Climate change is killing coral, and Congressmember Kathy Castor says the GOP isn’t helping the issue

coral bleaching
Bleached brain corals. By Cindy Lewis / Keys Marine Lab (2015).

Scorching ocean temperatures have caused most Florida corals to bleach; and scientists expect a mass coral die-off this summer. WMNF’s Josh Holton asked Congressmember Kathy Castor about what can be done to avert a marine life disaster.

Castor is the former chair of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis and helped put together the package in the Inflation Reduction Act. She said that is America’s clean energy and climate law, but the cost and damage of climate are upon us.

“We need good partners in the state of Florida and we do not have one right now. Governor DeSantis just a few weeks ago had a sneaky veto of millions and millions of dollars that would have put money back into the pockets of Floridians to buy those energy-efficient appliances, weatherize their homes, and to save money. And this is in a state that is so exposed to the higher costs of climate.”

And despite July having some of the hottest-ever recorded average global temperatures, she said the biggest hurdle to taking action is the GOP.

“There is a partisan divide when it comes to moving to clean energy and reducing pollution. The Republicans unfortunately just last week in one of my committees, they wanted to roll back the new incentives to make electric vehicles cheaper for Americans. They are so tied, still, to fossil fuels, and to the big oil companies that they are willing to disregard the impacts, right here and now, of climate.

Castor also pointed to the impact of China on global temperatures and emphasized the need to also ask them to stop building coal plants and move faster to clean energy.

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