Georgia vs. Florida: Congress on Record Fall Temperatures

Peppermint Mocha Latte’s are back and Thanksgiving break is just around the corner, so how come people are having to take off their coats by mid-morning? Well, quite simply, this is an unusually hot fall season.

According to a report made by The Weather Channel, Athens, Georgia set a new record for reaching 85 degrees Fahrenheit on November 3rd, 2016.

Two weeks ago, Atlanta reached a record high of 86 degrees, just one degree higher than Athens, for the first time in 76 years. Florida is facing similar high temperatures. Jacksonville and Tallahassee hit 86 and 90 degrees on Halloween day.

So the question remains; are we putting politicians in office that believe climate change IS happening and are working to counteract global warming?

Georgia House of Representatives member, Tom Graves.

State neighbors, Georgia and Florida’s members in the House of Representatives and the Senate voice quite different opinions on the worldwide issue.

“Congress will not subject the American people to a job-destroying climate agenda,” says House member, Tom Graves, in a 2015 press release. Graves is a Republican representative from Georgia who is against the transition from greenhouse gas producing sources of energy to cleaner resources, due to the loss of jobs that will come with the switch.

The two Republican Senators from Georgia “admit the earth’s climate is changing” but are not willing to put the blame on human activity, shares an Atlanta Journal Constitution article.

Georgia Senator, Johnny Isakson.
Georgia Senator, Johnny Isakson.

The peach state’s Senator Johnny Isakson is known for defending the coal business, which many environmental scientists have said is the root cause for the rising temperatures.

“I will use all means necessary to fight against these attempted power grabs and job-killing policies by the Obama administration that raise the cost of living for hardworking Georgians. Coal is the most significant source of Georgia’s electricity and supports 8,800 jobs in our state,” says Senator Isakson in a news release earlier this year.

On the contrary, a majority of Florida’s representatives in Congress believe global warming to be true and are supporters of enacting laws to protect the health and safety of our environment.

Florida House of Representatives member, Stephanie Murphy.

Solar, wind, and other sources for renewable energy are highly supported by Stephanie Murphy, Democratic House of Representative politician for Florida, who made sure she highlighted this controversial issue in her campaign efforts.

“These investments not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but they also help create 21st century “green collar” jobs… Stephanie will help build support in Congress to permanently extend the wind production tax credit and the solar investment tax credit,” reads Murphy’s “Environment” page on her website.

Democratic Senator for Florida, Bill Nelson, discussed the issue of Florida’s sinking coastal cities on the Senate floor:

“With this newfound attention to this problem, let’s go do something about it by building bipartisan support for a solution. That’s the right thing to do,” says Senator Nelson in conclusion.

Are Florida’s Congress members more easily convinced than Georgia’s that climate change is worthy of attention since they are currently witnessing the flooding of Miami Beach and other Atlantic coastal cities?

However, the recent flooding in Tybee Island, Georgia has raised attention amongst the state’s politicians and residents on the reality of global warming. Environmentalists have proclaimed that if Republicans and Democrats wait too long to come together on this issue, the environmental consequences will only continue to grow worse and harder to combat.

Do you agree with Tom Graves and Johnny Isakson on their desire to keep coal workers employed? Do you agree with Stephanie Murphy and Bill Nelson on needing to turn towards renewable energy sources to reverse coastal flooding?

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

(Analysis and Commentary by Mari Kasuya)

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