Florida celebrates Earth Day with the threat of becoming “climate refugees”

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Miami – Florida commemorates the edition number 50 of Earth daycelebrated on the 22 of April, with the sunset view at the level of the sea, whose rise threatens to convert to 2.5 million people in the southern part of the state in “climate refugees”.

The young activist and executive director of “Sink or Swim Project”, Delaney Reynolds, said in an interview with Efe that “no one is safe” of the sea-level rise as a consequence of global warming, but that the solution lies in the transition towards an economy based on renewable energies.

“Becoming climate refugees, some people in south Florida will be able to move and live in any other place in the country that is not affected by the rise in sea level, but the population more impoverished will not be able to do so, and this is the real crisis,” she said.

Delaney Reynolds
(Agencia EFE)

Reynolds, who lives with his family in the Florida Keys and has spent half a lifetime in the water, held this day at home is “different” because of the coronavirus.

The young man of little more than 20 years, which has been compared to a young activist Swedish Greta Thunberg, will participate in the digital summit “Earth Optimism” that has organized Smithsonian Conservation Commons.

“Even though times are a little different, there are many ways to celebrate in-line and except from the house of each one. There are many events through the internet, such as music festivals, documentaries, or lectures to commemorate these fifty years,” said Reynolds.

A lost decade

Florida will be the region most affected by sea level rise over the next decades and by 2060 there will already be increased to at least 60 centimeters, a situation in part caused by the “inaction” the state government, according to the environmental activist.

One of the few measures implemented from the institutions it is SB 178, driven by state senator José Javier Rodríguez, which was approved last march, and obliged to submit a study on the possible environmental impact of fifty years before to build with the money of the taxes in coastal areas.

Reynolds stressed that “little by little things are changing”, and although the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, is aware of the problem “there is still much to be done”.

Thais Lopez
(Agencia EFE)

“What I have seen so far is much talk, there is a need to do something substantial that helps to reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide,” she said.

An idea that coincides Thais Lopez, the co-founder of “VoLo Foundation”, an environmental organization that is responsible for researching through the data the effects produced by climate change.

A study of this organization ensures that by the year 2030 there will be in Florida at least one hundred days with temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees celsius), a rise in temperatures will cause more hurricanes, droughts, and forced migration due to sea level rise.

“People don’t assume that everything is related with the climate problem. The economy, immigration, the wars. A long time ago that we found out that wars are due to lack of water and lack of resources’, said Lopez.

The effect of the quarantine

In different places of the globe has viewed the effect that it is having the quarantine COVID-19 in the nature, that after a few weeks of confinement has taken a break from the human being and has allowed that in places like the Keys, the waters are completely transparent.

“He wants to say that nature does not need us, nature is going to survive and is going to continue its course without us. You can’t say that the coronavirus is good news, but the truth is that nature needed a break,” said Lopez.

On the other hand, concentrations of common that are carried out in other editions of the Day of the Earth have had to be suspended because of the coronavirus, but organizations such as the “350 South Florida” keep the spirit alive through a strike line.

Image of the work “and-Install 5”, of the artist who american Mira Lehr.

This organization is asking people to send them photographs with posters protesting the climate change to a mural that shows the concern of the population to curb this problem.

Others, like the artist who american, 85 years, Mira Lehrthat with his works he warns about the “Armageddon” climate is hovering over Florida, did not lose hope in the face of a pandemic that must be confronted, “all together”.

All together, we can overcome this. It is a matter of ideas. If we can heal the planet, we can also heal us,” commented the artist.