An Open Letter to Governor-Elect DeSantis

Dear Governor-Elect DeSantis:

Climate change is an existential threat to Florida. Residents and tourists are seeing the effects that warmer water and increased rainfall have on our state – the unprecedented harmful algae blooms and red tide outbreaks of the past year have devastated local economies. Meteorologists were astonished as they watched Michael – a tropical storm – grow into a major hurricane in just two days.  While climate change does not cause these problems, it makes them worse because both hurricanes and algae are fueled by warmer water.

The images of green slime coating our waterways and dead animals washing up on our beaches have tarnished Florida’s international reputation. The economic and ecological consequences of this year’s harmful toxic algae blooms and hurricane activity will be long-lasting.

As Florida’s next Governor, you must take meaningful action to protect our state. Otherwise, climate change-related disasters like these will become a recurring problem on our coasts. The people of Florida demand better leadership, and smarter management of our natural resources.

There is no time to lose; upon assuming the Office of the Governor we urge you to:

  1. Acknowledge climate change as the serious threat that it is and foster a transition to clean renewable energy sources that reduce Florida’s dependence on fossil fuels.
  2. Implement meaningful monitoring, protection, and preservation of our waterways. Appoint scientists – not industry insiders – to water protection boards. Preserve, protect, and increase wetlands, which serve as a natural buffer for storms, and a filter to improve water quality.
  3. Make polluters pay to clean up their own mess.
  4. Create a Florida Future Fund to support resilent infrastructure investments, and to protect those who are the most vulnerable.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently published a report warning that action is required within the next 12 years in order to prevent total chaos. We need real leadership and action in the Capitol. You have the potential to correct course and make Florida a clean energy leader, and to create a legacy as the Governor who saved our state. We are watching you and waiting.

Thank you.

READ THE FULL LETTER AND SIGN YOUR SUPPORT HERE

DEVELOPMENT ENDANGERS FLORIDA PANTHERS

SIGN SOUTH FLORIDA WILDLANDS PETITION TO SAVE
FLORIDA PANTHERS

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has released a draft Environmental Impact Statement which approves 45,000 acres of dense suburban development and limestone mines in addition to hundreds of miles of new or widened roads in some of the most important habitat which remains for the endangered Florida Panther.

Many other consequences will follow from this plan – light pollution, environmental release of heavy metals and other chemicals from road runoff, spread of invasive plants, degradation of area wetlands through depletion of groundwater resources and paving over of aquifer recharge areas, genetic isolation of vulnerable plant and wildlife communities, and a great increase in contact between wildlife and people.

YouthvGov

On Monday, October 29th, 350 South Florida and the Sierra Club hosted a rally at the Wilkes D. Ferguson courthouse in solidarity with YouthvGov  – 21 young people suing the President and Federal Government, with the support of Our Children’s Trust, to defend the rights of youth and future generations. We all have the same rights to life, liberty, and property — but these rights depend on a safe climate.

The trial was set October 29, 2018 in Eugene, Oregon, but the Trump administration continues to interfere. Please support and follow this trial here.

100 Great Ideas

Miami Climate Alliance is thrilled to be on the host committee for the upcoming 100 Great Ideas campaign on Climate Resilience and Sustainability! Join the 100 Great Ideas Facebook group now and get ready to post your ideas on how to build a more climate resilient and sustainable community starting November 12th, 2018!

100 Great Ideas campaigns are Facebook-based conversations where everyone is invited to share their opinion about the best way to solve a pressing community issue – and campaign #5 is focused on climate resilience and sustainability. For five days starting November 12th, 2018, everyone in South Florida is invited to join the Facebook group and post ideas, questions, articles, etc. responding to the question “What are the best ways to build a more climate resilient and sustainable south Florida?” Campaigns are solution-oriented, generative and collaborative – and you can participate from anywhere.

MAKING THE “MIAMI FOREVER BOND” A MODEL FOR EQUITABLE CLIMATE ADAPTATION

Excerpted from an article in the American Society of Adaptation Professionals written by Zelalem Adefris, Resilience Director at Catalyst Miami 

You could say that Miami, Florida, is ground zero for climate change. As the American city most vulnerable to sea-level rise, Miami faces existential threats from flooding, storm surge and saltwater intrusion in the city’s drinking water. And growing inequity places Miami’s low-income and marginalized communities at extraordinary risk from climate impacts.

But—thanks to the Miami Climate Alliance, a coalition of citizens’ groups–this coastal city could also be at the forefront of equitable climate adaptation.

Read the full article here.

Take the Florida Climate Pledge


Florida is at a tipping point with regards to climate change impacts, yet as a state it still has not done enough to mitigate and adapt to climate change.  The Florida Climate Pledge is to help Floridians connect the dots between what they care about and how it’s tied to climate change.  From our economy to our health, to biodiversity, to our national security, we are already feeling the effects of climate change and it will only get worse.  TAKE THE PLEDGE HERE.

SMASH Event

On September 29th, the residents of Liberty City met at the Housing Community Land Trust Housing Design Town Hall at the Miami Workers Center. They got the opportunity to design their own housing, and also to hear about the design options that SMASH has been working on. For a full summary of the meeting, including the agenda, minutes, pictures and presentation, please go to this link.

If you want to get involved, there’s still time! Please go to the subsite for the Liberty City Committee on Slum and Gentrification and consult the calendar.

Miami Rising Leadership Training

The MCA’s Miami Rising campaign is focused on educating Florida’s frontline communities and allies on solutions to climate change and extreme weather while promoting steps we can take together to transition to a new 100% clean renewable energy.

This past weekend, the Miami Rising Leadership Training was held at the Miami Worker’s Center where 30 volunteers learned about volunteer recruitment, leadership development, and key best practices for common campaign tactics.

Breakout sessions where held from MCA member organizations: The Sierra Club, Miami Workers Center, SMASH, Catalyst, CLEO Institute, 350 South Florida, League of Women Voters, Nextgen Florida, and Rethink Energy Florida.

Couldn’t make it and want to get involved?  Visit the Miami Rising website today.

MCA Signs on to Pay Up Climate Polluters Campaign

In many ways, the past year has been a brutal one for climate advocates. Our country pulled out of a global commitment to reduce emissions; landmark achievements such as the Clean Power Plan remain stalled; and Americans endured 15 $1-billion extreme weather disasters.

Amid that struggle, many climate champions look to Miami as a beacon of hope: leaders who recognize of the realities of climate science; counties coming together to plan for a warmer, wetter world; and groups like ours ensuring any resilient future is also equitable, inclusive and fair.

Despite these positive achievements, Miami still hasn’t come to terms with how it’s going to pay for a climate-resilient future. It’s time to start asking climate polluters — the oil, gas and power companies whose products contributed most to climate change — to pay their fair share of climate costs.

Last fall, Miamians voted to tax themselves to cover $192 million (likely a mere down payment) for projects to prevent sea level rise and flooding. Miami Beach has already spent half a billion dollars to improve stormwater infrastructure.

For too long, residents have borne these costs alone. That has to change. That’s why, as part of Miami Climate Alliance, we’re joining on to the local Pay Up Climate Polluters campaign.

The campaign is asking county and city leaders: When will we start to hold these companies, including Florida utilities, accountable?

Nonprofit and academic reports show that oil, gas and power companies (including some that operate in Florida) knew that burning fossil fuels would lead to climate change as early as the 1970s. Instead of leading the transition to clean energy, they sowed doubt about scientific realities and downplayed risks.

FPL might have withdrawn their request for a rate hike post Irma (they had originally asked for $1.3 billion), we but all know they have been passing hurricane-related repairs onto ratepayers going back to Matthew.

Climate change doesn’t cause hurricanes, but it amplifies the damage they cause. So while they obstruct the transition to clean energy sources, they pass to us costs driven higher by their products. It doesn’t make sense. It’s not fair, and it must change.

That’s why we’re asking leaders to explore ways to hold companies that contributed most to climate change accountable. Otherwise, we know that these costs, like climate impacts, will fall disproportionately on the low-income and communities of color who contributed least to the problem.

Perhaps Miami — like New York, San Francisco and Oakland — should file a climate damages lawsuit to hold climate polluters liable for the billions it will require to keep our communities safe.

Right now, we’d be thrilled to have a candid discussion about what staying safe will cost us, and who’s going to help us pay.