This week in climate change:
Florida republicEn state director Anthony Bustamante presented Coral Gables Mayor Jim Cason with the “ENvisionary Award” for his work to combat climate change and sea level rise in the city of Coral Gables, Florida. As previously profiled, Mayor Cason has been a committed advocate and strong leader for pragmatic climate action; he had officials map the entire city’s elevation and identified priority at-risk places such as school, hospitals and evacuation routes.
“I didn’t realize how impactful [sea level rise] would be on the city that I’m now the leader of.” he said at the time. “History is not going to look kindly on us as elected leaders for not taking a leadership position.”
William Ruckelshaus, who served as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan, and William Reilly, who manned the same helm for President George H. W. Bush, issued a statement denouncing GOP nominee Donald Trump’s “profound ignorance of science.”
“That Trump would call climate change a hoax – the singular health and environmental threat to the world today – flies in the face of overwhelming international science and the public conviction,” they said. “The young people in this country deserve far better.” Both Ruckelshaus and Reilly have been strong advocates for continued Republican leadership on environmental issues. Earlier this year, former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman, who served as President George W. Bush’s first EPA Administrator, likewise called into question Trump’s climate change positioning.
At an event in his North Carolina district, Rep. Patrick McHenry was urged by a constituent to support a revenue neutral carbon tax as a means to address climate change. The six-term Congressman said he is still considering the idea of a carbon tax, but called it “a very complex proposal” that would involve a “massive undertaking” to implement. McHenry also indicated he prefers not to debate the causes of climate change, leaving it to the scientists, while highlighting his past support for renewable energy.
Last but not least, I had the pleasure of talking to Gabriel Gomez, a retired Navy SEAL who lives in the great state of Massachusetts and ran for Senate against Sen. Ed Markey for the spot vacated by then Sen. John Kerry in 2013. He says he wants to “pass on to the next generation a cleaner and better planet than the one we inherited from the generations before us.” Check out a recap of our conversation here, and let us know if you want to be profiled!