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DeSantis: Miami cannot become uninhabitable quickly enough for me

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The pattern where Republican politicians in competitive races make noises about being “Teddy Roosevelt conservationists” or something only to quickly retreat to the fully climate denialist party line is common enough, and needless to say the shoe fits on Coathanger Ron perfectly:

During his 2018 run for governor, Ron DeSantis not only pledged to protect Florida’s Everglades and waterways, he also acknowledged that humans played a role in exacerbating the climate change that threatened them.

“I think that humans contribute to what goes on around us,” Mr. DeSantis told the editorial board of The Florida Times-Union, a Jacksonville newspaper, according to a recording obtained by The New York Times.

“The resiliency and some of the sea-level rise, we have to deal with that,” he added, although he pointedly said he was “not Al Gore,” referring to the former Democratic vice president who reinvented himself as a climate change activist.

Now running for president five years later, the Florida governor no longer repeats his previous view that humans affect the climate, even as scientists say that the hurricanes battering his state are being intensified by man-made global warming. Those storms include Hurricane Idalia, which killed three people this month, and last year’s catastrophic Hurricane Ian, which killed 150 Floridians.

On the debate stage last month, Mr. DeSantis declined to raise his hand when a moderator asked the Republican candidates if they thought human behavior was causing climate change. His campaign and the governor’s office did not respond to requests for comment about his views.

Instead, Mr. DeSantis has seemingly reverted to an old Republican Party line that climate change is happening naturally, without being accelerated by human behavior like the burning of fossil fuels. Decades of scientific research contradict that position. And it is also out of step with what polling shows many Americans believe.

On the 2024 campaign trail, Mr. DeSantis has promised to ramp up domestic oil and gas production and fight against mandates on the introduction of electric vehicles — the kinds of steps that could worsen the sea-level rise that is flooding coastal cities in Florida and around the world. Mr. DeSantis says he is simply being realistic about the country’s economic and national security needs.

And unlike Trump, he’s young enough to see things get really bad in Florida. Fortunately, an authentic midwesterner such as himself will surely be accepted back home after the condos tumble into the sea!

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