It looks like even Florida is sick of Florida.
In the second piece of absurd Florida news in as many weeks, the city of South Miami has passed a resolution to secede from the state because the state government and Gov. Rick “I’m Not A Scientist” Scott flat out refuse to deal with climate change.
The City Commission voted 3-2 in favor of the measure, which calls for making the state’s 24 southernmost counties a separate state called South Florida. The resolution was put forward by Vice Mayor Walter Harris, who cited “environmental concerns and claims that Tallahassee is unresponsive to the threat of climate change and proper environmental stewardship of the Everglades.”
Here’s the resolution in full, but below are some more crucial bits:
The resolution isn’t overstating things. It turns out that Miami — South Florida’s most notable city and biggest economic powerhouse — will almost certainly be one of the first American cities to pull an Atlantis and sink into the ocean (see here and here). A growing number of insurance companies are already leaving the market entirely, citing how risky it is to insure property in the area.
“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 Phillip Stoddard told The Orlando Sentinel. “They’ve made that abundantly clear every possible opportunity and I would love to give them the opportunity to do that.”
In 2010, when Scott first ran for governor, he pledged to slash funding for environmental spending and get rid of environmental regulations he said were slowing the state’s economy. When he was elected, he made good on many of those promises. Now that he’s in a tight race against former Gov. Charlie Crist, he’s rolled that language back, announcing he’d offer some more funding in the form of $500 million to springs restoration and $500 million to create alternative water supplies.
“Florida’s natural beauty is a big reason why this is the best state in the country to call home,” Scott said in a statement about the funding. “Our natural resources are the foundation of our economy — they drive tourism, housing, business, and agriculture — and they deserve our long-term commitment.”
Crist has been calling Scott out for his failures over the environment since the start of the campaign, and billionaire climate-change activist Tom Steyer is spending big bucks to keep Scott out of office. Polls currently have Crist and Scott in a virtual tie, but South Miami’s vote is just another mark against Scott’s failure to address (or even discuss) a problem central to the well-being of half his state.