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Southwest Florida citizens showing leadership in climate change issues

SARASOTA – With President Donald Trump withdrawing the United States from the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, Congress still pondering legislation but not acting and Florida Gov. Rick Scott banning state environmental regulators from even using terms such as "global warming," concerned citizens say they cannot wait for leadership on the climate change issue to come from the top. In their recent book "Climate of Hope," former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope, former national executive director of the Sierra Club, say that leadership has to rise from the grassroots.

"The good news is that's already starting to happen, as voters all over the country see storms growing stronger and more frequent, as they see floods where they never had them before, and as they suffer through droughts that are worse than they've ever experienced," Bloomberg writes. "Americans are a lot smarter than the elected officials they send to Washington. Our country's citizens want to avoid these disasters — and they know they can do something about it."

Southwest Florida is a prime example of a community in which citizens are not only expressing concerns about climate change and its possible impacts, such as sea level rise, they are uniting and acting on those concerns.