TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami) – Eight young people have filed a suit against Governor Rick Scott in an effort to force the state to deal with the threat posed by climate change.
The governor doesn’t talk about climate change and when asked about his thoughts on it, he once notoriously declared “I’m not a scientist.”
The group that brought the suit, the youngest 10, the oldest 20 – a University of Miami marine science student, are being represented by Our Children’s Trust, an Oregon-based organization sponsoring similar suits from children around the country at the state and federal level, according CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
The suit seeks to for the state, which is vulnerable to climate-driven sea rise, to start working on a court-ordered, science-based “Climate Recovery Plan.”
Delaney Reynolds, 18, attends UM’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. She said she finds it “completely unacceptable” for state officials to say “not much” when asked what they are doing to combat climate change.
Reynolds started Sink or Swim, a climate education initiative, in 10th grade as a class project. She’s since made her name by helping draft South Miami’s initiative mandating solar panels on all new construction homes and serving as the only teen on the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities Committee for Miami-Dade County, according to the Miami Herald.
There is no doubt that South Florida is at growing risk from climate change. Miami Beach, which has been forced to deal with worsening seasonal flooding, has already spent $125 million to keep its streets dry. New research from NOAA shows Miami streets could flood every single day by 2070 under many climate models, according to the Miami Herald.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.