Trump Open to Local Action to Address Sea Level Rise

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By Anthony Adragna

Aug. 12 — Local communities should feel free to take action to adapt to rising sea levels, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said, while maintaining his position that human activity is not a primary driver of climate change.

“If the local government feels that way, they should do it,” Trump told the Miami Herald of adapting to rising seas. “If they’re doing the roads, and if they want to make them higher, I think that’s probably not the worst thing I’ve ever heard, if you’re going to do them anyway.”

Trump spoke to the paper right by Miami Beach, Fla. Billions of dollars in properties and tourism activities are at risk in that area due to the impacts of climate change, local officials said at an April 2014 Senate field hearing. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) at that time called the region “ground zero” for the impacts of sea level rise.

Despite those impacts, the Republican businessman continues to dispute the scientific consensus—multiple published surveys have shown at least 97 percent of actively publishing climate scientists believe human activity is a primary driver of climate change—about the warming planet.

“I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change,” Trump told the Florida paper. “There could be some impact, but I don’t believe it’s a devastating impact.”

Trump's Democratic rival for presidency, Hillary Clinton, describes climate change as “an urgent threat and a defining challenge of our time” on her campaign website.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Adragna in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at

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