The recent announcement by Mayor Lenny Curry regarding the “heat mapping” study completed by University of North Florida has a sinister sound: Washington exerting more control over state and local government.
This week Curry was interviewed by News4Jax’s Tarik Minor on the heat mapping study. Curry said the city hasn’t invested in the hotter areas of the city and will make sure more dollars are allocated in the future to those areas.
UNF received grants from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Climate Program Office (CPO) department of National Integrated Heat Health Information System (NIHHIS) to “heat map” urban areas of the city.
The Biden administration created NIHHIS to address heat equity and environmental justice.
Excerpt from the Website:
The NIHHIS Urban Heat Island mapping program is a covered program under the Biden Administration’s Justice40 initiative. As such we are required to track and report on the allocation of benefits to Environmental Justice (EJ) communities.”
NOAA’s CPO department received more than $1 million last year for five projects to study the inequities of heat distribution. Yes, more than a million dollars to study why some areas are hotter than others and show how unfair it is.
The CPO says they will aid state and local governments in decision making, and to move toward more equitable urban heat resilience.
The phrase President Ronald Reagan coined comes to mind. “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
In addition to aiding state and local governments with decision making, they also will provide a scorecard to evaluate a city’s heat resilience policies and plans.
To implement this effort the CPO awarded a $150,000 grant last year to Ladd Keith, Arizona professor of planning and sustainably-built environments, his research team, and Joseph DeAngelis of the American Planning Association. They are creating national standards for addressing heat and its alleged inequities.
Also involved in this environmental justice scheme are the Centers for Disease Control, Health and Human Services, Environmental protection Agency, and a myriad of governmental and non-governmental climate agencies. In the interest of brevity, Eye on Jacksonville will not take you down that rabbit hole.
Suffice to say it is all part of the Green New Deal.
This effort began under President Joe Biden’s 2022 Environmental Justice declaration titled the Justice40 initiative.
Excerpt from the declaration:
“What is the Justice40 Initiative?
For the first time in our nation’s history, the Federal Government has made it a goal that 40 percent of the overall benefits of certain Federal investments flow to disadvantaged communities that are marginalized, underserved, and overburdened by pollution. President Biden made this historic commitment when he signed Executive Order 14008 within days of taking office.”
So, Curry has said more dollars will be allocated to certain areas of the city in the future. Why? Does the mayor work for the citizens of Jacksonville or the politicians of Washington?
Is it a fear of losing federal dollars for not complying with the Justice40 initiative? Yet again we see the boot of Washington stomping on state and local governance, and local leaders at the ready to comply.