Wednesday, September 30, 2015

South Miami Mayor on Climate Change

I'm surprised I haven't seen anything about this today. Last night Chris Hayes interviewed South Miami mayor Philip Stoddard and it was amazing. "Chris Hayes talks to the mayor of South Miami, Philip Stoddard, who is also a biology professor, about what it's like when most of your senior politicians are climate change deniers."

Hayes pointed out that two prominent presidential candidates, Bush and Rubio are from Florida and while they don't deny climate change is happening, they don't think we can or should do anything about it. He asked Stoddard about the effects they're seeing in Miami and what he would say to these candidates. Here are my favorite quotes:

Well, my first reaction is disappointment. We expect our elected leaders to be the adults int he room, take responsibility to look after everybody's best actions. They're not doing it, frankly. It's a puzzle coming from Jeb Bush because he has such strong connections to the real estate community. They're the ones with the most to lose. So why isn't he engaging this issue like all the big banks are and the big financial houses and now like the underwriters. I mean that's a mystery.

Thomas Edison was the one that predicted that the industrial revolution was going to put enough carbon in the atmosphere to affect the climate. This is not a new idea.

We've seen our summer season extending by a month over the past few decades. We see salt water coming up out of the storm drains when it didn't used to...So particularly along the coastal regions the tides come in, especially when there's a full moon, the all the drains become the suppliers of salt water into the streets and that's what we call sunny day flooding. You can have a beautiful sunny day and the streets fill up with water and people wonder where is the water coming from. You stick your finger down there and you taste it and you go that's salt water. That's not rain water.

The sea level has risen 5 inches in the last 5 years. An inch a year. That's not global sea level rise, that's local sea level rise.

I'd say your [Bush and Rubio's] arguments are complete bullshit. The idea that you don't want to harm the economy by engaging the problems with sea level rise... What do you think sea level rise is going to do to our economy? It's going to destroy it! We're gonna be underwater for heavens sake. How can you give these specious arguments about wanting to protect the economy when the biggest threat to the economy we've ever seen is coming on us like a truck.

Watch the whole interview here:

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