This Thursday, the University of Miami will play host to what is sure to be another raucous GOP Presidential Debate.
To date, between Donald Trump defending the size of his manhood, Ben Carson questioning if this is even America anymore, and Jeb Bush praising Rick Snyder’s handling of the Flint Water Crisis, debate moderators have yet to raise the issue of climate change for any prospective candidate to answer.
In response to what they perceive to be a gross negligence in journalistic integrity – allowing those who would seek to hold the most powerful position on planet evade one of the most critical issues of our time, no less – 21 mayors from Miami to Tampa have publicly pleaded with debate moderators to ask questions on how candidates will deal with sea level rise.
While Florida is the first state to experience severe changes as a result of rising sea levels, it will soon begin to affect every coastal state.
“It would be unconscionable for these issues of grave concern for the people of Florida to not be addressed in the upcoming debate you will be hosting in the state,” the mayors wrote in an letter to CNN, The Washington Post, Univision and the other media outlets hosting the Democratic and Republican debates on March 9 and March 10 in Miami.
A report by researchers from the Florida Center for Environmental Studies (FCES) at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) found that coastal cities will need to immediately begin allocating billions of dollars towards revamping infrastructure and protecting high-priced homes nestled against the ocean.
“This is not a future problem, it’s a current problem” says Leonard Berry, director of FCES.
Climate Central notes that more than 2.4 million people live within 4 feet of the local high-tide line, and the risk of storm surge flooding will be disproportionately higher by 2030, well within the time frame of many 30 year mortgages currently in place.
Yet, despite the overwhelming evidence not just to climate change globally, but to the disastrous effects it is already having on Florida’s coastline, not one of the remaining GOP hopefuls believe that anything should be done to slow down the impacts of climate change.
Rubio has said that the climate has always been changing and that he will not support policies to combat climate change that will “destroy our economy.”
Billionaire businessman Donald Trump has called climate change a conspiracy invented by China, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz called climate science “pseudoscientific theory.” Ohio Governor John Kasich has said climate change is a problem but has not proposed a plan to address it.
The Weather Channel reports that Florida scientists have begun raising the alarm that millions of Floridians will soon be forced all at once to flee rising seas.