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'Heat Of Florida Will Kill Many More': Rep. Donna Shalala Compares Threat Of Climate Change To COVID Crisis

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Climate change and concerns over global warming took center stage Wednesday at the Frost Science Museum in Downtown Miami.

"The climate crisis is our greatest challenge. We may think otherwise, until we reflect on the warming world we are facing. These greenhouse gases have got to be stopped," said Caroline Lewis, founder of the CLEO Institute.

To demonstrate the need for reform, the Miami ad agency Zubi and members of the Florida Climate Crisis Campaign commissioned artist Bob Partington to create a series of wax sculptures that will melt in the Florida heat over a period of four to five days.

"We have got to have leadership that understands when I go out of my balcony at night and I run into a wall of heat, that makes it impossible to even set down and enjoy the view of Biscayne Bay," said Lewis. "It really reeks of what the future might look like."

Congresswoman Donna Shalala was in attendance, urging state and local leaders to find solutions to the sometimes deadly Florida heat.

"We have already killed a generation of seniors with COVID-19. Climate change, the heat of Florida, will kill many more," she said. "As our health care workers work tirelessly to combat COVID-19, we must also begin preparing for the same scale of national mobilization to tackle climate change. This is a crisis that has been coming for decades."

A member of another local climate group shared her thoughts, and urged young people to go to the polls to vote and fight for the future of environmental rights.

"We are the last generation that can do something about it," said Stephanie Ortega with the VoLo Foundation. "It is important to take action against climate change for our future generations. remember, the change starts with us."

More climate crisis events are expected to continue throughout the month to highlight the different threats to Florida's quality of life and the changes needed to prevent them.

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