Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado gives an interview Friday from the city of Miami’s Emergency Operations Center in downtown, 8 September 2017. Photo: David Smiley

By David Smiley
8 September 2017

(Miami Herald) – Miami’s Republican mayor called on President Donald Trump and the head of the Environmental Protection Agency Friday to acknowledge that climate change is playing a role in the extreme weather that has slammed his city and the continental U.S. this summer.

Speaking from Miami’s Emergency Operations Center in downtown, where the city’s senior public safety and political authorities will ride out Category 4 Hurricane Irma this weekend, Mayor Tomás Regalado told the Miami Herald that he believes warming and rising seas are threatening South Florida’s immediate and long-term future.

“This is the time to talk about climate change. This is the time that the president and the EPA and whoever makes decisions needs to talk about climate change,” said Regalado, who flew back to Miami from Argentina Friday morning to be in the city during the storm. “If this isn’t climate change, I don’t know what is. This is a truly, truly poster child for what is to come.” […]

But Trump once called climate change a “hoax.” And on Thursday, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt told CNN that the time to discuss the cause and effect of this summer’s intense hurricanes, including Irma, “it’s not now.”

Regalado, however, said hurricanes like Irma and Harvey, which devastated the Houston area of Texas last month, ought to spark conversations about climate change — not dampen them over concerns about political sensitivities.

“I don’t want to be political but the fact of the matter is that this is a lesson that we need protection from nature,” he said. [more]

Miami’s mayor on Hurricane Irma: ‘If this isn’t climate change, I don’t know what is’

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