South Florida Wants to Split State Over Climate Change

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Some may remember a politically motivated proposal to split California into six separate states floated earlier this year. That was basically a proposal by a wealthy venture capitalist for the rich areas to take their ball and go home, leaving the poorer areas to fend for themselves. By last month, it had failed to collect enough signatures to make the 2016 ballot and most likely would have died on a national level, no matter what Californians decided, since it would require Congressional approval.

South Florida’s low-lying land and extensive coastline make it exceptionally vulnerable to rising sea levels. Photo credit: Shutterstock

South Florida’s low-lying land and extensive coastline make it exceptionally vulnerable to rising sea levels. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Miami’s South Beach, a major entertainment and tourist district in Miami Beach, flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Miami’s South Beach, a major entertainment and tourist district in Miami Beach, flooded during Hurricane Sandy. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Now a similar proposal is being floated in Florida. And while some media has blown this up into another political food fight, given the historic rancor between its southern coastal cities and its more conservative north where the capital of Tallahassee is located, it actually has a more specific motivation.

The mayor and city commission of South Miami recently passed a resolutioncalling for the separation of Florida into two states, North Florida and South Florida. The vote was 3-2. It’s full of “whereases” but here’s the key one:

“whereas, climate change is a scientific reality resulting in global warming andrising sea level; and”

And you people in Tallahassee aren’t doing a DAMN thing about it! Ok, they didn’t put it quite like that.

“Whereas, South Florida’s situation is very precarious and in need of immediate attention. Many of the issues facing South Florida are not political, but are now significant safety issues; and Whereas, presently, in order to address the concerns of South Florida, it is necessary to travel to Tallahassee in North Florida. Often South Florida issues do not receive the support of Tallahassee. This is despite the fact that South Florida generates more than 69 percent of the state’s revenue and contains 67 percent of the state’s population …”

The resolution concludes that “The creation of the 51st state, South Florida, is necessary for the survival of the entire southern region of the current state of Florida.”

“It’s very apparent that the attitude of the northern part of the state is that they would just love to saw the state in half and just let us float off into the Caribbean,” South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard told the Orlando Sentinel. “They’ve made that abundantly clear at every possible opportunity and I would love to give them the opportunity to do that.”

Read More at EcoWatch

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Categories: Climate change, Environment, Environmental history, Environmental policy, History, Politics

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5 replies

  1. I heard about this but I was given a different reason. After I read this article, it is actually is logical in one way but like cutting your head off in another way. Tallahassee is well known for being corrupt, greedy and unreasonable. I watched small businesses and larger companies battle with Tallahassee (with and without lawyers). Tallahassee has all the cards and they hold the power in one twisted way. It needs to change. Tallahassee needs to work with the entire state in my view. They need to grow up and serve Florida instead of the one percent.

    I think I have lived here too long. States should not toss away their coastal areas. South Florida generates the majority of this states revenue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Florida politics is fascinating. What I’m understanding from the article and your comment is that Florida has a north/south political divide. It’s a big state. Florida has turned blue for national elections. Northern Florida is part of the Deep South politically and culturally, while southern Florida is more cosmopolitan, wealthier and better educated on average. Have I got that right?

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree that southern Florida is more cosmopolitan and likely better educated. It is a very diverse culture. Florida politics is fascinating and controlled on a state wide level. It can change drastically depending on who is in power here. For example, this is off topic but I do not believe the J. Bush would get the Florida vote if he ran for President. Remember that he stole the election using Florida when his brother ran and this state has never forgiven him.

      I think that the divide is between Southern Florida and Tallahassee where all the tax revenue and state laws are controlled and enforced. Everyone has trouble with Tallahassee. I have not talked to enough people but the thought of breaking up the state is not accepted by citizens living in the Tampa area. People living here believe it would seriously hurt the state. Considering that Miami alone generates almost 70 percent of the revenue, I agree with the locals.

      Florida has had a large influx of northern college graduates into local hospitals and businesses. I think the state will turn solid blue by the next election and hopefully our voting laws will represent the citizens by 2016. Voter suppression and gerrymandering is out of control here.

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    • I think it is interesting that this state battle is over climate change and money. If Tallahassee is willing to let the southern part of the state disappear, it is willing to let all of our coastal areas go. That puts most of the state on edge and in danger..It is a long, skinny state which is mostly coastal.

      Like

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