President Barack Obama is in our own backyard today to talk up climate change and Everglades restoration. It’s the first time the president has visited the Everglades, which he has talked about spending $2 billion to restore. He’s going to use the opportunity to talk about the dangers of rising sea levels and eroding shorelines caused by climate change and how the Everglades are the face of this danger.
Florida environmentalists rightfully want to see real action from the POTUS.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a part of the Department of the Interior and directly under the control of President Obama,” Matthew Schwartz, executive director of South Florida Wildlands Association, tells New Times. “We need the agency to work aggressively to fulfill the purposes of the Endangered Species Act and protect the fragile habitat that dozens of federally listed species native to South Florida need to survive. Construction and road-building continue to destroy and degrade habitat for the wildlife of the Greater Everglades.”
Jennifer Rubiello of Environment Florida wants to see Obama lead us toward clean energy solutions. “We need to move away from dirty energy sources like coal and towards clean sources like solar and wind, especially in Florida,” she says. “I applaud the president for tackling the largest environmental challenge facing our state and our planet and urge him to finalize a strong Clean Power Plan to protect our environment and future generations.”
As for us, we want to see the president be more aggressive with his climate-change agenda.
We’re talking, really aggressive. Like Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, off-the-top-rope aggressive.
Look, Obama, all the elections have been won, there’s no more campaigning to do, and you have a year and a half left of this presidency thing. Why not go all-out and make real shit happen?
If Obama wants real change, here are five things he needs to do when he visits the Everglades today:
1. Say "Climate Change" Roughly 800 Times In His Speech
In a move that is making Florida the living embodiment of an Onion article, Gov. Rick Scott allegedly ordered employees of the Department of Environmental Protection to stop using the term “climate change” in emails, memos, and reports. One scientist was specifically told to remove all the times she wrote “climate change” in a report she made about... climate change.
So when Obama gets up to give his speech on climate change, he needs to drop the term like a man with climate-change Tourette's.
“The fact that the climate is changing has very serious implications for the way we live now, climate change. Climate change stronger storms. Climate change deeper droughts. Climate change longer wildfire seasons. Climate change the world’s top climate change scientists are warning us that a changing climate climate change already affects the air our kids breathe Climatechangeclimatechangeclimatechange. God Bless climate change.”
2. Wrestle a Burmese Python to the Death
Invasive species are a real pain in the ass down here, and it’s only getting worse. The biggest problem has been the Burmese python, which has pretty much taken over the Everglades. According to a recent study, the snakes are breeding fast and eating everything. The state held an open Burmese python hunt last year and recently announced another hunt this year.
And Obama needs to get in on all that snake-hunting action. The president should meet with dignitaries, experts, and local politicians and pose for photos, give his speech about climate change, and then, as soon as he’s done, rip his suit off like an NBA warm-up outfit, dive into the wetlands, and wrangle himself up a python. What better photo op is there than having your picture taken as you punch a python in the face?
3. Hire Actors to Pretend to Be Mad at the Actors Hired by the Tea Party to Pretend to Be Mad About Everglades Restoration
Earlier this month, the Tea Party wanted to show how supermad it is about the prospect of the government buying a swath of the Everglades and decided to call upon its brethren for a mass protest. And by “brethren,” we mean it went out and hired a bunch of actors to pretend to be upset. In turn, Obama should bring in his own actors to pretend to be mad at the actors pretending to be mad about the Everglades land buy. But while the Tea Party hired out local out-of-work actors, Obama can use his Obamaness to call in the big guns. Tom Hanks, Samuel L. Jackson, George Clooney, and Oprah can all show up and play the parts. Samuel L. Jackson can be all, "GET THIS MOTHERF**** POLLUTED WATER OUT OF MY MOTHERF**** EVERGLADES, MOTHERF****!"
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4. Fight Marco Rubio on Climate Change, Use Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz as a Literal Weapon
The man is running for president and yet continues to hold onto his climate-change denials like grim death. In fact, he’s one of the biggest climate-change deniers in Congress.
This is the guy we might be giving the nuclear football to next year. Why not settle this thing once and for all? Rubio can give his astute and prudent points about how “climate is always changing” while Obama can whip out, you know, experts and facts. He can literally whip them out. What we’re saying is we’d like to see Obama beat up Rubio with this guy.
5. Somehow Intervene in the Everglades Land Purchase
What’s the point of being president if you can’t make people do stuff? The South Florida Water Management District should be made to buy 46,800 acres of Everglades from U.S. Sugar south of Lake Okeechobee for water storage to keep the bad water from being dumped into the lake. U.S. Sugar doesn’t want to sell, though it could be obligated to. This is where Obama needs to exercise all his King President powers and, like, make the deal happen. Sure he’s just a president, and checks and balances and all that jazz. But he’s on his way out of the White House. So as a final gesture to our state, he needs to find a way to drop-kick this deal in the the throat Last Dragon style and make it happen. Or he can just give a nice speech that’ll eventually bring about no change at all because, Florida.