Several young advocates gathered outside of the Florida Capitol with boxes full of cardboard tiles Wednesday morning.
Each tile was painted by a Floridian, showing his or her concerns about the impending effects of climate change. Our Climate, a coalition of young advocates, collected the art pieces to display them at the Capitol Building.
“The theme behind these tiles is ‘what do we stand to lose from climate change,’” said Catarina Fernandez, a fellow with Our Climate, in a conversation with the Florida Phoenix. “Our hope here is that legislators see that this is an issue that clearly a lot of Floridians care about.”
The art demonstration was just one event for Reclaiming Florida’s Future For All Advocacy Day, an annual event to promote policies that address climate change.
But this year, most of the activities are being streamed online, including panels from climate change advocates, a lecture from a New York biologist, and a virtual climate rally featuring State Sen. Lori Berman, a Democrat who represents part of Palm Beach County.
“This is the first time we’ve done it virtually,” said Kimberly Gerbert, another Our Climate fellow working on the art demonstration. “It does make it a lot easier accessibility wise — not everyone has to make it to Tallahassee. But it does make it a little harder to coordinate.”
The participating organizations, including ReThink Energy Florida, Our Climate, and Solar United Neighbors of Florida, will “urge leaders to support legislation that transitions Florida to renewable energy and puts a priority on vulnerable communities most affected by the climate crisis” during these online events, according to a press release about the advocacy day.
Advocates working on the art display see Florida as one of the states with the most at stake in the coming effects of climate change.
“A lot of people here in Florida live in coastal cities and are scared to lose things that they love,” Fernandez from Our Climate said. “It’s just very telling the fact that we’re one of the most at risk states, that there’s so little being done to acknowledge the problem in the first place.”