On Earth Day, President Barack Obama, in his speech, chose to address climate change, while speaking at Everglades National Park, and declared its effects to be dangerous to the economy. Climate change has been a primary issue of concern and over the past few years, the White House has been focusing on an agenda to demonstrate how climate change could affect the lives of Americans, including its impact on real estate, and its negative effects on people’s health. The Everglades seemed to be an appropriate venue to make the Earth Day address.
Obama, for his speech chose the Everglades for his Earth Day address, citing that the national park represented evidence of changes in the planet. The rising sea levels, he pointed out, could pour over and harm the freshwater ecology. His top advisor on climate change, Brian Deese, pointed out in an email that this change could also have a negative effect on the drinking water supply for over 7 million Americans, one third of the state’s population, and could also jeopardize the $82 billion tourism industry on which Florida’s state economy is heavily dependent.
This was the first time the president had visited the popular south Florida attraction and he plans follow up on the Earth Day event with a general tour around the area, as well as sit in on recorded interview with TV scientist and environmentalist, Bill Nye, who has been vocal about doing more to fight global warming. Along with the Everglades, scientists are pointing out that other parts of Florida are being affected by climate change. The state has one of the largest coastlines in the country as well as several islands off its coast, and is highly susceptible to the adverse effects of change in the climate. Residents from some towns are already stating that salt water is leaking into their drinking supply.
California, meanwhile is facing its own climate change issues, with the state being forced to restrict its water usage, due to an imminent drought. Several Republican lawmakers, however, are skeptical to Obama’s climate change agenda, while dismissing his environmental policies as job killers. GOP Presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina slammed it as being the work of “overzealous liberals,” who are more concerned about the lives of fish than the construction of water conveyance systems, and reservoirs, designed to provide more water to California’s population. She in effect, blames the climate change activists for the loss of drinking water.
Also weighing in on the debate are Republican contenders for the White House, former Governor Jeb Bush, and Senator Marco Rubio. Bush, in New Hampshire on Friday, admitted that while the climate is changing, it is “legitimate to question” some of the model solutions are questionable. On Sunday, Rubio, told CBS that people are trying to make others believe that they are responsible for climate change, dismissing the notion that humans are responsible for this phenomenon.
In Florida, prior to Obama’s arrival for the Earth Day event, Republican governor, Rick Scott slammed the president for failing to keep up to his commitment to fund Everglades National Park $58 million, which he claimed being held up by the federal government. The White House had denied this accusation, turning the blame toward Republican lawmakers for failing to follow up with the funding. The White House also pointed out that Scott had also banned the use of the term “climate change.” Scott did not attend the Earth Day event where Obama, in his speech, addressed climate change.
By Bill Ades