Florida youth are disappointed with Senator Marco Rubio’s recent comments on climate change. Last week in an interview with BuzzFeed, Rubio claimed that despite the “significant scientific consensus” that man-made activity is contributing to climate change, he has seen “reasonable debate” on whether this is true or not. With the recent wave of extreme weather that has left much of the United States scrambling to adapt, we cannot afford to have our elected leaders championing climate denial and ignoring the biggest challenge of our generation.
Of course, what Rubio has said is just not true. The science is undeniable: according to the EPA, “Earth's average temperature has risen by 1.4°F over the past century, and is projected to rise another 2 to 11.5°F over the next hundred years.” Fossil fuel emissions are the primary cause of this rapid increase, and continue to be. Senator Rubio’s comments are also disparate from the views of the general public - who overwhelmingly believe that climate change is happening, and that our fossil fuel addiction is worsening it (70% according to a Yale study). Furthermore, what Rubio is suggesting is the opposite of what dozens of local governments are doing in Florida. Local officials in places like Miami-Dade County are writing climate change into their long-term development and adaptation plans, because they understand that the science is undeniable.
The FL YES Coalition is taking action – young voters across the state are coordinating impactful campaigns to curb the effects of climate change. Across the state, students are coordinating green fund campaigns to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their campus, and some student leaders are taking on divestment from fossil fuels to remove Florida school’s financial support of dirty energy and reinvest in the green economy.
It’s time our elected leaders stop debating and start taking action - climate change will affect the most vulnerable communities first and hardest, and until we build a new clean energy economy, we are putting those people at risk. I am working for Solar in the Sunshine State. What are our elected leaders doing?