Frustrated by the lack of urgency among Florida lawmakers when it comes to climate change and the increase of sea-level rise, South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard says he’d like to create a 60-foot tall “Tower of Shame” that would list those who have failed to act on the issue.
“We should inscribe the name and elected official of every federal and state level elected official in Florida who failed to commit significant resources to address climate change and sea-level rise when they had the chance to do so,” Stoddard said Wednesday.
The South Miami Mayor was participating on a conference call organized by the liberal Center for American Progress Action to announce their “2016 Climate Guide to States,” which lists the records of every governor and attorney general in the country on the issue of their stance on climate change.
That analysis says that 24 governors and attorneys general question explicitly or deny the science behind climate change, and Rick Scott and Pam Bondi are singled out in the report. Bondi is one of 27 attorneys general currently suing the Environmental Protection Agency over the Clean Power Plan proposed by President Obama.
“The city of Miami and cities and towns across the state of Florida have felt the impacts of climate change for years, and we need action to address this threat now,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado in a statement. “From more severe storms to sunny-day flooding on and off the coast, the effects of climate change are taking a toll on Florida families, which is why it is all the more appalling that Attorney General Bondi would play politics with Florida’s future by pursuing this life-threatening lawsuit. That’s why I joined 54 other mayors and county leaders to support the Clean Power Plan in the courts. Floridians, and Americans across the country, deserve leaders who will stand up to face this threat head on.”
Earlier this week, Scott traveled to California to try to recruit businesses to relocate to the Sunshine State. In response, California Governor Jerry Brown slammed the Florida Governor, writing, “If you’re truly serious about Florida’s economic well-being, it’s time to stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change — two words you won’t even let state officials say. The threat is too real so too will be the devastating impacts.”
He enclosed a recent report on climate change co-authored by former Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and NextGen Climate founder Tom Steyer that says that Florida faces more risk than any other state by storm surge and sea level rise.
Mayor Stoddard said that Florida lawmakers need to start making hard choices now to address what’s going to happen to coastal areas in Florida over the next 30 years.