Don’t Say Climate Change: Governor Ron DeSantis’ Anti-Woke Mind Virus

Earlier this month, Florida Governor Ron Desantis signed three bills into law, collectively christened the “Don’t say climate change” laws.

The laws aim to scrub climate change from discussion at the state level. Among the statutes are a ban on offshore wind development (of which there is little interest anyway), repeal of a 16-year provision to consider climate change in state energy policy, and restrictions on climate considerations in state projects and policy.

Instead, DeSantis plans to double down on fossil fuel development. His legislative agenda calls for expanding natural gas, which already accounts for 74 percent of Florida’s energy mix, easing regulations on gas pipelines, and blocking restrictions on gas appliances like gas stoves (another red herring).

In his tireless self-perpetuating war on woke, DeSantis claims to resist “radical green zealots.” The irony and hypocrisy of the Governor’s fantastical thinking is not lost on many non-zealots.

Don’t Say Climate Change

Take Miami meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin. He took to the airwaves and posted on X (Twitter), saying, “Don’t say Climate Change! As Florida is on fire, underwater, and unaffordable, our state government is rolling back climate change legislation and language.”

MacLaughlin should know. Florida is a poster child for oncoming changes to global systems change. Or simply ask the growing number of homeowners with rising insurance costs. The economics don’t line up with a changing reality. The risk balance has changed.

Extreme weather, rising sea levels, an alarming increase in ocean heat, and dying corals are part of that new reality. These challenges call for competent leaders capable of critical thinking. Crucially, it requires putting the best interests of constituents first, even if it chaps your ideological, dogmatic hide.

Governor DeSantis has proven incapable of such leadership, marching defiantly into the wrong side of history.

No Wishing it Away

We all harbor something we could wish away—such thinking tugs at our best and worst. DeSantis can’t wish away climate change. It’s time for leaders like DeSantis to heal themselves of their nebulous anti-woke hysteria and deal with the problems on the ground as they are.

Mr. MacLaughlin, the Miami meteorologist, doesn’t sound like a zealot to me, but someone expressing real-world concern for the future of his community. Maybe the Governor of Florida could do the same.

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schueneman
Tom is the founder and managing editor of and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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