As I think of the future and what is to come in the next decade or so of my life, I can’t help but feel a sense of despair when I realize that the place I call home, Florida, might not exist as we know it by the time my nieces and nephews, now children, become teenagers.
Issues such as sea-level rise, the restoration of the Everglades ecosystem, the impacts of flooding along the Florida coastline and the increase of blue-green and red algae must be addressed by the incoming Biden administration as a priority.
These issues, among many others, have been ignored for too long by inept and slow-acting local, state and federal officeholders. The urgency of the matter has not been taken seriously, and I only hope that the new administration takes the steps to prioritize the impacts of climate change in Florida and the country. President-elect Biden has been vocal about his commitment to the environment, and I am hopeful that he will continue to speak and act on it during his time in office.
The Florida State government has slowly moved past climate change denial, but their efforts are often too little too late. It is time for the Federal government to push policies that will create true change and save our ecosystems, our lands, properties and guarantee a future for the generations to come.
It is also our duty as citizens and residents of the State to keep officials accountable and to demand the urgent actions that could change the grim outlook we have for the future. Florida is at a particular high risk of disappearing if we collectively do not ask for concise policies to be enacted. After succeeding in our duty to vote out a president who dismantled environmental protections and decimated years of climate efforts, it is now the time to trust President Biden and demand that he maintains his promises.
We have the power to curve the impact of climate change in our State, the country and the world, but we cannot do it without the help of our elected officials. This is the time to demand change.