Climate Action

With the midterm general election happening tomorrow, we are seeing heightened focus on the environment, climate change, and sea level rise as an election issue.

--“For climate change, Florida is the ballgame. So says Rafe Pomerance, a man who has worked longer to stave off the threat of global warming than just about anybody.

If the national politics on climate change is ever to shift from denial to action — in time to stop the disgorging of carbon dioxide beyond the point of no return — Florida, he says, is the key.

Why? Because no other state is under greater immediate threat from the warming planet and rise in sea levels. And no other swing state has so many electoral votes.

As Pomerance puts it: “The impacts are extreme and the politics are critical.”

“This is the largest purple state in the country,” says Pomerance, currently a consultant for the nonprofit ReThink Energy Florida. If the state takes a new attitude on climate change, the “national impact can be very powerful.””-- Read more here.

Such anticipation stems from the continuous threat of super storms, the red tide, and algae blooms. Our efforts surrounding said issues motivated the return of our Tidal Town Halls ahead of the midterm general election in the following locations: Pensacola, Clearwater, Sarasota, and Miami.

At these general election candidate forums, voters and candidates alike participated in a crucial conversation about sea level rise, flooding, red tide, algae blooms, and climate change in general. Such a conversation leading up to the midterm general election could not have been possible without support from First Street Foundation, Union of Concerned Scientists, and many more organizations that facilitated the continuous dialogue on Florida’s critical environmental issues.

Statewide Action

Climate Week

Since the IPCC’s grim report and Hurricane Michael, it’s critical now more than ever for strong environmental policies to be implemented at all levels of government.

On October 22, Climate Week in South Florida commenced with a heightened focus on collaboration, “...many leaders from South Florida cities, counties, businesses and nonprofits heard from Paul Hawken, editor of a New York Times bestselling book called Drawdown about scaling up 100 global warming solutions that already exist.”

Leaders from Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Palm Beach counties also gathered for the 10th annual climate leadership summit.

In South Florida, several major climate collaborations are underway:

  • Many of the city, county and non-profit leaders in the audience for Hawken's speech will also be part of the regional climate leadership summit, which is part of a compact among the four South Florida counties.

  • Four of the region's major news outlets -- the Miami Herald, the Palm Beach Post, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and WLRN -- have partnered on an election-year education and engagement project on sea-level rise.

  • More than 40 non-profits and other organizations are part of the Miami Climate Alliance, which issues recommendations to Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami on climate change adaptation and mitigation, and helps prepare vulnerable neighborhoods for hurricanes and other intensifying climate change impacts.

  • Miami-Dade County and the cities of Miami and Miami Beach are jointly developing a county-wide resilience strategy through an international program called 100 Resilient Cities.

Read more about Climate Week here.


Amendment 9

Amendment 9 will prohibit drilling for oil or natural gas in Florida’s state waters and include tobacco vaping in the existing prohibition of tobacco smoking in enclosed indoor workplaces.

On November 1st, ReThink Energy Florida hosted an Amendment 9 Phone Bank Party to connect Florida voters with information about Amendment 9. During this event, we talked with over 1,000 Floridians and connected them with information on why and how Amendment 9 will protect Florida’s territorial waters, environment, way of life, and tourism based economy.

Our phone bank volunteers dialed to protect our coasts.

Click here to read more about Amendment 9.


Results

Collaborative Action

We're pleased to provide links to the live streams of our four general election Tidal Town Halls:

Pensacola

Clearwater

Sarasota - Part 1 and Part 2

Miami

In the devastating wake of the Pittsburgh Synagogue shooting, several candidates slated to attend the Sarasota and Miami Tidal Town Halls on October 29 instead attended a vigil for the victims.

Due to these extenuating circumstances, we asked our Congressional candidates for districts 26 and 27, and districts 16 and 17 to respond to six questions from the forums. Responses received by Friday, November 2nd,  at 12pm Eastern time are posted below as is.

This in no way constitutes an endorsement of any candidate, as we are a 501c3 nonprofit. However, we did want to provide one more opportunity to educate the voters.

Here are the responses we received by November 2, 2018 at 12pm

Allen Ellison - Congressional District 17 (Sarasota)

Donna Shalala - Congressional District 27 (Miami)

Additional questionnaires will be posted as they are received.


A Special Note to our Tallahassee Friends:

The ReThink Energy Florida family is shocked and deeply saddened by the senseless act of violence that occurred Friday evening at Hot Yoga Tallahassee. We would like to extend our sincerest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy.

An excerpt of a message from Florida State University’s President John Thrasher:

In the wake of this gut-wrenching news, I know many of us are feeling a range of emotions, including shock, anger and sadness. Please remember that you are not alone. Counselors are available to help us as we struggle to comprehend this tragedy. If you need assistance, please call (850) 644-TALK (8255). Counseling services for faculty and staff are available through FSU’s Employee Assistance Program at (850) 644-2288 or https://eap.fsu.edu/.”

Read more here.