By John Haughey
The Center Square
August 12, 2021

Florida has warmed more than 1 degree Celsius since the early 1900s and is shrinking by an inch a year, according to a 2016 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report

With sea levels estimated to rise 2.5 feet by 2050, up to 300,000 Florida homes and $145 billion in taxable property are forecast to be underwater. By 2100, sea levels along Florida’s 1,350-mile coastline could rise by 4 feet, according to the EPA.

Already, more than 1 million of Florida’s 6.2 million residential properties are at “substantial risk” of nontidal flooding with nearly $8 billion in diminished property values expected this year, property insurers said.

All that is an optimistic view, however, said 234 scientists from 66 nations in a 4,000-page report released Friday by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Global climate scientists in the report document greenhouse gas accumulations are heating up, and sea levels are rising, more swiftly and dramatically than previously forecast.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, who chairs the U.S. House Climate Crisis Committee, said it’s not too late for federal and Florida officials to take action and limit the effects of climate change.

Castor wrote Monday in a New York Times guest essay reducing carbon and methane emissions, and transitioning to a job-generating clean-energy economy, are steps outlined in the committee’s proposed Climate Crisis Action Plan.

“We’re already living with the devastating consequences of having warmed the planet more than 1°C. From the deadly heat domes in the Northwest to the harmful algal blooms killing the fish that we see washed up on the shores of Florida, humans have caused this problem. But we have the tools to fix it,” she wrote.

Under the plan, she said, Florida cities could implement clean-energy projects and the federal government would boost state investments in industries that convert homes and businesses to solar and wind power, making infrastructure more resilient.

Florida lawmakers have done little the past 20 years to address the unfolding crisis, Florida Conservation Voters, Earthjustice, Sierra Club of Florida, the Florida Climate Institute and other groups said.

“Time’s up,” Earthjustice Florida managing attorney Tania Galloni said. “Sea level rise is having major impacts in Florida that are accelerating. We can’t build our way out of this. Our state leaders keep talking about ‘adapting’ our way out of climate change, but the fact is we need to cut fossil fuel emissions. Florida has to stop living in the past.”

Florida has not adopted any statewide initiatives to convert to clean energy and halt the use of carbon-based fuels, the groups said.

In fact, during the 2021 legislative session, the Republican-controlled Legislature adopted House Bill 919, which preempts municipalities from restricting installation of natural gas lines in new construction.

The only measure Florida has adopted relating to climate change doesn’t address it, but assesses it.

Lawmakers adopted Senate Bill 178 in 2020. It was filed by former Sen. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, and requires municipalities and state agencies to conduct sea level-impact studies to gauge flooding risks for the next 50 years.

Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, and Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, have filed bills during the past three sessions to encourage clean energy, phase out pollutants and install solar panels on schools. None received committee hearings.

Florida Climate Institute spokesperson Carolyn Cox told Florida Phoenix some damage can reduced if lawmakers act swiftly.

“We are facing some of the most severe consequences, which means we sort of have a chance in Florida to show people how to address climate change, or how not to,” Cox said. “This is about the human race. Our systems of survival are failing.”

 

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Mark Tomes
Mark Tomes(@mtomes)
1 year ago

All the people quoted in this article on sane solutions to the climate crisis are Democrats. Good government comes down to who you vote for.

Barnes Moore
Barnes Moore (@guest_62087)
1 year ago

“What historians will definitely wonder about in future centuries is how deeply flawed logic, obscured by shrewd and unrelenting propaganda, actually enabled a coalition of powerful special interests to convince nearly everyone in the world that CO2 from human industry was a dangerous, planet-destroying toxin. It will be remembered as the greatest mass delusion in the history of the world – that CO2, the life of plants, was considered for a time to be a deadly poison”. “Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll-back of the industrial age.” Richard Lindzen,

It is astonishing that people actually fall for the absurdity that by controlling Co2, we can control climate – which is what the entire globalclimatewarmingchange narrative boils down to. The IPCC reports are based on modeled predictions, not actual observations. For a look at reality, look at actual data. Since posting a direct link puts a post into temporary moderation, simply go to wattsupwiththat and search on “Where is the Climate Emergency” for a look at data, not modeled projections. It’s also worth taking a look at what the UN was saying back in 1989 – “silly-season-at-the-un-1989-vs-2021-climate-doomsday-its-all-politics-now”

Joe Blanchard
Joe Blanchard (@guest_62088)
1 year ago

I have been a professional meteorologist/Oceanographer for most of my life. The earth’s climate is very complex and very dynamic. At one time, the whole peninsula of Florida was submerged. Ice ages and warming periods come and go. Solar influences change. Political groups take advantage, of crisis, to pad their pockets and garner votes. Greenhouse gas emissions have been greater in the past due a a lack of technology. Lately “science” has been used to justify actions but a lot of that “science” is not based on provable facts but is politically driven. Too many times these days, a group has an agenda, then use statistics to prove that agenda and call it science. It is not! Don’t make the mistake of not following the money and power that factions use to control the populous.

Barnes Moore
Barnes Moore (@guest_62089)
1 year ago

And one more for now. For those who think weather dependent, intermittent and unreliable energy sources can replace fossil fuels, or be used to power our electrical grid, consider a couple of things. First, the electric grid must meet 2 fundamental challenges 1) provide for base-load power, that is power that is always on and available to care for our basic needs like keeping the lights on, running our refrigerators (including at grocery stores), washing machines, etc. and 2) providing dispatchable power for those times when demand exceeds base load needs – like when a lot of people come home and crank up the air conditioning. Weather dependent unreliable energy sources can’t provide for either of those challenges, so must always be coupled with other energy sources that can provide for those 2 fundamental requirements, and no, batteries are not a viable solution. First, they are energy storage systems, not sources, and must first be charged, then discharged, then charged again – and there is a lot of energy loss in that process. Plus, if you ever look at what goes into the life cycle process and the material supply chain required for lithium-ion batteries,the preferred solution, most would be appalled.

Next, if you really do think wind and solar can be used to replace fossil fuels, please explain how you plan on mining for the raw materials, process those materials (e.g., separate the overburden from the ores needed), transport the materials to a manufacturing facility, power the manufacturing process, transport finished products to their ultimate destination, prepare sites for wind turbines/solar panels, maintain them, decommission, and dispose of them without using fossil fuels.? The net is that unreliables don’t produce enough energy to power the machinery required to reproduce themselves. Few people have any idea of how much mining activity is required to produce the raw materials required to produce wind turbines or solar panels. Here is a hint – per unit of energy produced, roughly 10 times the amount of raw materials is required for unreliables.

For example, the Caterpillar 797F dump truck is powered by a 4,000 horsepower turbocharged diesel engine. At full power it will require 2.98 megawatts of energy. Assume the truck runs at 50 per cent of maximum power for an eight-hour shift. It would consume around 12 megawatt-hours of electricity. It would need 120 of Tesla’s latest automotive batteries to power it. The batteries would weigh 64 tonnes. To keep those batteries charged would take a single 1.5MW windturbine operating at full capacity for 8 hours. Problem is, windturbine capacity factor is around 30%, so it would take more like 24 hours to recharge the batteries. That’s just one dumptruck. Even if you go to 785D truck which uses a little over 1/3 of the horsepower, it still makes no sense. Plus, what about all the other equipment used at a mining site – hydraulic mining shovels, front loaders, graders, bull dozers, etc. And that’s just the mining process.

I could go on and on about the absolute absurdity of investing in wind and solar – like land use requirements, durability, overall environmental impacts which rarely if ever get addressed in the media. But for now, one last point. Over 6000 products that we use in our every day life are derived from petrochemicals. The reality is that pretty much everything you eat, wear, walk on, use, or otherwise consume is fully dependent on fossil fuels, even wind and solar.

John Goshco
John Goshco (@guest_62103)
1 year ago

Twenty years ago I worked for a regional mining company. Our primary product was heavy mineral sands that contained titanium and zirconia. Since wave and tide motion, over very long periods of time, tend to produce concentrated ore bodies, our mine sites were located where the shoreline used to be, millions of years ago.

We had a mine in Georgia, 30 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. Another in Virginia, 75 miles inland. Are sea levels rising or falling? It all depends upon when and where you stake your initial reference point.

Richard Scribner
Richard Scribner (@guest_62428)
1 year ago

Climate Change is Real and Human Caused Needing Action Now While the article by John Haughy has some seemingly extreme predictions, comments following his article would mislead you to believe greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, etc.) are not loading into our atmosphere causing global warming that results in observable substantial warming, ocean rise, and major climate changes. Further, that nothing can been done about the situation. Don’t believe them. Climate change is caused by our burning fossil fuels at increasing rates over the past 250 years. All the denial, suspicion, mistrust, and misdirection of some commenters aside, the Earth – our Home – is almost certainly nearing a tipping point that unless prompt, sensible, and prudent action is taken soon may well lead to further severe global climate impacts for perhaps hundreds of years and maybe longer.

Some of these changes are unlike anything that has occurred since long before ancient Homo sapiens walked upright in the forests and savannahs of Africa. Climate change is a special kind of risk: a risk to the collective human civilization. It’s a tough political problem: accepting near term technical and economic challenges for long-term worldwide benefit. Nonetheless, there are major steps to reduce the carbon spewing into the atmosphere that nations of the world can and should take in the near future.

Each of us, must do our own due diligence research and seek out and learn from truly bona fide sources not bogus, deliberately misleading, or biased ones. Data collected observations of our oceans, our planet’s annual average global temperature increases (and small changes do have big effects), glacier melt and loss of reflective snow and ice cover, and permafrost warming, to name just a few, all point to unprecedented climate changes that have not occurred on this Earth to the same degree for many millions of years. 

Claims that renewable energy generates less energy in its operation than it takes to manufacture are false – thoroughly debunked by expert energy analysis. Also, don’t get mired in concerns about model predictions – yes, there are still questions about the certainty of the full extent of impacts, but few that they will be quite substantial. And be wary of misdirecting arguments about supposed limits on what can and can’t be done. Our civilization’s technological innovation has only just begun to be applied towards reducing the effects of climate change and adapting to them. 

As one commenter does, producing incorrect and diversionary, technical detail rather than any kind of meaningful comparative impacts of emissions reduction technologies possible in key areas with renewable energy is not helpful. Apparently, the commenter is unfamiliar with the established method of comparative Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Furthermore, mining vehicles are, in fact, currently transitioning to electric power. His characterizations of the scientific research are wrong.

In any event, even if one area may not be readily responsive to lowering emissions reductions that does not mean that major reductions in human-caused production of CO2 can’t be dramatically achieved by concentrating on other areas amenable to ready solutions, electric automobiles for example, which could have a big effect. Of course, petrochemicals not burned have a crucial and continuing role to play in the production of many products – which argues for conserving them for better use rather than combustion.  Ill framed arguments and deceptive ridicule of an area in which that many hundreds of scientists and diplomats from several dozen nations have labored for over three decades, with established “high-confidence” results endorsed internationally by numerous scientific and environmental organizations, is undermines the truth.

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