Elections have consequences. Sure, there are some Miami voters who leapt enthusiastically onto the Trump Train and embraced all of the Donald's plans. But thousands of locals voted for him only because they wanted lower taxes or a wall in Texas or the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Even more in Miami-Dade didn't bother showing up at the polls.
Miami is about to learn about the consequences of those votes or lack thereof. Because moments after his inauguration, Donald Trump uploaded his full policy plans, and right there at the top of his very first plan, he vows to outright kill the Climate Action Plan.
"President Trump is committed to eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan," reads the plan, now front-and-center on WhiteHouse.gov. The climate-change site that the Obama administration set up has already been scrubbed from the web.
Miami, of course, is the American city most threatened by rising seas driven by a changing climate. The Climate Action Plan was hardly a perfect solution to that problem.
But it was a start. The plan set goals to reduce carbon emissions by 3 billion metric tons by 2030, devoted $8 billion in loans to cleaner energy projects, and created task forces on local levels to prepare for climate-change effects. It also directed new international efforts, including bilateral agreements with China and India.
Those are not insignificant moves. Now they are gone.
Instead, we have a president who continues to insist climate change is a "Chinese conspiracy." He has appointed an avowed climate-change denier to run the Environmental Protection Agency.
Sea-level rise as a result of climate change often felt like a hopeless problem here in Miami, where increased sunny-day flooding is already a regular reality — and that was under an administration committed to finding solutions.
What is Miami meant to do now? In coming years, we'll keep trying local fixes such as Mayor Philip Levine's billion-dollar pump plan in Miami Beach. We can try to cut our own emissions — ride bikes and public transit more often and vote down anti-solar nonsense like Amendment 2.
But it's hard to imagine a future that includes a Miami-Dade County on dry land with a national leader who is scrubbing the very idea of climate change from the conversation.
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