ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Dozens of Bay Area residents took to the streets of St. Petersburg on Saturday to raise awareness about the impacts of pollution and the importance of clean energy.
- Protesters want political leaders to commit to real climate change solutions
- Trump administration has played down the role of coal, oil on climate change
- St. Pete mayor: We take climate change seriously
They’re worried about climate change and rising sea levels.
"I live on the water, and so it's very real to me about sea level rise and what that will affect my property value in 10-25 years," resident and Sierra Club member Bryan Beckman said.
Residents, scientists and even physicians who attended the rally said committing to clean, renewable energy will not only protect the environment, but also improve your health.
"Fossil fuels have been the old way but that old way brought in lead, mercury, organic compounds that are very harmful to individuals," said Dr. Deborah Trehy with Physicians for Social Responsibility.
They want political leaders to commit to real solutions to what they call a climate crisis. The Trump administration has played down the role of human use of coal, oil and other gases impacts on climate change.
Andrew Wheeler, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency stated to a Senate Committee last November:
"I believe man has an impact on the climate, but what is not completely understood is what the impact is."
Residents said they’ll continue fighting for the future.
"If we don't stop, and we must stop carbon pollution, which comes from fossil fuels for our children and grandchildren, so we can enjoy the beauty of the earth and we will know that we will leave a legacy for them to enjoy," organizer Michael Whalen said.
Organizers said the rally was one of 750 held this weekend across the world. Thirteen were held in Florida.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman released a statement about the event:
"We take climate change and rising tides seriously in St. Pete. We've seen the impact it has on our neighborhoods and our infrastructure. That is why we are implementing an integrated sustainability action plan, upgrading our stormwater and wastewater systems, fortifying our seawalls, and doing all we can to transition to clean energy as soon as possible.”