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Local meteorologist condemns top state politician on air after passing of major anti-climate bill: 'The entire world is looking'

"This is not an easy statement for a meteorologist to make."

"This is not an easy statement for a meteorologist to make."

Photo Credit: Steve MacLaughlin

Meteorologist Steve MacLaughlin of Miami's WTVJ has an impressive array of achievements. He's won six Emmy Awards (and been nominated for 17) and won an Associated Press award for Best Weathercaster.

Perhaps his greatest accomplishment, however, is the message he sent, loud and clear, in response to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' recent "don't say climate change" law, as detailed by The Guardian. 

"On Thursday, we reported … that the government of Florida was beginning to roll back really important climate-change legislation and really important climate-change language," MacLaughlin reported. He continued, saying that this came "in spite of the fact that the state of Florida over the last couple of years has seen record heat, record flooding, record rain, record insurance rates, and the corals are dying all around the state." 

As reported by The Washington Post, MacLaughlin was referring to legislation that deprioritized climate initiatives — by loosening regulations on natural gas pipelines and banning offshore wind turbines — while also deleting mentions of the phrase "climate change" in Florida law. It caused a stir; the Florida Phoenix wrote that DeSantis, who referred to climate advocates as "green zealots," is "living in denial."

"The entire world is looking to Florida to lead in climate change, and our government is saying that climate change is no longer the priority it once was," MacLaughlin concluded.

His bold declaration and criticism of state leadership were widely praised.

"This is not an easy statement for a meteorologist to make, as there is a lot of pressure to not wade into these climate waters," wrote Jeff Berardelli, a Tampa Bay meteorologist, on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Big kudos to Steve for being bold and honest."

One viewer praised MacLaughlin on X, saying: "I know there's often pressure on meteorologists not to speak. Thank you for speaking."

Many meteorologists have faced backlash and harassment simply for doing their jobs. One told the Associated Press, "I've had people call me names or tell me I'm stupid … simply for sharing information that they didn't want to hear."

While the news about the effects of our overheating planet is unsavory, it's critical to share, as it affects everybody's future. In South Florida, DeSantis' bill felt poignantly ironic given the record-shattering temperatures sweeping the area.

"Please keep in mind the most powerful climate change solution is the one you already have in the palm of your hands — the right to vote," MacLaughlin implored. "We implore you to please do your research and know that there are candidates that believe in climate change and that there are solutions. And there are candidates that don't."

In using his platform, MacLaughlin can rest assured that his actions will resonate. TV weather reports remain extremely popular, with over half of the 45-year-old-plus community tuning in daily. TV stations are also the most trusted deliverers of weather news, per YouGov

In just a few days, MacLaughlin's video had garnered over half a million views and several thousand shares.

"Thank you, Steve, for giving us the facts," one user wrote.

Another agreed: "So needed. Thank you for this."

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