Trump's anti-climate change crusade doesn't worry the Florida Keys – Miami Herald
Donald Trump’s assault on climate change has consequences for the Florida Keys, where most of the 120-mile-long island chain lies a few feet above sea level.
The Trump administration is rolling back regulations that required builders to consider the impacts of rising sea levels, deleting references to climate change on government websites and publicly denying that higher carbon dioxide levels contribute to climate change.
“I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change,” Trump said in Miami during 2016 campaign.
Trump’s attitude and actions could have direct impacts on the Keys, where scientists estimate a two-foot rise in sea level would put 71 percent of the islands under water. A 2015 estimate projects a six- to 10-inch sea level rise in South Florida by 2030, and 14 to 26 inches by 2060.
“The impacts of sea-level rise in the Florida Keys are visible to anyone that’s paying attention,” said Chris Bergh, a Keys resident who is director of conservation for the Nature Conservancy in South Florida. “You see freshwater plants dying out and being replaced by mangroves.”
But the Keys voted for Trump in 2016, the first time the islands voted for a Republican in a presidential election since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Interviews with voters and local politicians show that climate change isn’t an issue that captivates the attention of residents on a day-to-day basis.
“I don’t really hear too much talk about climate change down here,” said Diane Scott, a registered Democrat who sported a homemade necklace with the slogan “Racism Lives Here” at a recent city council meeting in Marathon, a town of about 9,000 people about halfway between Key West and the mainland.
Instead, a lack of affordable housing is the biggest political issue for both