Thursday, October 20, 2016

Florida Senator Denies Climate Change Despite Flooding

South Florida got hit with a "king tide" that inundated streets and this baseball stadium. [photo, credit: Ecowatch]  A king tide occurs when a full moon is aligned with the Earth and Sun.  Untreated sewage spewed from manholes in Jacksonville during Hurricane Mathew.  Yet the widespread proof of rising water did not stop Sen. Marco Rubio, once a presidential candidate, from doubting the existence of global warming at a senatorial debate with his challenger. As seawater levels rise due to melting polar caps and thermal expansion, king tides are now regular flooding events.  Doubting the reality of climate change is an accepted rhetorical tactic of the right-wing, similar to the one used by tobacco and oil companies to raise questions in the public mind and delay or prevent policy decisions that could adversely affect their sponsors' profit margins. In fact Rubio labeled Congressional investigation into what Exxon's knew about the climate effects of their products in the seventies "a left-wing attempt to demonize industries in America".  Several leading politicians including the New York state attorney general are advocating an investigation into Exxon's potential liability for concealing the global warming information in its possession.

More research published Monday shows that increased flooding along the nation's east coast is a certainty. Sandy sized flooding in New York City that occurred every 400 years will now occur every two decades.  During Hurricane Sandy the storm tide reached fourteen feet. The damage bill was enormous: $19 billion.  The Statute of Liberty and Ellis Island were closed for a year.  Since the 20th century began the sea level in New York harbor has risen by one foot, and according to researchers is likely to rise another 20 to 40 inches by the end of this century.

According to an official Florida report issued in 2010 it could cost the state $3 trillion to replace damaged infrastructure by 2030. Seventy-six million Floridians live on the coasts which are highly vulnerable to high water events, yet Rubio failed to meet with fifteen mayors who wanted to discuss with him the risks rising sea levels pose.  Should this man be returned to the Senate given his dangerous denial of reality?  US Person thinks NOT.