Zachary T. Sampson, Miami Herald, August 9, 2019

Climate Change ‘Absolutely’ Means Restricting Development

For the first time, Florida has a chief resilience officer to oversee the state’s efforts to cope with climate change — and in her first extended interview, she wasn’t shy about using the term “climate change.”

Consider that a major development in Florida. During Rick Scott’s tenure as governor from 2011 through 2018, stories circulated among state employees that uttering “climate change” would be met with a swift rebuke, although Scott himself denied it. In an interview Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recently named resilience officer, Julia Nesheiwat, was asked if she hesitated to use the term.

“Not at all,” she said. “It’s here. It’s real.”

But she didn’t want to discuss the past politics that made the subject so forbidden in the previous administration: “I want to stay away from the politics and get things done for the state of Florida.”

She also said new limits will likely be necessary on building homes, businesses and infrastructure in flood-prone areas.

“There will need to be restrictions, absolutely,” Nesheiwat said.

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