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February 12, 2013

South Florida Citizens Demand Rubio Support Climate Action

Photo 5

Floridians Delivering A Letter to Senator Marco Rubio Demanding Climate Action

In recent months, Senator Marco Rubio has consistently denied that one of the most pressing crises facing Florida families even exists. Just last week, Senator Rubio made the latest in a string of ridiculous comments about climate disruption, telling a group of Washington reporters that he wasn’t doing anything to fix the climate crisis. What’s more, he doesn’t even think this crisis – with its rising sea levels, devastating storms, and extreme weather – poses a danger to Florida.

On behalf of the homeowners, business owners, and residents of Florida who are in the path of the storm of climate change, concerned citizens gathered at Rubio’s office in Miami today to tell him enough is enough.

Rubio’s continued climate denial comes as just before he delivers the Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union Address. It’s an opportunity when he can address some of the most pressing challenges our nation is confronted with – but it will mean nothing if he doesn’t stop ignoring one of the most urgent problems we face: the climate crisis.

Photo 4Sierra Club Members and Other Activists Meeting with Staff from Senator Rubio's Office

That’s exactly the message Sierra Club members delivered to Rubio today in a letter also signed by representatives from the Southern Energy Network, the CLEO Institute, and Emerge Miami.

Rubio once shrugged off a question on climate disruption, claiming he wasn't a scientist. That's exactly why he should listen to the people who are - and the overwhelming majority of climate scientists who say the climate crisis is real and it is very very dangerous.

Warning after warning has been issued about what will happen if we don't act.

A study commissioned by four Southeast Florida counties (Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties) warned that our communities are immediately vulnerable to the sea level changes climate disruption will bring. Our infrastructure, our homes, and our businesses are in the path of the storm.

And the storms will be bad ones – professors from across the state warn that we can expect faster, stronger, and more dangerous storms because of the climate crisis.

If Rubio doesn't want to listen to the experts, he should just pay attention to the weather. That's all the evidence you need to see that the threat of climate change has become a dangerous new reality.

Record droughts, record floods, record blizzards, record wildfires, Hurricane Katrina, Superstorm Sandy – once-in-a-lifetime extreme weather is the new normal.

The climate crisis is not something that's in a laboratory – its on our doorstep. And Florida 's right in the path of the worst we could face.

That's why our communities are spending taxpayer money to prepare for this new reality. That's why businesses, homeowners, and residents are worried sick about what's next for our homes and livelihoods. And that's why recent polling shows 76% of Floridians want our elected officials to DO SOMETHING to find a solution.

Today, Floridians representing those voices throughout the state took their message directly to Marco Rubio to say we don't want a future where the world our children inherit is worse off because we fell asleep at the switch. We need action and we need our leaders to lead, not pretend there isn't a problem.

Marco Rubio should stop pretending the science isn't settled. He should stop ignoring the threats that are now real. And he should join the overwhelming majority of those in his state who know that the time to act on the climate crisis is now.

Floridians get it. Why doesn't Marco Rubio?

--Jonathan Ullman, Sierra Club, Senior Field Organizer, Florida


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