February 12, 2013 Dear Senator Rubio, In recent months, you have consistently denied that one of the most

pressing crises facing Florida families even exists. Time and time again, you have declined to take action to fix the climate crisis and in comments you made last week to reporters in Washington, DC, you suggested that this crisis does not even pose a threat to our state. On behalf of the thousands and thousands of Floridians who are being forced to protect their homes, businesses and livelihoods from the effects of climate change, we urge you to get your head out of the sand. Your comments stand in contrast to not just the vast majority of climate experts worldwide, but to the overwhelming percentage of Floridians who want action to fix the climate crisis right here and now. We are demanding action because we see what is happening – we see that the threat of climate change has become a dangerous new reality. We see that record droughts, record wildfires, record floods and record storms like Sandy and Katrina are now the new normal. We see that our communities are being forced to invest taxpayer dollars now to prepare our infrastructure and our neighborhoods for rising sea levels and stronger, faster, fiercer storms. That's why businesses, homeowners, and residents like those of us here Miami to Ft. Lauderdale to Jacksonville are truly worried about our future - and that's why recent polling shows 76% of Floridians know that the climate crisis is happening and that we want our elected leaders to act now to find solutions. During the last few years, extreme weather has seriously damaged Florida’s infrastructure and sea level rise is projected to make it far worse. Local governments are developing regional plans to deal with rising seas. Mangled sidewalks in Ft. Lauderdale and flooded streets in Miami Beach are the visible proof that climate change is here. As devastating as these storms have been, every projection is that – if we don't act – things are only going to get worse. And Florida is right in the path of the oncoming storm. Research compiled by a working group created by Monroe, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties warns that our communities are immediately vulnerable to changes due to climate disruption, including the expected sea level rises of one to two feet that would wipe-out infrastructure, transportation, and homes. Scientists and professors from universities across the state warn that we can expect faster, stronger, and more dangerous storms because of the climate crisis. We're here today representing those voices throughout the state who are worried about our homes, our communities, and our families. We don't want a future where the world our children inherit is worse off because we fell asleep at the switch. The science is settled. The threats are real. The time to act on the climate crisis is now. Tonight, during your planned response to the State of the Union, you have the opportunity to tell

the nation about your ideas to address some of the most pressing challenges Florida is confronted with. But your words will be meaningless if you fail to consider the climate crisis as one of the problems that need our attention – and your sentiment will be hollow if you fail to match that consideration by supporting the Obama administration’s efforts to act on the climate crisis and secure a safe future for the generations of Floridians that follow us.

Sincerely, Frank Jackalone Florida Staff Director Sierra Club Jacquie Ayala Florida Organizer Southern Energy Network Debbie Matthews Chair Sierra Club Florida Caroline Lewis Founder and Director CLEO Institute Dario Gonzalez Emerge Miami Jonathan Ullman South Florida/Everglades Senior Organizer Sierra Club

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