Environment

‘The seas are rising and so are we’: Local activists rally for climate change action

Hundreds calling for action to fight climate change march in Miami

Valencia Gunder, lead organizer for New Florida Majority, talks about the climate change march that began at Jose Marti Park in Miami. The march was one of hundreds around the world and coincided with President Donald Trump's 100th day in office.
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Valencia Gunder, lead organizer for New Florida Majority, talks about the climate change march that began at Jose Marti Park in Miami. The march was one of hundreds around the world and coincided with President Donald Trump's 100th day in office.

During the last King Tide in Miami, seawater flooded the sidewalks and grass at Jose Marti Park. Six months later, those sidewalks were flooded with protesters calling out for action on climate change.

Hundreds of activists gathered Saturday afternoon in one of the cities most threatened by the rising seas fueled by climate change as well as in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and at hundreds of other protests around the world. The mother march, in Washington, D.C., drew tens of thousands of environmental activists.

Read More: Study confirms human effects on sea level rise

In Miami, protesters marched from the park to the Lyric Theatre, chanting and waving signs that urged “Don’t be fossil fools,” “Less Meat = Less Heat” and “Love Your Mother.”

The protest coincided with the 100th day of Donald Trump’s presidency, who once called climate change a hoax. Environmentalists have criticized the administration for awarding top government spots to men who disagree with many scientists that climate change is an urgent threat.

The annual king tides are rising in South Florida, causing some flooding in coastal areas.

To head the Environmental Protection Agency, Trump chose Scott Pruitt, who had sued the agency multiple times — and asked the industries he now regulates for the money to do it.

Read More: Miami Beach’s battle to stem rising tides

Trump’s March executive order to undo many of the Obama administration’s climate change rules drew fire from Miami Republicans, who called the reversal “troubling,” “dangerous” and “misguided.”

The day before the People’s Climate March, the EPA removed several agency websites with detailed climate change information and agency details.

This video shows roads and properties in Miami Beach that would be underwater with three feet of sea level rise, which current projections indicate could happen by 2050. The animation was created using LIDAR aerial survey data from 2007 and 2015,

Alex Harris: 305-376-5005, @harrisalexc

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