Climate Change In Palm Beach: What Does The Law Say?

Recently, the Extinction Rebellion — a massive group of environmentalists protesting inaction against climate change by the leaders of governments around the world — held a series of global protests to attract attention to their cause. The protestors weren’t afraid to break the law, either. In fact, part of the point was to enact non-violent acts of civil disobedience because annoying people now is better than watching people suffer and die later.

To many Floridians, this wave of protests has passed unseen and unheard. The effects of climate change continue to be ignored. At the very least, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber planned a speech for one September event. 

Gabriella Marchesani watched the news around the country and saw that many NYC students were excused from school so they could attend the events and take part in the action. She said, “Missing one day, not even a full day of school, to do something that could possibly change the way our lawmakers, politicians, how our government works, they should encourage that. They should encourage students to take action.”

She continued, “For people who say we’re just a bunch of kids, we’re a bunch of youth who believe in science and we want action.”

Even though some Floridians continue to ignore the climate crisis, it hasn’t been ignoring them: High tides in Palm Beach recently flooded land near the popular Flagler Museum, a scary phenomenon set to become extremely common in the wake of climate change. 

Many people don’t understand that the warming temperatures will affect how ocean water circulates around the globe, or what will happen if the water becomes too acidic for some fish to thrive in. For them, these issues are potential problems in the future, not in the here and now. But the problems are here and it’s time to face them. We can see it in the increasing strength of our hurricane season.

Unfortunately the laws on climate change in Florida will likely not be changing anytime soon. Not for the better, anyway. Florida recently elected a new Republican governor, Ron Desantis. His immediate enacting of new directives in the wake of climate change showed some promise: he appointed a new chief science officer to continue research. He opposed fracking. He opposed offshore drilling for coal and oil, and industry that has wreaked havoc on marine wildlife in recent years.

But all that action might be moot if nothing is done to reduce greenhouse gases. More regulation is needed before anything will change.