The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Miami Beach Declares Climate Emergency Inspired by Youth Action
The youth activists who demonstrated in front of Miami Beach's City Hall last month as part of September's global climate strike handed a climate emergency resolution to Chief Resilience Officer, Susy Torriente. Rather than see the declaration fall into the abyss, Torreinte handed it into the mayor's office, which led to the resolution being introduced and passed unanimously, according to the Miami Herald.
The resolution calls on Miami Beach to push the state and the rest of the country to issue an "emergency mobilization effort to restore a safe climate." It makes Miami Beach the latest of the 1,143 jurisdictions in 22 countries to declare a climate emergency, including the United Kingdom, New York City, and even Pope Francis.
While the climate emergency declaration does not offer specific policies, environmental activists say the language is important.
"This is more of a first step and gives us a lot of leverage," said John Paul Mejia, a 17-year-old Miami Beach Senior High School student and member of several Miami-based climate action groups, to the Miami Herald. "We need to shift the narrative to understand this as a crisis because that's what it really is."
The city of Miami Beach will send copies of the declaration to the U.S. House of Representatives; the majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell; Florida Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott; all Florida U.S. representatives; Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez and all the commissioners; and every city and town in the county, according to the Miami Herald.
"It's not just us holding up signs now. There's literally legislation that says we need to put this at the top of the agenda," said Mejia to the Miami Herald.
Few places in the country are as vulnerable to the climate crisis as Miami where sea level rise threatens to change the landscape of the city as investors start to buy up land on higher ground. The city investing $650 million to raise the city streets, since the Union of Concerned Scientists predicted that 30 percent of Miami Beach will be underwater by 2045, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Earlier this month, the state's Department of Environmental Protection kicked off an initiative to invest $116.4 million initiative to replace diesel busses with an electric-powered fleet, according to the News Service of Florida.
"It's a testament to how being active and being engaged and being part of the conversation makes governments change," said Torriente to the Miami Herald. "I just think it's a testament to the movement, the young organizers."
"I think it would be wonderful if other cities can realize the sense of urgency that needs to take place and they start taking action," Torriente added.
The youth activists also earned praise from local climate activists, not only for campaigning for the declaration but also for their vow to attend city council meetings to keep the climate crisis at the top of the political agenda.
"We are so proud of the youth leaders and their allies who worked hard to make this declaration a reality. We hope the City of Miami Beach will continue this leadership trend by taking concrete action to reduce emissions, like transitioning to 100 percent clean and renewable energy," said Emily Gorman, a Sierra Club representative and steering committee chair of the Miami Climate Alliance, said in a statement, as the Miami Herald reported.
- Climate Change Is Creating an Affordable Housing Crisis in Miami ... ›
- Sea Level Rise Has Already Cost 8 East Coast States More Than ... ›
- As Miami Battles Sea-Level Rise, This Artist Makes Waves With His ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By George Citroner
The Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the World Health Organization currently recommend either 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise (walking, gardening, doing household chores) or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise (running, cycling, swimming) every week.
But there's little research looking at the benefits, if any, of exercising less than the 75 minute minimum.
It seems the reality of the climate crisis is too much for the Federal Reserve to ignore anymore.
For 21 years, Doug Distaso served his country in the United States Air Force.
He commanded joint aviation, maintenance, and support personnel globally and served as a primary legislative affairs lead for two U.S. Special Operations Command leaders.
But after an Air Force plane accident left him with a traumatic brain injury, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and chronic pain, Distaso was placed on more than a dozen prescription medications by doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
By Bailey Hopp
If you had to choose a diamond for your engagement ring from below or above the ground, which would you pick … and why would you pick it? This is the main question consumers are facing when picking out their diamond engagement ring today. With a dramatic increase in demand for conflict-free lab-grown diamonds, the diamond industry is shifting right before our eyes.
The scourge of plastic waste that washes up on once-pristine beaches and finds its way into the middle of the ocean often starts on land, is dumped in rivers and canals, and gets carried out to sea. At the current rate, marine plastic is predicted to outweigh all the fish in the seas by 2050, according to Silicon Canals.
By Julia Conley
Joined by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Friday night, Sen. Bernie Sanders held the largest rally of any 2020 Democratic presidential candidate to date in Iowa, drawing more than 2,400 people to Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs.