Senator Marco Rubio is busy on the campaign trail, but an open letter sent last week begs him to return to Florida and help in the fight against climate change. Fifteen Florida mayors are imploring climate-denier Rubio to come back to Florida and to take climate change seriously, reports Newsweek.
“Ignoring climate science and doubling down on fossil fuels will only make the climate crisis more rapid and expensive,” reads the letter.
Just this week, Marco Rubio was asked by a potential voter in Iowa whether he believed in climate change. He pointedly replied that climate change is “a hoax.”
“The climate has always changed,” Rubio said, “There’s never been a time when the climate has not been changing.”
Fifteen mayors from Florida’s largest cities disagree. The letter they sent to Rubio is scathing, and straight to the point: there is no debate to be had, Florida’s cities are being inundated with water, coastlines are eroding, and storms are getting stronger and stronger every year.
“Sea levels off the coast of South Florida rose about eight inches in the twentieth century. By 2050, mean sea level around Florida is expected to rise about a foot, a shift that could wipe out as much as $4 billion in taxable real estate,” the letter reads.
According to the Miami Herald, less than fifteen miles away from Marco Rubio’s Florida home, work crews are elevating sidewalks and streets in an effort to combat floodwaters and the rising sea level. Despite the ample evidence presented by climate scientists the world over, and the pleading of the people who live in areas most threatened by climate change, Marco Rubio remains implacable.
“I don’t have a plan to influence the weather,” Rubio said, dismissing a question about climate change during a town hall meeting in New Hampshire.
Local politicians in Florida, across party lines, have come together to discuss the realities of climate change. While some still debate whether or not it’s manmade, the facts are clear for those living in lowland areas throughout Florida. Storms are getting stronger, flooding the streets, and the sea level is slowly encroaching on valuable real estate and threatening homes.
“Nationally, climate change – with the exception of some regions in the country, like ours – is an abstract issue,” said Representative Carlos Curbelo, a Republican Congressman from Miami, “Here in South Florida, where we have chronic flooding, and where we live essentially at sea level, it’s not. Even if [politicians] don’t believe humans are at fault, they should really be seeking adaptive solutions.”
The Miami Herald reports that a majority of Americans believe climate change is serious, but because it’s become a partisan issue in the U.S., politicians like Marco Rubio – and Jeb Bush – risk losing votes and support from their base if they come out in support of measures to fight climate change.
“It’s become a partisan issue. We cannot be in either of the two extremes, to say that the world is going to end tomorrow, or to do nothing. We have to take precautions,” said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, a Republican and Rubio-supporter who created a sea-level task force in 2013.
“It frustrates me in a really fundamental way. Stop denying the facts, we can argue about what the appropriate policy prescriptions are, but they have to be able to take in the best available information and make decisions based on that,” said climate scientist Ben Kirtman, who presented a slideshow to Rubio’s Senate office, illustrating the concrete facts of climate change.
Despite the facts, despite the bipartisan support that climate change measures have throughout Marco Rubio’s home state of Florida, he remains firm in his stance. As the Inquisitr previously reported, Rubio has recently been endorsed by Congress’ top climate denier, Trey Gowdy.
“Can’t control nature,” Rubio says.
[Photos by Getty Images]