misidentify his fellow Republicans like that? Simple. According to the National Library of Medicine, some addictions “could induce a delusional infestation.”

I think you’d be fooled into deciding that only “radical green zealots” would care enough about climate change to try to stop or slow it.

The consequences have only gotten worse for Florida in the nearly 20 years since the Legislature first took up the issue.

Earthjustice’s Bradley Marshall via Earthjustice

“In the real world, citizens face devastating impacts as our climate warms and becomes more volatile,” said Bradley Marshall, who works on climate for the Florida office of Earthjustice, a nonprofit environmental law firm. profit. “The heat is killing our reefs, our creatures and even our citizens. “State leaders should do everything they can to protect and prepare us.”

Protect? No, I can’t do that either. DeSantis also signed the bill into law that prevents local governments from imposing requirements on businesses to protect outdoor workers from extreme heat.

DeSantis is so caught up in his oil-fueled delusions that he has turned down millions of dollars in federal money to come up with a climate action plan. He prefers to stick to a climate action plan, despite how he is harming Floridians.

Heat, sea level rise and water stress

Last month, a website called Insurify conducted a survey on “The 10 Worst Cities to Live in as Climate Change Progresses.” Five of the top 10 were Florida cities. None were a surprise.

The top four were Cape Coral, Palm Bay, Miami and North Port. Then at number 8 was Tampa.

“Florida’s coastal cities have seen insurance rates skyrocket as insurers struggle to pay claims from costly weather catastrophes,” Insurify reported in the listing for the very low city of Cape Coral.

The “climate catastrophes” they talk about are, of course, all the hurricanes whose intensity was fueled by the extreme heat of the waters they passed through before making landfall.

“Average annual home insurance rates in Cape Coral exceed $10,000 compared to the U.S. average of $2,899,” the report notes. “Cape Coral has the second highest chronic physical risk due to the effects of climate change.” These include “heat, sea level rise, and water stress (when water demand exceeds availability).”

Jessica Edmondson from Insurify via Linkedin

I spoke with Jessica Edmondson from Insurify, which compares and sells auto and home insurance. She told me that they were not happy to deliver such bad news for much of Florida.

“It’s a very desirable place to live,” he said, noting the lack of a state income tax and the often pleasant climate. However, he noted, “insurance companies are leaving the state because there is too much risk.”

By the way, this is affecting more than just the people in those cities. This week, the New York Post reported that hundreds of nursing homes in Florida have been forced to close their doors over the past five years due to the rising cost of commercial property insurance.

Sorry, Grandma, the governor says we can’t do anything to help you!

An inept imitation of an ostrich.

One of the people I called about this new law against the old laws was Michael Gerrard, a professor at Columbia Law School who founded the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law.

Michael Gerrard via Columbia Law School

When I asked him what he thought of this legislation, he called it “an inept imitation of an ostrich, except here the sand will be blown away and the ostrich will be underwater.”

The only similar example of ostrich-like legislation I could recall was a bill passed by the North Carolina Legislature in 2012. It prevented state agencies from considering the latest science on sea level rise when making planning decisions. .

“The law was written in response to an estimate by the state Coastal Resources Commission… that sea levels will rise 39 inches in the next century, sparking fears of more expensive home insurance and accusations of anti-development scaremongering. among residents and developers in the state’s coastal Outer Banks region,” ABC News reported at the time.

People across the country mocked this approach to the problem.

“If your science gives you a result you don’t like,” said Stephen Colbert, “pass a law that says the result is illegal. Problem solved.” Sound familiar?

It turns out that the people pushing the anti-science law were coastal property developers. They were concerned about the financial impact of any limits on coastal development.

God forbid us from trying to stop people from building their houses in places where they are likely to flood or be washed away. It’s not like OUR developers did anything like that.

You’ll never guess what scientists announced last year.

Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy through SACE

“New research reinforces what scientists and others have been warning about the ocean along the North Carolina coast: The sea is rising faster than in most other parts of the United States, and more faster than most scientists expected,” the Wilmington Star reported.

The lesson of this, which oil-crazed DeSantis has ignored, is simple to express.

“You’re not going to keep the waves off the beach by removing the words from the documents,” said Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.

Climate change is real

When he first ran for governor, the Dunedin denier kept saying he was “not a person who cared about global warming.”

It was a variation of the evasion used by then-Gov. Rick “I’m wearing this navy blue hat because when my state floods, I’m running away on a yacht” Scott: “I’m not a scientist.” (When the scientists showed up to talk to him, he had them out of his office in less than 30 minutes.)

However, last year, during his DeSastrous presidential campaign (emphasis on the “pain” part), DeSantis acknowledged that climate change is real. That was a good first step in recognizing his addiction.

But then he said the solution is to burn MORE fossil fuels, not less.

I repeatedly asked DeSantis’ press office what he thinks the state should do about this thing he admitted is happening, but received no response. Perhaps his assistants were too busy drafting new legislation to prevent Florida meteorologists from expressing their opinions while on the air.

They are allowing him. I think that we, who have recognized his symptoms, should intervene. The question is where.

The next meeting of the governor and Cabinet is scheduled for 9 a.m. June 11 at the Capitol in Tallahassee. I say everyone who cares about how severely addicted they are to this deadly drug should show up there.

Together maybe we can make him face what he is doing to himself and to all of us.