Florida’s On Going Flooding Puts DeSantis’ ‘Delusional’ Climate Agenda in Focus

By: Stephanie Bontorin | Published: Jun 14, 2024

Devastating floods in Florida are spotlighting climate change denier Governor Ron DeSantis. With the help of several Republican allies in the state legislature, the long-time Florida resident was able to remove the phrase “climate change” from future government initiatives in the state.

Last month, DeSantis made massive steps in his fight to deny and ignore the changing climate and sea levels slowly strangling the residents of his state. Now, deprioritizing climate change seems like a reckless position, as many cities are underwater.

Critics Say That DeSantis’ Decision Defied Logic

DeSantis has faced many critics during his tenure as Governor. Recently, he’s been facing a backlash against Democrats, climate-conscious activist groups, and climate scientists, who all say he’s lost the mark.

Three men wearing floatation vests talk down a flooded street while a man drives a pontoon boat and another two people drive in a gator. The area is surrounded with small homes and tropical trees

Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Now, devastating floods washing over Florida is a harsh reminder that it was wrong to dismiss the reality of global warming in a state on the front lines of climate-related disasters.

DeSantis Removed "Climate Change" From Florida Law

Earlier this month, DeSantis made an aggressive decision to remove the phrase “climate change” from the state legislature and future laws.

Close-up of Governor Ron DeSantis speaking at an event

Source: Wikimedia Commons

The sweeping rule also banned the use of windmill farms off-shore and increased the usage of fossil fuel energy sources. Although 90% of Floridians believe that climate change is real, the governer signed three bills to ensure that the state “rejected the agenda of radical green zealots.”

The Governor Turned down Hundreds of Millions in Funding for Water Projects

The Florida Democratic Party took the issue with current flooding in the state to point out that DeSantis recently signed a budget that cancelled more than $200 million in funding to benefit stormwater, wastewater, and sewer water projects.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stands on a stage in front of a large American flag

Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

On social media, the Florida Democratic Party posted: “Flood warnings are in effect for more than 8 million Floridians and Ron just vetoed funding for stormwater projects to reserve money for a rainy day. Ron, it’s raining.”

Crucial Infrastructure Projects Could Have Alleviated the Situation

Florida state Sen. Shevrin Jones came out this week as one of DeSantis’ loudest critics. He claims that the impact of flooding and other climate-related disasters will be felt the most by vulnerable communities that lack proper infrastructure.

A man wearing glasses and a bowtie holds up a piece of paper while speaking into a microphone

Source: @ReporterCurious/X

He wrote on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) “Florida refuses to acknowledge ‘climate change,’ despite streets turning into rivers and @GovRonDeSantis vetoing crucial infrastructure projects in vulnerable communities.”

Flash Floods in In-Land Communities Very Common

Flood waters have affected Miami and West Palm Beach. Following a series of flash floods, many communities are completely submerged in water.

Two first responders help a man wearing a red life vest get out of a car submerged in water

Source: @DemsKeys/X

The southern tip of Florida is most at risk due to the area being surrounded by water on three sides. As ocean levels continue to rise steadily, coastal regions will begin to experience heightened weather disasters and inland locations will become increasingly bogged down with groundwater and floods.


Residents Stuck in Airports and Homes Evacuated

With more than two feet of torrential rain pounding the area, thousands of residents have been evacuated from their homes, roads have been shut down, and all flights in and out of the area have been cancelled.

Bird Island, FL. Homes are surrounded by flooding after a tropical storm.

Source: Barry Bahler/FEMA/Wikipedia

The total level of precipitation has reached higher than 25 inches in Collier County, 20 inches in North Miami, 19 inches in Hollywood, 13 inches in Miami Beach and 12 inches at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.


State of Emergency Declared in Florida

Gov. DeSantis declared a state of emergency for Broward, Collier, Lee, Miami-Dade and Sarasota counties yesterday while flood levels continued to rise.

A woman walks through waist high water while wearing a red jacket with apartment buildings in the background

Source: Joe Readle/Getty Images

Although residents have been warned to stay off the roads, many people have been forced to walk through waist-high waters to reach safety.


Cities Overwhelmed Without Proper Resources

With the increased number of weather disasters in the state and the lack of necessary funding and resources, the state has had to call the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission to assist with recovery efforts.

Four first responders walk through knee high water on a residential street lined with palm trees

Source: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Boats and buggies will be deployed in flooded streets to rescue residents trapped in their homes by flood waters.


Florida Lawmaker Lost His Home to Flooding Last Year

Elijah Manley, a Florida Democrat who lost his home to flooding last year, wrote about the state’s issues on social media.

A man wearing a blue tie, white shirt, blue pants, and orange shoes stands on the roof of the building with the capitol building in the background

Source: @iElijahManley/X

“It’s a good thing Florida’s lawmakers are tacking bold action to combat climate change and sea level rising instead of culture wars and bigotry innit,” he wrote on X taking out his frustration on Florida leaders while also making a clear point that climate change is undeniable.


Trump Previously Claimed That Rising Sea Levels Will Increase Beachfront Property

Earlier this week, former President Donald Trump claimed that rising sea levels would simply result in more beachfront property.

Former Pres. Donald Trump stands on stage with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis

Source: @PaulRudnickNY/X

DeSantis, a supporter of Trump echoes the same sentiments by denying climate change on a legislative level, avoiding the use of clean energy, and denying much needed services during emergencies in vulnerable communities.


Florida Will Continue To Sink

Rising sea level temperatures mean that the Gulf Coast will experience its worst hurricane season on record this year.

An aerial view of a black SUV driving through a flooded street with a fenced yard to the right and palm trees and greenery surrounding the street

Source: @james_aura/X

Coastal regions surrounding Florida and Louisiana will get battered this summer. Flooded land already saturated with water will be unable to absorb the extra moisture from extreme tropical storms.