The world watched as the opening ceremony of the Rio Olympics kicked off reminding the world that the lungs of the earth are being suffocated with carbon dioxide. Brazil, home to the Amazon rainforest -- the world's largest air purifier -- ratified its position to the 3.3 billion viewers of the Rio opening ceremony.
The video segment highlighted global carbon pollution, with projections of melting ice caps and rising sea levels in places like Amsterdam, Dubai, Florida – all of Florida, Shanghai, Lagos, and Rio de Janeiro. Trillions of dollars of lost infrastructure that will be severely impacted by sea level rise over the coming decades. This was a prime time opportunity to open the eyes of the world to climate change and Brazil acted.
Florida, particularly the treasure coast, has been dealing with it's own environmental issues. Massive algae blooms have hurt Florida's tourism and killed thousands of species and hurt waterfront property values. The Rio opening ceremony put Florida front and center -- and also almost completely underwater.
Florida, known for many of the nation's interesting news stories has had its issues politically with climate change and global warming. Most notably the direct admission of staff that they had been forbidden from mentioning or saying climate change, ever.
The global temperatures are in fact rising. Even in Florida. Specifically, West Palm Beach, registered its warmest month in recorded history. The state is also battling higher than nationally recognized cases of the Zika virus another key indicator that climate change is impacting Florida. Many athletes battled with the decision to attend the Olympics, citing Zika as a concern. Hope Solo, most notably. The Rio opening ceremony used powerful images and science to bring the message to the world.
The Brazilian government has been embattled with political corruption that has led to many protests over the money invested in the Olympic games. The government has also been very slow to protect the Brazilian rain forests. Deforestation is equally as damaging to emitting carbon. The Rio opening ceremony video was clearly meant to bring that visually to the world.
Not everyone on the planet was excited about the climate change message embedded in the opening ceremony - but not everyone is going to be excited about the polar ice caps melting either.
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