Dave Rogers for Florida 17

Climate

Climate Change.

Effectively addressing the threat of climate change will require international efforts and cooperation. But after decades of denial and delay, we have little time left to avert catastrophe, and all levels of government must take a hand in meeting the challenge.

Florida is uniquely situated to lead on this issue. We are one of the most vulnerable states in the nation, and we have access to tremendous amounts of renewable energy as "the sunshine state."

As your representative, I will work with like-minded legislators in Tallahassee to establish an ambitious goal to make Florida net carbon neutral as a state in 2050. I believe this is achievable, and while it represents a formidable challenge, it's also an enormous economic opportunity for Florida's investors, entrepreneurs, inventors and innovators.

Sea Level Rise

While we must stop the emission of CO2 and other greenhouse gases to arrest global warming, the quantity of heat already stored in earth's oceans, and the warming already "baked in" to the earth's atmosphere, will ensure the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets will continue to melt for decades to come, perhaps centuries. Sea level will continue to rise, and increasing amounts of public and private property will be exposed to flood risk.

The insurance and mortgage industries are already beginning to take this risk into account as they consider future financing and underwriting. It will not be long before property that is at risk due to sea level rise will be unable to access affordable capital, or affordable insurance.

As state representative, I will mobilize the resources of the state university system to study this issue, and develop the plans and policies the state should enact to address this challenge. All relevant stakeholders will be invited to participate, property owners, developers, local government, federal partners and the finance and insurance industries. We need to get all the right people to the table to figure this out while we still have time. The state university system is a tremendous asset in our efforts to understand the challenge we face, and the options open to us. It also affords regional efforts, as different regions of Florida face different challenges. We need to mobilize this incredible resource and leverage it in the fight for Florida's future.

For much of Florida's coastal property, protection will be impossible or impractical. Retreat will be our only option. This poses serious questions regarding private property rights. And the built environment that is at risk will have to be deconstructed and restored to something resembling its natural state in order to preserve the beauty and natural functions of Florida's coast.

We need a plan to reduce uncertainty in the marketplace. With a problem of this scope, a sound plan will likely take a number of years to develop. And if history is a reliable predictor, any plan we develop will probably be litigated, also for years. While sea level rise may seem to be a problem that is decades in the future, it's really here today. And we aren't doing nearly enough to address it.

As your state representative, I will fight for Florida's future, which is really our children's future. Climate change and sea level rise are enormous challenges that threaten our global civilization. It's not hopeless, and we're not helpless. But we must fight!

I will lead that fight in Tallahassee.

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