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Florida Just Doesn’t Care

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You’d think that the endless natural disasters of Florida would convince the people who live there to rethink their lives. But don’t fool yourself. It ain’t happening. They just don’t care.

One thing I’ve learned in my years of whining about Florida’s unsustainable trajectory in the climate era is that most Floridians don’t care. Some certainly do, including some ordinary citizens who get radicalized when their sparkling estuary gets overrun by foul-smelling guacamole glop or they can’t breathe at the beach. But most don’t, especially if they’re new to Florida, especially if they’re newly retired to Florida. They’re here to enjoy the warm weather in a state with no income tax, not to build a better tomorrow for future generations.

I’m looking out my window right now at another beautiful sunny day in South Florida. I never really understood until I moved here that winter was optional. Some people don’t care for the heat and humidity, especially now that climate change is ratcheting up the heat, and it’s no fun to be in the path of a deadly hurricane. Usually, though, we’re not. Usually, it’s just nice. It’s certainly way nicer than Boston or Brooklyn, or Michigan or Minnesota, in the winter.

That’s why people keep coming, and it’s interesting to see where they’re going. America’s fastest-growing metro over the past decade was not Cape Coral but the Villages, the ultra-Republican retirement community in Central Florida. In 2016, nine of the 20 fastest-growing metros were in Florida, and eight of them voted for Donald Trump. That trend explains why Florida, long considered the ultimate swing state, is now a Republican state.

The day after DeSantis was first sworn into Congress in 2013, he voted against federal aid for the victims of Superstorm Sandy. Now he’s pushing for federal aid for the victims of Ian, which is a very Florida form of hypocrisy. And DeSantis has risen to national prominence behind a very Florida form of now-mine-more messaging, proclaiming this the “free state” of Florida, where you don’t have to worry about public-health scolds telling you to wear a mask or get a vaccine, or pointy-headed planners telling you where to build your house or when to water your lawn. He’s selling irresponsibility as a virtue. Worrying about consequences is for losers.

Fuck the future, give me mine–now that is Peak Boomer. Thanks olds!

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