Climate activists bring canoe to Rubio’s office to emphasize sea level rise risk; announce Flotilla to enhance climate change awareness.
Tampa, FL – Today a group of advocates gathered in front of Senator Marco Rubio’s office to demand the Senator take action on climate change. Veterans, educators, and activists joined together to emphasize the threat of sea level rise to Florida’s 1,300 plus miles of coastline.
The advocates brought a canoe to the front lawn of the Senator’s Tampa office to remind him how sea level rise will dramatically change our coastlines, especially if he continues to deny the science.
“Senator Rubio is failing Floridians and our environment,” said Susan Glickman, Florida Director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Action Fund. “While Rubio sits on his hands, the threat to Florida’s coasts are increasing. Flooding in St. Petersburg neighborhoods and along Tampa’s Bayshore Boulevard are happening regularly. Our beloved beaches are at risk. These problems will only get worse if politicians continue to ignore them.”
“We need our elected leaders to act in the best interest of our state and its people. This means doing something meaningful to address climate change before it’s too late,” Glickman continued. “The longer we wait to address this challenge, the more expensive and difficult it will be.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) National Centers for Environmental Information, (NCEI) in 2015, there were 10 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States and this summer tied 2006 as the 5th warmest in 122 years of record keeping.
Rubio recently criticized the historic Paris Climate Agreement signed by more than 175 nations as “ridiculous”, suggesting that reducing smog and pollution could harm our economy. He offered no alternative solution and ignores the reality that there is a cost to doing nothing.
“Earthman” Lanny Smith, a nationally known environmental performing artist/strategist, was at today’s event representing “Float the Vote for the Climate,” a nonpartisan, grassroots organization challenging Floridians to make a decision about climate change and sea level rise before the election. “We are asking voters to get educated on candidates’ commitment to climate change solutions,” said Smith. “ and if they support climate denier candidates for other reasons, to contact their candidates and express the extreme importance of accepting the science and quickly working for solutions.”
Smith also announced an upcoming flotilla called “Float The Vote”, which will take place this Saturday September 17th at the downtown Tampa waterfront beginning at 4 p.m. “We are inviting anyone who wants to call attention to climate change and the danger of sea level rise to paddle in kayaks, water bikes, and boats on the Hillsborough River,” said Smith. For more details about the flotilla, please visit www.FloatTheVote.org.
*** Click here for photos and videos of the event ***
The conference concluded with remarks from Jerry Green, U.S. Army veteran and Florida Director of Outreach for VoteVets. Green spoke about his experience in the military, which showed him first-hand how climate change is a threat multiplier to our national security. In fact, in 2015 the Department of Defense even released a report calling climate change an “urgent and growing threat to our national security.”
“Rising temperatures due to climate change have serious impacts on freshwater supplies and can cause droughts,” said Green. “When droughts and resource shortages destabilize already fragile parts of the world, the U.S. military is often involved in stabilization efforts.”
Green added that the lack of concern about climate change from Senator Marco Rubio and Donald Trump makes him question their commitment to our national security. “Those aspiring to be the commander-in-chief of our nation need to have a plan to combat climate change as it will mean the difference between effective armed forces and those who can’t match the threats we are facing.”