No Worrying About Climate Change Anymore: Florida’s Legislature Has Erased It

by | Apr 14, 2024 | Opinions & Commentary

Florida’s Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. Credit: Michael Moline/Florida Phoenix

No Worrying About Climate Change Anymore: Florida’s Legislature Has Erased It

by | Apr 14, 2024 | Opinions & Commentary

Florida’s Capitol, Jan. 6, 2021. Credit: Michael Moline/Florida Phoenix

Florida's bought-and-paid-for Legislature has delivered a bill that amends Florida statutes to delete all references to climate change. Thanks to them, climate change is gone. Erased. Kaputt. Ya no es. C’est fini.

Republished with permission from Florida Phoenix, by Diane Roberts

You probably think Ron DeSantis and the yahoos, grifters, simps, dolts, and dunderheads who populate the Florida Legislature are collectively incapable of solving even one of the bazillion issues facing this state.

What with the slap-fights, pissing contests, and spiteful politicking, I can see how you might arrive at that conclusion.

To be fair, we must acknowledge the members’ important work of liberating Florida teenagers from satanic social media sites and delivering them into the world of menial labor, legalizing huge bottles of wine (nearly four gallons, people!), and, most significantly, naming A1A after Jimmy Buffet.

But there’s something else, something stunning, unprecedented, nay, supernatural: The Legislature has figured out how to fix climate change.

Are you speechless with amazement? I sure as hell am.

Well, almost.

Florida’s summer temperatures increasingly resemble those of the innards of a grumpy volcano, though we can usually count on a nice big hurricane to tear off some roofs and flood some streets, cooling us off.

The Gulf of Mexico hit 100 degrees F last July, which is bad enough, but the mix of saltwater and carbon dioxide makes an undelicious acidic cocktail, bleaching our corals to a pale shade of dead.

The seas are rising—as are insurance prices—and invading our drinking water supply, all thanks to our profligate spewing of greenhouse gases.

I guess the Republicans running this state and their clueless followers don’t think life is worth living if you can’t drive an F-150 Raptor R.

Well, we can now stop worrying about the planet: Your bought-and-paid-for Legislature has delivered a bill that amends Florida statutes to delete all references to climate change. Thanks to them, climate change is gone. Erased. Kaputt. Ya no es. C’est fini.


Dumber than Texas

Messy facty-type phrases in the law about how Florida is “positioned at the front line against potential impacts of global climate change” and “human and economic costs of those impacts can be averted by global actions” will be cut from the state’s official consciousness.

All references to energy efficient vehicles, contracting with “green lodgings” for meetings and conferences, using cleaner fuels—gone.

Consider this: We are dumber than Texas.

Texas (Texas!) relies on solar and wind: Renewables provide 30% to 40% of that state’s power needs.

In Florida, it’s, um, well, 5%.

As you’re no doubt aware, the Sunshine State has a certain amount of actual sunshine. Plus, a bit of wind, though not quite enough to turn into energy given current technological limitations.

The engineering is, however, advancing fast. Really tall turbines will soon be able to capture upper-level winds.

But it won’t matter. HB 1645 bans offshore wind turbines because, er, we’re not sure why.

Aesthetics? Whales? (Since when have these bozos cared about whales?)

Never mind. When your Florida legislators sit on the beach, trying to avoid the fecal bacteria and dead fish, gazing out upon our hot, dirty waters, they don’t want no stinking turbines messing up the view.

Pipelines, now: That’s different.

Rick Scott, a terrible former governor, now a terrible senator, tried something like this back in 2015, letting it be known state employees must not utter the words “climate” and “change” in proximity to each other.

He did eventually use the phrase “climate change,” but insists there’s no need to do anything about it.

Our lawmakers are made of sterner—if stupider—stuff: They’ve bravely deployed the strike-though function on their laptops and deep-sixed our world’s greatest threat.

‘Politicizing the Weather’

Here’s what the bill largely looks like: The Legislature finds that the state’s energy security can be increased by lessening dependence on foreign oil; that the impacts of global climate change can be reduced through the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; and that the implementation of alternative energy technologies can be a source of new jobs and employment opportunities for many Floridians.

Remember back in 2018 when Ron DeSantis appeared to take global warming seriously—kind of? He appeared to accept the science of anthropogenic climate change.

Until he started running for president, dismissed greenhouse gas reduction as “left wing,” and accused Democrats of “politicizing the weather,” that is.

Still, you’ve got to hand it to Florida lawmakers: Their commitment to magical thinking is truly impressive.

They’ve not merely edited out climate change but institutional racism. All they had to do was demand schools stop teaching history that might make white folks feel bad.

Ban books by angry Black people, Latino malcontents, and ungrateful Native Americans and, before you know it, we can declare issues with those troublesome non-Caucasians are all OK now.

Same with gay and trans people: Remove books by and about them, demonize them, outlaw pronoun changes, and threaten them with the bathroom police, refuse to acknowledge their existence and, next thing you know, they’ve all disappeared.

I say if the government can use a cloak of invisibility to put noisome problems to rest, by golly, we regular citizens can, too.


How about we edit out any reference to gun crime?

School shootings, gang violence: All done. That 15 year-old California kidnap victim shot by the cops who were supposed to rescue her?

If they’d deleted the video, it would be as if it never happened.

Let’s Pretend

Except for the 15 year-old, of course: She’d still be in her grave, but the rest of us would be so much more comfortable.

The bullet-ridden bodies of children can really get you down.

How about we pretend poverty no longer exists? We almost accomplished this already, with new laws shoving the homeless onto out-of-the-way camps.

How about hemorrhoids! Just ignore them and boom! They’re gone.

Speaking of backsides, we could cancel the noxious Benjamin Netanyahu by completely blocking him out of our brains, sticking our thumbs in our ears and shutting our eyes tightly whenever another story about the IDF murdering international journalists, Palestinian doctors, and Gaza aid workers shows up in the papers, on the radio or the TV.

If the Republicans take back the White House, they’re going to fix all our health care woes by excising language about pandemics and vaccines and such like from CDC and NIH publications.

Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo in Destin on May 11, 2023. Source: Screeshot/DeSantis Facebook

Florida’s mallard of a surgeon general shrugs off our latest outbreaks of measles, COVID-19, and other nasty and dangerous afflictions which become considerably less nasty and dangerous if you get the jabs.

He thinks vaccines and attempts to mitigate diseases are overrated.

Eat some fruit! Maybe try demon sperm!

What you don’t know may well kill you, but at least you won’t fret.

As for me, I’m refusing to acknowledge the existence of Donald Trump.

If only The New York Times, Washington Post, NPR, CBS, NBC, ABC, PBS, BBC, AFP, and Twixxter would stop using his name.

Forget about him. Pretend he’s not there.

OK, so he may become president again and, if that happens, it’s likely he’ll crown himself Caudillo, Il Duce, Kaiser, or Eternal President and won’t leave the White House until they carry him out feet first, but surely it’s better to ignore his threats to destroy American democracy.

Reality hurts too much.

Florida Phoenix

Florida Phoenix

The Phoenix is a nonprofit news site that’s free of advertising and free to readers. We cover state government and politics with a staff of five journalists located at the Florida Press Center in downtown Tallahassee.

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