Open letters from the mayors of 15 Florida cities and towns to Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush urge both would-be presential candidates to acknowledge the reality of anthropogenic climate change, and to take urgent action to remediate it.
The cities represented included Key Biscayne, Miami, and West Palm Beach.
"As mayors representing municipalities across Florida, we call on you to acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change and to address the upcoming crisis it presents our communities," the letter reads. "Our cities and towns are already coping with the impacts of climate change today." Flooding at high tides, severe storm surges, and the intrusion of saltwater into municipal water supplies are all problems these cities face.
Those issues come thanks to 20cm of sea-level rise over the previous century. Studies project that the area could see up to another 30cm rise by 2050, which the mayors say "could wipe out as much as $4 billion in taxable real estate in the four-county region of Southeast Florida." If those projections are low, things get bad quickly; a 90cm rise takes out $31 billion and leaves cities and the Everglades decisively under water.
Florida mayors to Rubio: We're going under, take climate change seriously
[John Timmer/Ars Technica]
(Image: South Beach flood, kayak in street, Maxstrz, CC-BY)