DeSantis Makes ‘Climate Change Isn’t Real’ Official Florida Law

By: Lauren Fokas | Published: Jun 03, 2024

Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, is unquestionably one of the most controversial lawmakers in the United States. Over his short two years in office, DeSantis has passed several pieces of legislation that shocked the world.

The most recent bill is a rewrite of the state’s existing energy policy, but DeSantis decided to remove any mention of climate change, ban windmill farms, and even increase fossil fuel usage. Essentially, Gov. DeSantis has announced in no uncertain terms that he believes climate change isn’t real.

Ron DeSantis Signs a New Energy Policy for Florida

On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis signed Florida’s new energy policy, set to go into effect on July 1.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signing the new energy policy for the state

Source: @RonDeSantis/X

The Republican governor posted on his X (formerly Twitter) profile, “The legislation I signed today—HB 1645, HB 7071, and HB 1331—will keep windmills off our beaches, gas in our tanks, and China out of our state. We’re restoring sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots. Furthermore, we’re going to ensure foreign adversaries like China have no foothold in our state.”

Florida Residents Are Exceptionally Worried About Climate Change

The original energy policy, written in 2022, was implemented after Florida residents called on their government to work toward using 100% clean energy by 2050. In fact, over 90% of Florida residents believe wholeheartedly in climate change and its negative side effects.

Several people hold signs at a climate change protest

Source: Freepik

They have good reason to be concerned. Because of its geographic location and topography, Florida has experienced more effects of climate change than almost anywhere else in the country. From rising sea levels to bleached coral reefs, as well as extreme weather, including heat waves, hurricanes, and tropical storms, Florida residents want to see tangible changes as soon as possible.

How Did DeSantis Get Elected?

In 2021, at the height of the global pandemic, DeSantis ran for re-election, and residents of the Sunshine State became enamored with his rejection of the federally mandated lockdown.

Several Americans in line to vote in a large room

Source: iStock

At the time, the fate of the planet seemed less immediate a problem than COVID-19, so Floridians weren’t asking candidates how they planned to take on climate change. If they had, they may have found out sooner that, in DeSantis’ own words, he’s “not a climate change person.”

DeSantis Said He’s More Worried About Energy Dominance Than Protecting the Planet

Over the past two years, DeSantis has made his position on climate change painstakingly clear, and now, he has finally taken action to make fighting against climate change illegal in the Sunshine State.

A screenshot of a post by @GovRonDeSantis on X

Source: @RonDeSantis/X

After signing the extremely controversial bill, which all but reverses Florida’s efforts to transition to sustainable energy, DeSantis told the press, “Everything is about economic growth. It’s not about climate change. It’s not about renewable energy.” He also explained that his focus is on “energy dominance” over “climate change.”

DeSantis Removed the Words “Climate Change” 8 Times

In the bill, DeSantis had the words “climate change” removed eight separate times, but he didn’t just change the vocabulary.

A close-up photograph of a text with several of the lines blacked out

Source: iStock

The governor also ensured the new legislation would almost completely nullify the old one. From now on, Florida will not be focused on funding or building green energy sources, and it certainly isn’t working toward 100% sustainable energy by 2050.


Wind Farms Are Now Illegal in Florida

As Florida is home to more than 1,350 miles of coastline, one might think it would be the ideal state for several offshore wind farms that could help produce a substantial amount of energy without harming the planet.

An aerial photograph of dozens of windmills in the ocean

Source: Freepik

But DeSantis made sure to include a clause that strictly outlawed offshore wind farms in the Sunshine State. Several experts have since noted that because of the strong winds and currents off Florida’s long coasts, wind farms are impractical anyway, but making them illegal was certainly a statement by the governor.


DeSantis’ New Energy Bill Promotes Fossil Fuel Production

The new legislation doesn’t just abolish the state’s mission to create more sustainable energy sources, it actually encourages the use of fossil fuels.

A photograph of several oil drills silhouetted in front of a setting sun

Source: Freepik

Natural gas is Florida’s primary energy source, though the majority of it is imported from other states. However, DeSantis plans to change that by enhancing the existing natural gas facilities, which emit excessive amounts of toxic greenhouse gases. He even plans to spend a small fortune to protect Florida’s natural gas facilities from apparent cyber and physical threats.


DeSantis Is Already Under Fire for His “Don’t Say Gay Bill”

Many are calling this bill the “Don’t Say Climate Change” Act, which is a play on DeSantis’ other controversial bill, commonly called the “Don’t Say Gay” Act.

A rainbow Pride flag waves in the wind in front of the sun

Source: Freepik

In 2022, DeSantis made it illegal for students or teachers to discuss sexual orientation or gender in schools, and the LGBTQ+ community and their supporters were disgusted by the governor’s lack of care and understanding.


Environmentalists Are Urging Florida Residents to Vote for Someone Who Cares About the Planet

While Governor DeSantis won his re-election race by a landslide, millions of Florida residents surely regret voting for the man who has denied Florida’s youth the right to express themselves and has since denied the very real effects of climate change on Florida’s landscape.

A map showing a red pushpin in the state of Florida

Source: iStock

Gov. DeSantis has two more years in office, but many influential environmentalists and LGBTQ+ activists are already calling on Floridians to be extremely careful in the next election. They argue that voting for another climate change denier could have catastrophic consequences for the state.


It Is Already Too Late for Florida to Recover

Unfortunately, even if Floridians do vote for a new governor in 2026 who cares about the planet, it’s likely too little too late for the Sunshine State. Experts say that without immediate change, the existing effects of climate change will be permanent and even worsen over the next century.

Several tall palm trees windswept in a tropical storm

Source: Freepik

That means that Florida will continue to struggle with extreme weather, including fatal heat waves and hurricanes, and Governor DeSantis and his bill refusing the reality of climate change are only exacerbating an already precarious situation.


The Earth Won’t Survive DeSantis in the White House

It’s likely that Governor Ron DeSantis is trying to appeal to Republicans both in Florida and all around the country with his “Climate Change Isn’t Real” Act, as there are many who are less than pleased with President Biden’s fight for green energy.

Photograph of the fountain in front of the White House in Washington, DC

Source: Wikipedia

After cutting his presidential campaign short for 2024, there is already talk that DeSantis is preparing to run again in 2028. But if this is how he plans to handle the climate crisis, many are worried that DeSantis would not be the right choice for America, let alone the world.