Florida Gov. DeSantis vows to fight climate change without doing any 'left-wing stuff'

The projects are almost entirely focused on moving the encroaching water we're already dealing with more efficiently.

Photo courtesy Governor's Press Office
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been in a delicate position from his first days as the state's top executive. As a somewhat environmentally conscious Republican, he's had to dance around the fact that much of his base thinks the demonstrable rise in global temperatures is a hoax. That was on full display during a recent news conference in Tampa, where he announced a raft of climate change mitigation proposals while decrying the use of words like "global warming."

“We’re a low-lying state, we’re a storm-prone state, and we’re a flood-prone state,” DeSantis told the crowd. “And so we worked with the Legislature to say, OK how are we going to address this in a way that’s going to protect Florida’s communities, protect our economic livelihood and make sure we’re doing what we need to do.”

As a Republican, DeSantis stands against anything that might cause a business owner or C-Suite type a bit of discomfort. So his proposals notably don't do much to reign in the sort of extractive businesses that have fueled the ongoing crisis. He balked at a reporters use of the term "global warming," saying it was a Trojan horse for ideological concerns.

“What I’ve found is when people start talking about things like global warming they typically use that as a pretext to do a bunch of left-wing things that they would want to do anyways. And so we’re not doing any left-wing stuff,” he said.

What DeSantis is willing to do is increase stormwater drainage and build up seawalls to deal with the problem as it currently exists. The projects are almost entirely focused on moving the encroaching water we're already dealing with more efficiently. This first wave of projects is projected to cost $270 million.

The narrow framework created by the United States' center-right, two-party system means that leftist solutions to the climate crisis aren't even on the table, as much as DeSantis likes to tilt at Communist, electricity-producing windmills.

Punitive taxation on polluters and businesses that do active harm is not exactly being kicked around in anarchist collectives. The only true solution to climate change is an end to our consumption-based and carbon-heavy economy as we know it. But you won't even hear that from the folks that regularly get edited into pictures of Joseph Stalin by right-wing cranks and railed against in DeSantis campaign merch.

This article first appeared at our sister publication Orlando Weekly.
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