Protecting our Interests
With the confirmation hearing of CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s nomination as the next Secretary of State coming up on Thursday, there is a key opportunity to focus on sea level rise-a threat to Florida’s economy and life as we know it in the Sunshine State. The Secretary of State is our lead negotiator and is responsible for protecting our nation’s interests which must include the threat of sea level rise. The fate of Florida falls in the hands of the Secretary of State.
Florida State Senator Marco Rubio plays a significant role as a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He has the chance to represent Floridians at the upcoming hearing for Mike Pompeo-who unfortunately has publicly denied climate change and all that comes with it.
Our actions as humans are causing our seas to rise and affecting us in more ways than one. As our oceans soak up heat, the water expands thus inflicting sea level rise on us all. This change is exaggerated by the melting glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic.
Florida vs Rising Seas
South Florida is not the only area facing the consequences of sea level rise. The entire east coast, all the way to Key West, is affected. Likewise, the Gulf coast is impacted. As tidal waters flood the streets of Florida, communities around the state have started to make investments to protect themselves and their infrastructure. The bad news is: we can expect the impacts of sea level rise to grow and multiply in the not so distant future.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released a new analysis showing that Florida roadways are affected the most by flooding compared to other states and even the conservative projections show that it will only get worse.
Our military recognizes sea level rise as an impending threat to coastal military bases. Coastal bases such as Naval Air Station Key West in the Florida Keys, Naval Station Mayport near Jacksonville and Eglin Air Force Base in Northwest Florida are at risk due to disruptive flooding. The military is working to protect these vital assets to Florida and our nation’s defense but we must recognize sea level rise as a major challenge for our home state and the rest of the nation. Responding to sea level rise requires two levels of action: we must fortify our coastal areas and our economy and reduce the emissions that contribute to sea level rise.
Sea level rise is a hazard for Florida, but it is also a global problem that requires a global solution. The Secretary of State subsequently becomes critical to that solution.
We need Senator Rubio to be our true representative at this critical time in environmental history. We must call him into action for the sake of the environment, our oceans, and the fate of Florida.
Action coming soon!