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HomeNewsMeteorologist Slams Florida’s New Law

Meteorologist Slams Florida’s New Law

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A picture of Steve MacLaughlin
Source: NBCNews/X

In response to a new Florida bill removing references to climate change from state law, meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin has slammed Governor Dion DeSantis. MacLaughlin, a South Florida meteorologist, created a poll for viewers, asking them to vote on the new bill. In addition to the poll, MacLaughlin also publicly criticized leaders of the state. 

MacLaughlin took a dig at the governor, during a May 2024 segment on NBC 6. He stated that while Florida is leading the world in climate change, the state government has decided that it is no longer a priority. This comes after a lot of Florida neighborhoods are feeling the aftermath of the heat that spanned the weekend.

On Friday, May 17, 2024, a heat advisory was issued by the National Weather Service, the first in almost 15 years. This was because of South Florida’s intense heat record, making May its hottest month yet.

A few days before the advisory, the state governor, Ron Desantis, signed a bill into law, a bill that many considered controversial. The main purpose of the bill was to restrict the usage of the word “climate change” in state documents and statutes. The bill has however changed Florida’s energy policy in significant ways

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ALSO READ: Florida’s “Don’t Say Climate Change” Law Receives Backlash

First, it removes certain paragraphs and phrases addressing the importance of battling climate change. Secondly, it prevents the establishment of wind farms off the coast — though there is none at the moment. Additionally, the bill gives importance to crude oil and derivatives. It also removed the word “climate” as many as eight times.

The devastation of the state’s coastal ecosystem as a result of intense coral bleaching and the continuous increase in sea levels, all point to the eventual submerging of most of the state’s lands. In action to initially reduce greenhouse emissions, the state, via its agency, began buying climate-friendly products when they were affordable. 

POLL—Should the U.S. Government Create a Path to Citizenship for Undocumented Immigrants?

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Climate communicators, journalists, meteorologists, and weather services face more harassment due to tying extreme weather to climate change. Other TV meteorologists have applauded MacLaughlin for making such a strong statement.

Chief meteorologist Jeff Berardelli of Tampa Bay’s WFLA responded to the clip MacLaughlin shared. In his comment, Berardelli praised MacLaughlin’s audacity, while acknowledging the pressure of having to turn a blind eye. The video has received over 350,000 views.

ALSO READ: Florida Residents Worry Over Viral Photos of Destroyed Beach

After receiving a slew of abusive letters from some fans, the top TV meteorologist at an Iowa news station quit last year.

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John Morales, a certified consultant meteorologist with ClimaData, spoke on X and urged other meteorologists to do the same. He wrote, “This is a time like no other to be bold.”

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