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Climate Change Denial

On October 11, The St. Augustine Record ran an editorial: The pitiful politics of hurricanes.

Below is my response published in The Record October 14.

Florida a one-party state for decades

EDITOR: The Record’s editorial, “The pitiful politics of hurricanes” was disappointing. The old “a pox on both their houses” argument is no solution to increasingly violent storms. Hurricane Michael hit just days after the United Nations issued a major report warning humanity that the time to act against catastrophic climate change is rapidly running out. Instead of rebuking Florida Republicans for ignoring the human impact on climate and failing to act, The Record chose to attack Democrats as “wannabe socialists and armchair anarchists.”

We have a lame-duck governor who denies climate change lest he upset the Koch Brothers when he begs them for campaign money. Rick Scott seems to think that climate change denial will prevent disaster but, when that fails, he advises Floridians to flee before the storms hit. Ron DeSantis, the GOP gubernatorial candidate, claims that climate change is not a problem state government can mitigate.

The “two party system” is a red herring. Florida has been a one-party state for 20 years. To solidify their power, the GOP legislature has gerrymandered the state and Scott has signed numerous GOP voter suppression laws. As a result the GOP has succeeded in alienating millions of voters. The number of No Party Affiliation voters has increased, but in the 2014 midterm election 56.7 percent of eligible Florida voters didn’t vote at all. Sadly The Record’s solution to the problem of alienated voters is, “May their tribe increase.”

Mike Konopacki, St. Augustine

Opinion editor’s note: Mike, for the record Democrats were wannabe socialists; Republicans were armchair anarchists.