Target: Senator Marco Rubio of Florida
Goal: Oppose the nomination of Sonny Perdue, who refers to climate change as a “joke,” for Secretary of Agriculture.
In an unsurprising move, Donald Trump has nominated another white, male, climate change denier to his cabinet. President Trump’s final nominee is Sonny Perdue, a former governor of the state of Georgia, for Agriculture Secretary. Perdue once referred to global warming as a “running joke among the public.” He also has experience running a grain and fertilizer business, and was the beneficiary of federal subsidies that help chemical companies and big agriculture conglomerates. Given his past, it is difficult to imagine Mr. Perdue as a friend of small farmers, much less the environment.
When he was governor in Georgia, Perdue led a group of citizens in a prayer for rain on the capitol steps, during one of the worst droughts in decades. While this is certainly not a condemnable action in itself, one would hope that Perdue might have some more practical policy ideas for mitigating the effects of drought, floods, and other extreme weather patterns on agriculture. Perhaps accepting climate science would be a start.
If you have strong feelings about Perdue or any of President Trump’s other nominations, one of the best ways to make your voice heard to give your senators a call. Ask if your senator has taken a position on the nomination, and voice your concerns; check this site for phone numbers of D.C. offices.
Senator Marco Rubio from Florida is one Republican who has publicly disagreed with Trump in the past. Considering that agriculture is big part of Florida’s economy, and considering also Florida’s particular vulnerability in facing the consequences of climate change, the Senator has every reason to oppose a Secretary of Agriculture who would not be prepared to protect this industry from the very real threats of climate change. Sign our petition asking Senator Rubio to oppose Sonny Perdue – and ask your senators to do the same.
Dear Senator Rubio,
I am writing to express extreme concerns with President Trump’s pick of Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture. Not only is Mr. Perdue another climate change denier, he seems to believe prayer is a viable method to banish drought. If our nation is serious about protecting the agricultural systems on our soil, especially in the face of shifting and increasingly extreme weather patterns, we need a Secretary of Agriculture who is prepared to face these challenges head-on.
Your beautiful state of Florida sits at a low elevation, and as Hurricane Matthew recently demonstrated, is particularly vulnerable to flooding and sea level rise. Furthermore, many of Florida’s prime crops like sugar cane, bananas, and oranges, are finicky plants that are not likely to respond well to changes in temperature. Our nation needs a Secretary of Agriculture who will be realistic about threats like these, and put forth practical plans of action. I urge you to oppose Sonny Perdue for Secretary of Agriculture.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Barry Bahler