Climate change crusade goes local

August 9, 2015

Source: The Christian Science Monitor

Florida’s state leaders are running hard from climate change. The governor, Rick Scott, doesn’t want state employees to even utter the words. Former Gov. Jeb Bush and US Sen. Marco Rubio, both Republican presidential aspirants, offer a medley of objections to scientists’ calls for bold action on climate change.

Eric Carpenter shrugs. The director of Miami Beach’s Public Works Department sits at his desk, poring over tables of high tides on his computer. He is calculating how many pumps he needs to buy to keep the city’s streets from being flooded from a rising sea caused by climate change.

Under a broiling sun, he takes a visitor a few blocks from his office, to where contractors are pouring concrete to replace a section of a city street. The new roadway is being laid incongruously 2-1/2 feet above the sidewalk cafe tables and storefront entrances at the old street level. The extra height is in preparation for the seas and tides that Mr. Carpenter already sees engulfing this section of Miami Beach.

[…]That group, the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact, is considered a national model for the kind of shoulder-to-shoulder effort needed to address the problem. They came up with an agreed estimate of sea level rise and identified the most vulnerable areas of the region, and now are plowing through more than 100 recommendations for action.

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