It does not take ardent Harry Potter fans to know this reference to Voldemort of whom people are too scared to use his name. I use this reference as the legislators who govern the State of Florida have followed the lead of others to say it is not legal for state officials to use the terms “climate change” or “global warming” in print or official statements. One state environmental official was suspended without pay for recently violating this new law.
My only rationale for this ostrich-like head-in-the sand ruling is they are too scared to mention the Voldemort like term. My guess is the Florida legislators believe if they don’t mention it, climate change is not occurring. Below is a link to an article on the recent change noted by the Florida Governor. *
On the side of realistic concerns, the President used an example yesterday of how ocean water is coming up through the street drains after each storm in the city of Miami, Florida as a result of climate change. The increasing danger to this sea-level city has caused Miami’s Dade County sufficient alarm to join together with three adjacent counties to invest $200 million to shore up the infrastructure to stave off the rising sea levels due to that Voldemort thing. These Florida counties have received national acclaim for planning ahead. Below is a link to a post written last year on this problem for Miami. **
Closer to my home, the General Assembly of North Carolina refused to accept a peer reviewed scientific report two years ago that noted sea levels could rise 39 inches by the end of the century. This report was consistent with those accepted in Virginia, Louisiana and Maine. Our leaders were appropriately lampooned for holding back the tide with legal briefs. It should be noted our state is particularly vulnerable with our large wetlands inside of the Outer Banks and scientists are greatly concerned about what will happen.
Courtesy of our blogging friend Barney, who sent me a series of quotes, Andy Rooney once said “When you choose to ignore the facts, it does not make them less real.” At age 56, I know firsthand when you ignore water problems, the water will cause more anguish. The same could be said for our climate change problem. We need leaders who will address our Voldemorts, not to pretend they are not there. We are at least eight years behind on addressing climate change thanks to our previous President. It should be noted under President Bush, the White House Council on the Environment struck all references to global warming and climate change as well. So, Florida is not breaking new ground with “he who should not be named.”
Climate change is a real problem and its existence nor man’s influence on its magnitude can no longer be ignored. It is a health issue as well as an economic one. We must accelerate our plans to move forward with alternative energy. We must address the coastal problems which are exacerbated by storms, the longer droughts, the stalling weather systems, the increasing forest fires, all of which are made worse by man-influenced climate change. We are at a point where our planet and nation can ill-afford a candidate winning the White House who does not see this as the huge problem it is.
Please pay attention to legitimate sources of news on this topic and not news biased to tell a story fed by clever and well-paid merchants of doubt. Please ask your candidates questions and know where they stand on climate change. While it gets dwarfed in the news, this is one of the greatest threats we have facing our planet, as it affects so many things. To admit it is not happening as done in the state legislature of Florida is foolish.