Extremes collide in Florida: Summer weather and DeSantis’ agenda

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As the Northern Hemisphere tiptoes into summer, Florida is already in the crosshairs of what is likely to be a season of extremes.

Storms battered South Florida this week, with nearly a foot of rain falling in just hours over some parts on Wednesday, causing severe flooding in and around Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Sarasota and other major cities. Several weeks earlier, an early-season heat wave sent heat indexes well into the triple digits across the same region. And all of this comes less ahead of what forecasters say could be an exceptionally active hurricane season.

Those extremes have a common denominator — they’re all amplified by climate change. That’s a reality at odds with the state’s politics. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has emerged as one of the country’s most vocal and active politicians in opposing efforts to address climate change. Last month, he signed into law a bill to deprioritize climate change in the state’s energy policies, largely scrubbing the phrase from its statutes.