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A Climate Change 'Paradigm Shift' in Florida
"For the first time in a decade, a Florida Senate committee scheduled a meeting Monday to discuss the impact of climate change on the peninsula state," according to an article by Mary Ellen Klas.
In addition to the surprise of the convening, a Republican on the committee had some surprise words on the subject of climate change. "'We lost a decade,' said Sen. Tom Lee, the Thonotosassa Republican who chairs the Committee on Infrastructure and Security."
"He began the 90-minute hearing with three words that have not come from the lips of a Republican state senator in years: 'Sea level rise,'" adds Klas.
Lee also says there have been a paradigm shift since Governor Ron Desantis, also a Republican, entered office. Governor DeSantis has even appointed a chief resilience officer for the state.
Astute observers will recall that the previous Republican governor of the state, Rick Scott, banned the words "climate change" and "global warming" from the official documents, emails, and reports during his tenure.
It's still unclear how far the state and its Republican political will go to mitigate and adapt to the expected impacts of climate change and sea level rise.