The flooding also poses a special challenge for conservative politicians who are skeptical of the scientific consensus on human-induced climate change. Some Republicans, like Scott, have gradually arrived at a somewhat schizophrenic position, refusing officially to take a position on global warming even as they ramp up efforts to deal with its immediate effects.
The contradictions were on full display in a week in which Scott dodged a debate question about climate change while also helping to expedite a new flood-control system for Miami Beach. The upgrades were completed just before this year’s king tide and, in a further twist, just ahead of the arrival of environmental groups and elected officials who planned to use the event to call attention to rising sea levels....
The flap over tidal flooding caps a political season in which the national divide over climate change appears starker than ever. Throughout the country, environmental groups and industry-backed political action committees are spending unprecedented sums in statewide races targeting politicians who oppose their position on climate change.
In Kentucky, a coalition with ties to Republican strategist Karl Rove and the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch has targeted Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes, whose stated belief in climate change has stirred anxiety that she might support policies contrary to the state’s coal industry.