"We're not doing any left-wing stuff", he promises
Florida's Governor Ron DeSantis made a request for $276 million of funding on December 7, to deal with the problem of rising sea-levels which threaten low-lying land across the state. The money would fund 76 different projects to improve drainage and increase the height of sea walls across the state.
Speaking on the initiative, DeSantis had this to say:
"We're a low-lying state, we're a storm-prone state, and we're a flood-prone state... All the projects included in this plan will enhance efforts to protect our communities' coastlines and shores."
A long-term approach
The measures would be implemented over the next three years, and follow on from the approval of Senate Bill 1954 in May this year, which originally included $500 million of federal funds for measures to deal with rising sea levels.
The reduced federal funding requested on December 7 reflects that many projects will now provide matched funding at a local level.
DeSantis focuses on the effects, not the cause
The Governor made clear during his announcement that he wouldn't be drawn into any discussions over the reasons why sea-levels are rising, why storms are increasingly prevalent and why flooding is a more regular occurrence - events that many would say are caused by global warming.
"What I've found is when people start talking about things like global warming, they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things that they would want to do anyways. And so, we're not doing any left-wing stuff." - Gov. Ron DeSantis
While Gov. DeSantis may not be willing to enter into the discussion of a so-called left-wing issue - global warming - it seems odd to treat the symptoms without addressing the cause.
Global warming is affecting Florida
In spite of DeSantis' denial, the facts of the situation look stark.
According to the federal government's Environmental Protection Agency, a paper published in 2016 documented that the average temperature across the Florida peninsula has increased by one degree in the last century.
At the same time, sea-levels are rising by an inch every decade while land on both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts is gradually sinking, compounding the risk of flooding.
Whether the Governor wants to get into so-called 'left-wing' issues, such as whether the state should introduce further measures to limit pollution and minimize emissions, it seems that a combination of defense and preventative measures would be smart at this point.
He may have to abandon his partisan stance eventually if he remains in power.
What do you think about global warming? Do you believe it's a genuine issue? Do you see evidence of rising sea-levels and increased flooding? Let me know in the comments section below.