South Florida Wants to Split State Over Climate Change, Become 51st State
Some may remember a politically motivated proposal to split California into six separate states floated earlier this year. That was basically a proposal by a wealthy venture capitalist for the rich areas to take their ball and go home, leaving the poorer areas to fend for themselves. By last month, it had failed to collect enough signatures to make the 2016 ballot and most likely would have died on a national level, no matter what Californians decided, since it would require Congressional approval.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Now a similar proposal is being floated in Florida. And while some media has blown this up into another political food fight, given the historic rancor between its southern coastal cities and its more conservative north where the capital of Tallahassee is located, it actually has a more specific motivation.
The mayor and city commission of South Miami recently passed a resolution calling for the separation of Florida into two states, North Florida and South Florida. The vote was 3-2. It's full of "whereases" but here's the key one:
And you people in Tallahassee aren't doing a DAMN thing about it! Ok, they didn't put it quite like that.
"Whereas, South Florida's situation is very precarious and in need of immediate attention. Many of the issues facing South Florida are not political, but are now significant safety issues; and Whereas, presently, in order to address the concerns of South Florida, it is necessary to travel to Tallahassee in North Florida. Often South Florida issues do not receive the support of Tallahassee. This is despite the fact that South Florida generates more than 69 percent of the state's revenue and contains 67 percent of the state's population ..."
The resolution concludes that "The creation of the 51st state, South Florida, is necessary for the survival of the entire southern region of the current state of Florida."
“It’s very apparent that the attitude of the northern part of the state is that they would just love to saw the state in half and just let us float off into the Caribbean," South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard told the Orlando Sentinel. "They’ve made that abundantly clear at every possible opportunity and I would love to give them the opportunity to do that.”
Photo credit: Shutterstock
With its combination of hurricane frequency and its low-lying land exposed to the ocean making it vulnerable to sea level rise, Florida's southern end is already feeling the impacts of climate change. Earlier this month, Miami Beach held King Tide Day, marking the year's highest tide, to draw attention to how rising sea levels have worsened the flooding it causes in that city. Scientists and even groups of evangelicals have been trying to meet with Gov. Rick Scott to talk with him about the need for action of climate change impacts to the state and found him generally unresponsive. (He's in a tight battle to retain his job with Democrat Charlie Crist, who has advocated for more aggressive action on climate change).
According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, "Florida's valuable coastal property and key tourist resources will be damaged by the most obvious result of global warming: rising sea levels. In low-lying areas, anticipated sea level rise could force water to flow horizontally as much as 400 feet or more inland—flooding shoreline homes and hotels and eroding Florida's famous beaches. Freshwater supplies that feed cities, agriculture and tourist centers may be endangered by salt-water intrusion. Sea level rise, rising temperatures and alterations in rainfall will also combine to harm the very coastal ecosystems such as the Everglades and coral reefs that make Florida a unique and appealing destination. These changes will alter the $45 to $50 billion annual revenue from Florida's tourist economy."
Pay attention, Tallahassee!
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
To save the planet, we must save the Amazon rainforest. To save the rainforest, we must save its indigenous peoples. And to do that, we must demarcate their land.
A new EarthxTV film special calls for the protection of the Amazon rainforest and the indigenous people that call it home. EarthxTV.org
- Meet the 'Women Warriors' Protecting the Amazon Forest - EcoWatch ›
- Indigenous Tribes Are Using Drones to Protect the Amazon ... ›
- Amazon Rainforest Will Collapse by 2064, New Study Predicts ... ›
- Deforestation in Amazon Skyrockets to 12-Year High Under Bolsonaro ›
- Amazon Rainforest on the Brink of Turning Into a Net Carbon Emitter ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Anke Rasper
"Today's interim report from the UNFCCC is a red alert for our planet," said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.
The report, released Friday, looks at the national climate efforts of 75 states that have already submitted their updated "nationally determined contributions," or NDCs. The countries included in the report are responsible for about 30% of the world's global greenhouse gas emissions.
- World Leaders Fall Short of Meeting Paris Agreement Goal - EcoWatch ›
- UN Climate Change Conference COP26 Delayed to November ... ›
- 5 Years After Paris: How Countries' Climate Policies Match up to ... ›
- Biden Win Puts World 'Within Striking Distance' of 1.5 C Paris Goal ... ›
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
India's New Delhi has been called the "world air pollution capital" for its high concentrations of particulate matter that make it harder for its residents to breathe and see. But one thing has puzzled scientists, according to The Guardian. Why does New Delhi see more blinding smogs than other polluted Asian cities, such as Beijing?
- This Indian Startup Turns Polluted Air Into Climate-Friendly Tiles ... ›
- How to Win the Fight Against Plastic - EcoWatch ›
In a historic move, the Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) voted Thursday to ban hydraulic fracking in the region. The ban was supported by all four basin states — New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York — putting a permanent end to hydraulic fracking for natural gas along the 13,539-square-mile basin, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
- Appalachian Fracking Boom Was a Jobs Bust, Finds New Report ... ›
- Long-Awaited EPA Study Says Fracking Pollutes Drinking Water ... ›
- Pennsylvania Fracking Water Contamination Much Higher Than ... ›
Colombia is one of the world's largest producers of coffee, and yet also one of the most economically disadvantaged. According to research by the national statistic center DANE, 35% of the population in Columbia lives in monetary poverty, compared to an estimated 11% in the U.S., according to census data. This has led to a housing insecurity issue throughout the country, one which construction company Woodpecker is working hard to solve.
- Kenyan Engineer Recycles Plastic Into Bricks Stronger Than ... ›
- Could IKEA's New Tiny House Help Fight the Climate Crisis ... ›