Category Archives: Sea Rise

Delaney, What Can I Do To Help?

What can I do to help? That’s easily the number one question I get asked during my lectures and public events. Especially by young people. Today I am pleased to offer you a new answer that is quick and simple, but ever so important.

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I’d like you to sign a petition that demands that Florida’s government actually enforce our existing laws by implementing rules that set a goal that requires 100% of our state’s electricity will come from renewable energy by 2050! And I would also like you to share the link with all of your friends too. Any Floridian age 25 or younger can sign the petition and immediately have your voice heard by becoming part of the solution.

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This month, January 2022, three friends of mine (Valholly, Isaac and Levi, ages 18, 16 and 14) and I are formally demanding that the State of Florida government take action by enforcing our existing laws and take action to make Florida 100% reliant on renewable energy by 2050. We want you to join us by signing a petition so that Florida’s leaders know that Florida’s youth are serious about our government doing more than just talking about the issue. We want, and I know you do too, to see actual action.

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Most adults in charge today simply talk about the issue and fail us, our future and our environment by nearly never actually acting to address the core problem; fossil fuel pollution that creates greenhouse gases that are warming earth to dangerous levels. The sad fact of the matter is that in a place called the ‘sunshine state’ only 4.3% of our state’s energy is currently derived from renewable sources such as solar power and that’s pathetic.

The good news is that we have a law in place that allows Florida’s government to enact actual change right now if only our leaders were compelled to do more about the problem than talk about it while they protect the special interests and polluters that want to avoid or delay the changes we must implement to solve this crisis. This is where you and your friends can become agents of change by demanding action today.

On January 5th my friends and I plan to deliver something called a Petition for Rulemaking to Commissioner Nikki Fried that asks the Department of Agriculture that she leads to use its explicit authority under Florida law to promulgate a rule establishing a goal of 100% renewable energy from the electricity sector by 2050. Commissioner Fried, whose is also running for Florida Governor in 2022, often talks about the importance of having our leaders move our state towards clean energy by ‘breaking the system’ but in nearly four years of service she has failed to actually take any meaningful action. Now’s her opportunity to do more than talk about the issue by embracing our Petition and now is your chance to demand she and the State actually do something to help solve our core climate problem.

Sign Petition

I would greatly appreciate you supporting me and my friends by signing the Petition. We see the steps that we are taking as an opportunity to demand action while also placing our climate crisis at the forefront of the Florida Governor’s race at a critical time. Helping us put this Petition on Commissioner Fried’s desk – signed by as many young people in Florida as we can possibly reach! – while she’s actively campaigning might just force her to “walk her talk” on climate issues or, perhaps, our request will reveal that her self-professed “strong” climate agenda is nothing but more hot air. In any case, I need your help. Florida’s environment and our planet need your help.

Please join us by signing the Petition today and sharing this important youth led initiative with as many of your friends as absolutely possible. Our climate, environment and society is running out of time and now its time for young people to DEMAND the changes we want and deserve.

Sign Florida’s Youth Climate Change Petition Today!

It’s our turn. It’s up to you and I, the youth of the world. Young people globally are going to have to do what adults before us have failed to do: solve our climate change crisis. And today I am pleased to share a way that young Floridians can use their voice to lead the way in demanding the type of change that we need to foster right here in Florida.

Young people all over the world frequently ask me “what can I do?” about our climate crisis and I am pleased to share a simple step that you can take today to make a positive, important difference.

As part of my ongoing efforts to get the state of Florida to begin addressing the core cause of our climate crisis, the use of fossil fuels, I’ve learned that in 2006 the Florida Legislature created a law that mandated an increase in the use of renewable energy and a reduction in our dependence on fossil fuels for electricity production. That’s the good news. The bad news is that I have also learned that in all years (15 and counting) the state and its agencies have done little to nothing to comply and that’s something I’d like to see change so that we can begin the transition to renewable energy, and away from fossil fuels, that forward thinking state lawmakers intended nearly two decades ago.

With this in mind some friends and I are trying to motivate our state to begin to follow the 2006 law by presenting something called a Petition for Rulemaking to formally ask Commissioner Fried to commence the process to lead us to sustainability. If she elects to support the Petition, that step will show she’s serious about addressing our climate crisis. And if she does not commence the rule making process she’ll prove that her frequent comments about our climate are meaningless and that she cares more about protecting the established polluters than protecting our future.

Here in Florida the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS), whose role in our government is to “promote[] Florida agriculture, protect[] the environment, safeguard[] consumers, and ensure[] the safety and wholesomeness of food.” Unfortunately for our climate, Florida’s government is not protecting our environment by curbing our fossil fuel use and carbon emissions – the cause of our climate change crisis. We need to change that and you can help by joining our petition.

With these things in mind I am pleased to announce our Florida youth led petition for rulemaking that demands that the FDCAS establish a goal to generate 100% of Florida’s electricity from renewable energy by 2050 and the steps to get us there. In doing so, the State of Florida and its government will be required under this rule to begin to plan and execute ways in which to accomplish that. You can find the petition by clicking here and I hope that Florida youth under the age of 25 will both sign it today and share it with all of your friends on social media. The more youth that voice their concern the better.

As you consider joining our youth led petition, here are some unfortunate facts to consider as motivation:

(1) Florida is ground zero for climate change. The climate crisis is already having devastating impacts on Florida: rising sea levels and resultant flooding, beach erosion and damage to coastal property, extreme damage to marine ecosystems, spread of infectious diseases, and increased severity of storms and extreme weather events. Florida’s tourism, agriculture, and recreation industries are all suffering. 

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(2) Florida is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the U.S. Florida’s state government has known for decades of the dangers of climate change but has done little to protect its youngest citizens by taking aggressive action to avert the crisis.

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(3) Only 4.3% of Florida’s electricity comes from renewable sources, while natural gas makes up 75% of Florida’s electricity system. Even though the Florida legislature has mandated an increase in the use of renewable energy and a reduction in the state’s dependence on fossil fuels, Florida’s electricity system is still dominated by fossil fuels.

(4) According to Evolved Energy Research, it is economically and technically feasible to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050. Transitioning to renewable energy would create 222,082 construction jobs and 90,727 operation jobs, reduce energy costs and save lives. State government should not be standing in the way of a new energy future for Florida!

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Allow me to end by thanking a few of my friends from all over Florida that are joining me in signing this petition and fighting for our planet and generation’s future. Thanks to Levi, Valholly, and Issac, who were part of the historic group of eight brave young Floridians that sued the State of Florida, Florida’s Governor, and Cabinet in the case Reynolds v. State of Florida to demand that our state enforce the laws that cut back and eliminate our state’s carbon emissions. Thanks as well to the exceptional people at Our Children’s Trust, the youth-focused environmental law firm that helped us with our case and that are leading the federal constitutional climate case, Juliana v. United States. Demanding change within a culture where politics so often protects the polluters is hard and to my young friends and the folks at OCT, thank you again and again.

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And to the youth of Florida, NOW is the time for you to get involved. Please sign the petition TODAY and share it with every single person you know on social media. Our future is in our hands and whether you are old enough to vote or not you can make a difference right NOW.

Adults have long failed us by putting politics and profits ahead of our planet. Our climate and too many of the natural places we cherish are at dire risk. I know you know this, and I know you agree, so it’s up to you and I to solve our climate crisis. I most sincerely hope that you will join my friends and I in demanding that our government take action today.

www.ourchildrenstrust.org/floridapetition

Climate Advocates Voices Unidas

I met David Smith at the dawn of my climate change journey when Dr. Stoddard, then South Miami’s Mayor, and Caroline Lewis, the founder of The CLEO Institute suggested he hear my thoughts on our climate and South Florida’s questionable future in a world of rising seas. That was in 2015 when I was in 10th grade and our paths have crossed many times in the years since, including this year when he graciously asked me to serve on the Board of Directors for an amazing organization that he and his wife Jordan founded and lead, Climate Advocates Voices Unidas (CAVU).

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David is a gifted filmmaker and storyteller, pilot, devout environmentalist, esteemed educator, father, friend, and all around nice guy. He, Jordan, and the entire CAVU team are having a truly incredible advocacy and educational impact in “moving the needle,” as David would say, in an important and positive direction.

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My own work with CAVU over the years has included being featured in the 10 part Florida-focused series Ahead of the Tide that remains relevant (and can be found here on the miamisearise.com main page!), the Ahead of the Tide Miami Video Premiere at the University of Miami in 2016, and more recently the Climate Innovation Challenge for which I served as a judge and keynote speaker that took place this past April.

CAVU seeks to engage individuals, communities, and leaders to take action on climate related issues through education, media, scientific research, and advocacy for our natural world. At their heart, the folks at CAVU are immersive story-tellers and true agents of change. As we say here at CAVU, Perspective is Everything and with that in mind I invite you to view the following short video that illustrates our impact throughout the hemisphere: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_falLNI7rI0.

CAVU’s current programs and projects include its award winning Climate Innovation Challenge (www.climateinnovationchallange.org), a wonderful STEAM focused program for students; a multi-media series The Polluted Future that exposes how a new federal rule threatens New Mexico’s aquatic environment; and Methane Matters as part of their Unearthed Series that explores the impact, benefits, and costs of gas and oil while advocating to have greenhouse gas emissions materially reduced. And this coming Spring CAVU is planning to launch a new video series and website that aims to bring social justice and environmental organizations together to ensure that equity and justice are prioritized as society transitions to a clean energy economy.

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I have long admired David and Jordan’s work and am deeply humbled that they would ask me to serve on the CAVU Board. They are making a real difference in a world that needs all of the difference makers that we can find so I hope you will take time to learn about their truly amazing work. I know it will inspire you and I look forward to hearing what you think.

To learn more about CAVU or to consider making a donation towards its incredibly important work please visit www.cavu.org or contact me at any time.

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