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TV meteorologist attacks Ron DeSantis over Florida’s ‘don’t say climate change’ law
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TV meteorologist attacks Ron DeSantis over Florida’s ‘don’t say climate change’ law

A TV meteorologist condemned the Florida governor Ron DeSantis’s so-called “don’t say climate change” law on air and urged viewers to vote.

Steve MacLaughlin of WTVJ in Miami addressed viewers on Saturday amid rising heat records across the state, saying: “On Thursday, we reported … that the government of Florida was beginning to roll back really important climate-change legislation and really important climate-change language.”

MacLaughin condemned DeSantis’s position on the matter, saying that it came “in spite of the fact that the state of Florida over the last couple of years has seen record heat, record flooding, record rain, record insurance rates, and the corals are dying all around the state”.

He said: “The entire world is looking to Florida to lead in climate change, and our government is saying that climate change is no longer the priority it once was.

“Please keep in mind the most powerful climate change solution is the one you already have in the palm of your hands – the right to vote. And we will never tell you who to vote for, but we will tell you this: we implore you to please do your research and know that there are candidates that believe in climate change and that there are solutions. And there are candidates that don’t.”

McLaughlin delivered his comments after DeSantis recently signed several bills the governor claimed sought to “restore sanity in our approach to energy and rejecting the agenda of the radical green zealots”.

“Radical green zealots want to impose their climate agenda on people through restrictions, regulations and taxes,” a notice posted by DeSantis said.

In addition to prohibiting windfarms offshore and near coastlines, the bill prioritizes the expansion of natural gas and bolsters protections against gas appliance bans and repeals climate policies enacted during Barack Obama’s presidency.

The gas industry has helped drive climate change and its resulting effects, including severe weather becoming more commonplace.

Over the weekend, south Florida saw record temperatures, with Fort Lauderdale and Miami each reaching record highs of 95F (35C) on Sunday. Typical highs for this time of year are about 86F (30C), the Palm Beach Post reported.

Since McLaughlin shared his segment on X on 18 May, it has been viewed nearly 407,000 times on the platform, with more than 3,300 likes and 1,400 reshares.

Many were quick to praise McLaughlin for speaking out, with one user saying: “I know there’s often pressure on meteorologists not to speak. Thank you for speaking.”

Another user wrote: “Thank you, Steve, for giving us the facts.”

Someone else said: “So needed. Thank you for this.”

Meteorologists across the US have faced harassment over their climate crisis reporting.

Speaking to the Associated Press last year, Sean Sublette, a former TV meteorologist who now works at Virginia’s Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper, said: “More than once, I’ve had people call me names or tell me I’m stupid or these kinds of harassing type things simply for sharing information that they didn’t want to hear.”

Meanwhile, last July, meteorologist Chris Gloninger announced he was stepping down from Des Moines’s CBS TV station affiliate KCCI due to post-traumatic stress disorder that he developed as a result of threats over his climate-crisis coverage.

Source: theguardian.com