News

 A Plan for a 100% Sustainably-Powered Florida

August 27, 2018

"Sure, the road map is ambitious, but it proves the change is possible."

Think oil and gas drilling and nuclear power plants are only way to power Florida’s economy? Think again.

A group of Stanford scholars say they've proven that it is “technically and economically feasible” to run Florida’s economy 100 percent on renewable energy. And they’ve already done all the hard work for politicians, mapping out exactly how to achieve such a shift by 2050.


The Magic Kingdom Is Going Green

October 14, 2018

Even the visionary Walt Disney probably could not have imagined this one.

The Walt Disney Company is just months away from generating enough renewable solar energy to fully power two of its four parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in central Florida.


Exploratory Oil Wells Proposed in Calhoun County

October 4, 2018

In late August, permit applications for six exploratory oil wells, on four platforms, were submitted to Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) by Cholla Petroleum of Dallas, Texas. Cholla Petroleum previously conducted seismic testing in Calhoun County in 2016. The application packet is available online through FDEP. Hard copies are also available at the Blountstown library.

More than 40 species of amphibians and 80 species of reptiles live within the Apalachicola River basin, the highest diversity of amphibians and reptiles in the United States and Canada. More than 1,300 species of plants, including 103 that are threatened or endangered, are also found in the Apalachicola basin.


Sea Level Rise: New Interactive Map Shows What’s at Stake in Coastal Congressional Districts

September 22, 2018

A new interactive map tool from the Union of Concerned Scientists lets you explore the risk sea level rise poses to homes in your congressional district and provides district-specific fact sheets about those risks. No matter where you live along the coast, chances are that rising seas will begin to reshape your community to one degree or another in the coming decades.


More methane: Interior eases rules curbing leaks from oil and gas leases on federal land

September 19, 2018

In the fourth rollback of a major federal climate rule in less than two months, the Interior Department eased requirements Tuesday that oil and gas firms operating on federal and tribal land capture the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

Officials said that the rule, adopted in 2016, was duplicative, given state laws, and imposed too heavy a burden on the private sector. Environmentalists and Democrats vowed to fight the reversal in court, saying that it would lead to greater air pollution and boost emissions linked to climate change.


Federal Lawyers: Gulf Oil Leak Spills much more than we thought

September 17, 2018

Federal government lawyers say a 14-year-old leak is releasing much more oil each day into the Gulf of Mexico than officials previously claimed, and it may be getting worse.

"A Friday court filing in a case involving Taylor Energy Co. says 10,000 to 30,000 gallons (37,000 to 113,000 liters) daily is leaking from multiple wells around a drilling platform toppled by 2004's Hurricane Ivan."

That estimate if far above the 16,000 gallons (60,500 liters) of oil that the U.S. Coast Guard estimated in 2015 had been spotted in slicks over seven months.


California aims to be entirely green powered by 2045, as Gov. Jerry Brown signs SB 100

September 14, 2018

"Climate change is 'a real and present danger to California and to the people of the world,'"

Seeking to cement California's reputation as a global leader in combatting climate change, Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed two measures designed to push the state to 100 percent renewable electricity and so-called carbon neutrality by 2045.

Senate Bill 100 raises the state’s already ambitious goals for producing electricity from wind, solar and other green sources. The aim is to ensure greenhouse gas emissions are low enough that they can be absorbed by forests, oceans, soil and other natural systems.


Hurricane Florence is moving relentlessly toward the Southeastern U.S. It's a large, powerful cyclone that will likely bring storm surge and high winds to coastal communities. But climate scientists say one of the biggest threats posed by Florence is rain.


Eckerd College Targets Single-Use Plastics

September 10, 2018

Gowans and marine science professor Amy Siuda are leading an initiative to eliminate the use of single-use plastics at Eckerd College after receiving a grant for more than $115,000 from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Marine Debris Program.

"People don’t always practice what they talk about," Siuda said. "I try my hardest and I know I don’t always as well. ... I think it’s important for people to think about that you eating a snack pack of crackers could impact the marine ecosystem. Not everyone thinks about that, and recycling is not really the answer. We need to think about our use."


Could the 'Mangrove Effect' Save Coasts from Sea Level Rise?

September 8, 2018

When it comes to climate change and sea level rise, the news has been generally bad for communities on the U.S. Southeast coast. Florida is set to lose more than 10 percent of its homes by 2100, and five southern states have already lost $7.4 billion in home values.


Giant Plastic Catcher Heads for Pacific Ocean Cleanup

September 7, 2018

After being motivated by swimming through garbage in Greece, Dutch teenager Boyan Slat, backed with a major investment and lots of engineering from the Dutch Government, created a garbage collection system to help rid our oceans of garbage.

The key point is that the collection system is passive - there are no motors, no machines. Instead, it'll drift, acting like an artificial coastline, gently gathering any plastic in its path. Like a giant snake, made up of sections of tube, it's 600m (2,000ft) long and will float in a giant 'U' shape. Beneath it a screen will hang down 3m (10ft).


Facebook Just Made a Huge Commitment on Renewable Energy

September 2, 2018

Facebook has committed to cutting its greenhouse emissions by 75 percent and powering global operations with 100 percent renewable energy by the end of 2020. The new commitment builds upon the firm's 2015 aim of supporting 50 percent of its facilities with renewable energy by 2018. That goal was reached in 2017. 

Facebook's move was welcomed by environmental campaigners. "CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reaffirmed Facebook's place among business leaders in the race to be coal-free and 100 percent renewable-powered," Gary Cook, senior corporate campaigner at Greenpeace, said in an online statement Tuesday. 


Shocking Study Shows that Fracking is Depleting US Drinking Water at a Catastrophic Rate

August 31, 2018

According to a recent study conducted at Duke University revealed that Hydraulic fracking is having a catastrophic impact on water supplies throughout the US. The findings of the study suggest that fracking is using far much more water than before, and putting a huge dent in the amount of drinkable water available in water supplies.

"In many cases, people who live near fracking sites have been able to set fire to the water and air that comes through their pipes. It has also been found to contaminate drinking water, rendering it permanently undrinkable." 


Miami will be Underwater Soon. It's Drinking Water Could Go First.

August 30, 2018

Miami-Dade is built on the Biscayne Aquifer, and the infrastructure that draws from it cleans its water, and keeps it from overrunning the city combine to form a giant but fragile machine. Without this abundant source of fresh water, made cheap by its proximity to the surface, this hot, remote city could become uninhabitable.

Barring a stupendous reversal in greenhouse gas emissions, the rising Atlantic will cover much of Miami by the end of this century.

"The economic effects will be devastating: Zillow Inc. estimates that six feet of sea-level rise would put a quarter of Miami’s homes underwater, rendering $200 billion of real estate worthless. But global warming poses a more immediate danger: The permeability that makes the aquifer so easily accessible also makes it vulnerable."


Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Didn't Really Hurt Florida, Pro-Drilling Leaders Say

August 28, 2018

Former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp caused a furor recently when he claimed oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster "didn't even reach the shores of Florida."

His attempt to walk back the remark could offer a preview of the campaign to come as groups push to expand drilling in federal waters eight years later. He and another industry representative say the BP oil spill was more of a public relations disaster fueled by the television news media, rather than an environmental disaster.

"I guess I overstated it," said Kottkamp, now leading a group seeking to open the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil exploration, said in an interview this week with the Tampa Bay Times.


Kroger, the nation's largest grocery chain, will phase out the use of plastic bags in its stores by 2025

August 24, 2018

Kroger, the nation's largest grocery chain, will phase out the use of plastic bags in its stores by 2025. The grocer orders about 6 billion bags each year. 

Kroger operates 2,779 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia, serving almost 9 million people daily through two dozen different grocery chains. Kroger said Thursday that will start the project at its Seattle chain QFC, where it expects to be plastic-bag free by next year.


Arctic's oldest and thickest ice breaks for the first time

August 23, 2018

The oldest and most robust sea ice in the Arctic has reportedly begun breaking up for the first time in recorded history. The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the ice breaks, which result in water opening up north of Greenland, have happened twice in 2018 because of warm winds and a heat wave caused by climate change. 

The sea off the northern coast of Greenland was once referred to as "the last ice area” because of how perpetually frozen it normally is.

"It was also believed that it would be one of the final northern areas to be impacted by the world's hotter temperatures."


Contact Lenses to Add to Earth's Microplastic Crisis

August 21, 2018

Contact lenses may appear harmlessly soft and small, but a big chunk of American users are improperly disposing their used lenses and adding to the planet's microplastic problem, Arizona State University researchers found.

In a survey of 409 wearers, about 1 in 5 responded that they flushed their used lenses down the toilet or sink instead of throwing them in the trash, according to a new study presented at the American Chemical Society's National Meeting and Exposition. The flushed lenses, which are mostly plastic, turn up at wastewater treatment plants and become part of sewage sludge that gets spread on farmland.


Goodman commentary: As Florida goes on climate change, so goes nation

August 20, 2018

"For climate change, Florida is the ballgame."

So says Rafe Pomerance, a man who has worked longer to stave off the threat of global warming than just about anybody. If the national politics on climate change is ever to shift from denial to action — in time to stop the disgorging of carbon dioxide beyond the point of no return — Florida, he says, is the key.

Why? Because no other state is under greater immediate threat from the warming planet and rise in sea levels. And no other swing state has so many electoral votes.


Fracking is destroying U.S. water supply, warns shocking new study

August 18, 2018

"Toxic wastewater from fracking jumps 14-fold from 2011 to 2016 — and it may get 50 times bigger by 2030."

An alarming new study reveals fracking is quite simply destroying America’s water supply.

That means we are losing potable water forever in many semi-arid regions of the country, while simultaneously producing more carbon pollution that in turn is driving ever-worsening droughts in those same regions, as fracking expert Anthony Ingraffea, a professor at Cornell University, explained to ThinkProgress.


Largo, Florida, Commits To 100% Clean Energy

August 17, 2018

On Tuesday, the city commission of Largo, Fla., approved the city’s commitment to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy.

Largo, which is located in the Tampa Bay Area, represents the fourth city in Florida and the 75th in the U.S. to establish this goal, according to the Sierra Club.

The plan includes 35 indicators to guide sustainability efforts, focusing on three main areas: infrastructure, workforce and natural resources. In addition, the city has adopted a goal to power all municipal operations with at least 50% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2035.


How climate change is making ‘red tide’ algal blooms even worse

August 15, 2018

"Red tide is killing Florida’s southwest coast."

Fish, manatees, sea turtles — some of them endangered — and nine dolphins have washed up dead on the beaches, and all of them are confirmed or suspected to have been poisoned by the algal bloom. The body of a young whale shark was found on a beach in late July, and biologists believe that it was the first known whale shark to have been killed by red tide.

Now the toxic algae — Karenia brevis — is working up the coast from Sanibel Island to Tampa Bay. Algal blooms are common in Florida and along the rest of the Gulf Coast, but they don’t always get this bad. This one began in 2017 and, over the past few months, has slowly ballooned into a nightmare scenario for residents and business owners — not to mention the thousands of animals that have died.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for seven counties on the southwest coast Tuesday.


Trump Moves to Open 1.6 Million Acres of California Public Lands to Fracking

August 10, 2018

The Trump administration took the first steps on Wednesday towards opening up 1.6 million acres of public land in California to fracking and oil drilling, The Sacramento Bee reported.

In a notice of intent published on the Federal Register Wednesday, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) said it would prepare an environmental impact statement on the use of fracking on 400,000 acres of public land and 1.2 million acres of mineral estate overseen by BLM in California counties including Fresno, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara, The Hill reported.

"'It's a coordinated attack on California by the Trump administration,' CBD senior attorney Clare Lakewood told The Hill."


Our climate plans are in pieces as killer summer shreds records

August 5, 2018

Deadly fires have scorched swaths of the Northern Hemisphere this summer, from California to Arctic Sweden and down to Greece on the sunny Mediterranean. Drought in Europe has turned verdant land barren, while people in Japan and Korea are dying from record-breaking heat.

Climate change is here and is affecting the entire globe -- not just the polar bears or tiny islands vulnerable to rising sea levels -- scientists say. It is on the doorsteps of everyday Americans, Europeans and Asians, and the best evidence shows it will get much worse.

Rising Seas and Increasing Hurricane Intensity: A Recipe for Disaster

June 23, 2018

Hurricane season is upon us. The activity of individual seasons goes up and down, but trends are becoming clear: rising sea level and increasing storm intensity and rainfall are elevating the hazard.

Rising sea levels is one of the most robust consequences of a warming climate. Warmer water expands and takes up more volume. Melting land-based ice also adds more water. The consequences for Florida are dire.


City of London to Source 100% Renewable Electricity for Square Mile

June 19, 2018

“Sourcing 100% renewable energy will make us cleaner and greener, reducing our grid reliance, and running some of our buildings on zero carbon electricity.”

In a move which continues to place London as one of the world’s leading climate and environmentally-friendly cities, the City of London Corporation, the governing body of the Square Mile (the colloquial nickname for the City of London), announced that it plans to source 100% renewable electricity from October 2018 onward.


Study: As Sea Levels Rise, Florida Property Values Will Sink

June 18, 2018

In findings released today, the Union of Concerned Scientists reports that — of all the coastal states in the lower 48 — Florida has the most existing homes at risk of eventually experiencing chronic flooding caused by rising sea levels.

That flooding, the researchers warn, could make those residential properties no longer practical to inhabit, much less insure, rent or sell — causing their market and taxable values to plummet.


TECO Expands Solar Energy With 10 Additional Megawatt Projects in Florida

June 17, 2018

“Tampa Electric is becoming cleaner and greener,” said Cherie Jacobs, spokesperson for Tampa Electric. “Solar power plays a key role in our fuel mix for our future years.”

Tampa Electric, one of Florida’s largest investor-owned electric utilities that serves about 750,000 customers in West Central Florida, was given the thumbs up by the Florida Public Service Commission last month for the initial phase of its efforts to expand the use of solar energy in Florida.


Judge Sides With Environmentalists in Land Conservation Dispute

June 16, 2018

“The people of Florida voted with a firm, clear voice. And the court said today that counts,” 

Ruling from the bench Friday, Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson sided with environmental groups in the lawsuit centered on whether lawmakers “defied” the 2014 Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative by improperly diverting portions of the money to such expenses as staffing – allegations legislative leaders have repeatedly disputed as they continued to make such budget allocations.


NASA Scientist Says Wind, Flooding and Rainfall Increase the Intensity of a Hurricane

June 14, 2018

Dr. Tim Hall is a Senior Researcher with NASA and an adjunct professor at Columbia University.  In this interview with Dr. Hall, he explains his research in weather patterns and their correlations to climate change.  Utilizing data from recent hurricanes Irma, Maria and Harvey, Dr. Hall explains that NASA has begun to prove that hurricanes are in fact getting worse.  


New Study Examines Impacts of Fracking on Water Supplies Worldwide

June 11, 2018

A new paper in the journal Earth’s Future examines the effects of hydraulic fracturing on water supplies worldwide.  30% of shale deposits are located in arid regions where aquifers are already heavily tapped for other uses including environmental, human and agricultural needs.  The paper concludes on a need for water management in areas where hydraulic fracturing could result in competing for water resources.


TransCanada Pipeline Explodes in West Virginia

June 11, 2018

“the fire was "very large—if you can see it from your house, evacuate."

A TransCanada pipeline that was installed in January, has exploded in Marshall County West Virginia.  The explosion could be seen from as far as 20 miles away. TransCanada, the same company behind the Keystone Pipeline, reports the explosion was contained and being investigated.  

At the opening of the line, TransCanada President and CEO Russ Girling stated, “ "This is truly a best-in-class pipeline and we look forward to many years of safe, reliable, and efficient operation on behalf of our customers."


Broward Residents Can Now Track Rising Sea Levels, Tides and Storms in Real Time

June 10, 2018

Thanks to some new technology, South Florida will have access to real time data on rising tides, incoming storms, climate change and overall sea-level rise.  Installed by NOAA, the Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System (PORTS) is a tool the public can access through Port Everglades’ website. Boaters and vessel operators can also utilize the tool to more safely navigate South Florida waters.  


Hottest Month of May Ever Recorded in U.S.

June 9, 2018


“Surpassing a mark set during the peak of the Dust Bowl in 1934, the continental U.S. just had its hottest May on record thanks in large part to the human-caused climate crisis, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced on Wednesday.”


World Oceans Day is June 8:  Here’s How You Can Make a Difference 

June 5, 2018

“Now with the oceans facing more threats than ever, it is time for all of us to come together to protect our treasured marine environment.”

In 2002, the United Nations declared June 8th World Oceans Day. This day is dedicated to the celebration and protection of our oceans. It is more important now than ever for grassroots action given the current administration’s vast offshore drilling plan that threatens our marine environments. On World Oceans Day, take action by:

  1. Telling your federal leaders to stop the rollback of ocean protections.
  2. Reduce your consumption of plastics with a #ZeroPlasticLunch.  
  3. Join the March for the Ocean (or wear blue to show support).

#MarchForOcean  #ZeroPlasticLunch  #WorldOceansDay


As the Sea Rises, South Floridians Will Get Thirsty Before They Get Wet

June 4, 2018

“In the not-too distant future, we will live on one of the small islands of South Florida.”

South Florida is built on porous, dead coral which is experiencing water intrusion from the top and the bottom.  The pressure of seawater pushing up from beneath is our biggest fear. Saltwater intrusion has reduced the freshwater in the Biscayne Aquifer by about 17% since 1985.  If we do not take serious action to intervene in the Everglades, there will not be enough freshwater to sustain the population.

“If we want to continue to live in South Florida, then maintaining our freshwater supply is imperative, and that will require a restored everglades.”


Miami Could Get Stronger, Wetter Hurricanes Thanks to Climate Change

May 29, 2018

“Many residents have questioned whether city officials are doing enough to prepare for the storm surges and massive rainfalls from hurricanes.”

While Hurricane Irma produced damage and flooding in Miami last year, so did a number of other rainstorms and tropical systems.  Regular flooding has become common.  In a new study by the National Center for Atmospheric Studies, predictions show that hurricanes will get wetter and slower thanks to climate change.  Reminiscent of Hurricane Harvey, hurricanes could park over a location and dump unprecedented amounts or rain over areas that are most vulnerable to flooding.  In a study of 22 recent storms, scientists found variations in speed, size and other variables.  However, all 22 storms produced more rain, regardless of the differences in other factors.  

“Though some studies have produced inconsistent results, the bulk of the science has trended toward predicting that hotter ocean temperatures will create stronger, more damaging storms.”


UF Students Submit Proposal to Address Coastal Flooding in St. Augustine

May 28, 2018

““It’s very different from many other coastal communities in Florida,” Chawla said, citing its European roots and its importance to the history of the nation as a whole. “So engaging them and opening up dialogue was very important.”

Graduate-level students from the University of Florida spent three days over Spring Break in the City of St. Augustine addressing the city’s coastal flooding issues.  Students from a variety of different disciplines prepared for their field work by researching sea level rise and its impact on the city in the last few years.  The students prepared white papers and proposals with a myriad of ideas which included extending stormwater pipes, structure retrofitting as well as solutions from policy and technical levels. 


In South Florida, We Need to Transform Our Communities to Address Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise

May 26, 2018

“In South Florida, where we are faced with frequent “sunny day flooding,” most residents have little lingering doubt that our climate is changing.”

 Given the unique nature of the Florida landscape, it has become imperative that we transform our communities to have a global impact and to implement adaptation measures.  We have seen sea level rise to the tune of 9-inches in the last 100 years, and there is a possibility of a an additional 3-foot rise by 2060.  The vulnerability of our location is apparent as “sunny day flooding” and more frequent high tides become commonplace.  It has become necessary to engage city and county governments to advocate for adaptation measures, address our unique situation and inspire imaginative solutions. 

“This process can lead us into a new form of resilience as a community, sharing challenges with a sense of responsibility for one another.”


Advocacy Groups Say Florida Parks At Risk By Offshore Drilling

May 25, 2018

“In January, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke appeared briefly in Tallahassee to announce drilling would not occur off Florida’s coasts. But the White House’s position has not yet been formalized.”

According to a report by the National Parks Conservation Association and the Natural Resource Defense Council, eleven national parks in the state of Florida are threatened by the White House Proposal to open oil drilling in the currently protected continental shelf.  In addition to putting m more than 9,000 jobs at risk, the economic output from the state of Florida could cost more than $876 million annually. 


Pediatricians are Concerned About Climate Change, and Here’s Why

May 19, 2018

Children are estimated to bear 88% of the burden of disease related to climate change, according to a paper published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics.

According to a new study, climate change is presenting an increasing risk to children’s health.  Citing rising outdoor temperatures, water related infections, extreme weather events, poor air quality and the spread of mosquito derived illnesses, children are part of a vulnerable population that stands to be most effected by climate change.

"The basic message is that climate change is occurring, and I think it disproportionately affects the most vulnerable populations, and that includes children,"


Surfrider Foundation “Hands Across the Sand” Event to Unite Against Offshore Drilling Once Again

May 18, 2018

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in April 2010 certainly played a role in showing the devastating impact that offshore drilling can have on coastal communities and their livelihoods. 

The Surfrider Foundation, in cooperation with other environmental groups, once again hosted The Hands Across the Sand event on May 19. What began in 2009 as Floridians standing against offshore drilling has grown to an international event with over 100 coordinated events.  The event aims to:” Bring together individuals and organizations to promote a clean energy future across the world and end our dependence on dirty fuels. Gather thousands of Americans and global citizens at beaches and cities to draw metaphorical and actual lines in the sand; human lines in the sand against fossil fuels that threaten our future.”


Researchers Create Super Sponge That Mops Up Oil Spills

May 17, 2018

The lead researcher, Dr Justin Chalker, said it had the potential to be a cheap and sustainable recovery tool in areas affected by oil spills.

A new floating substance made from sulfur and canola cooking was tested by South Australia's Flinders University. The newly developed polymer acted like a sponge, effectively removing crude oil and diesel from seawater, according to a new study published by Sustainable Systems Journal.  Last year nearly 7,000 tons of crude oil were spilt in our oceans. This new polymer is potentially less expensive and more sustainable than current clean up tools.


Renewable Sources Account for Most New Power Capacity

May 17, 2018

“A revolution is underway in the world’s power markets.”

In the past 20 years, global cumulative installed solar and wind power has grown from less than 8GW to nearly 800GW.  As a leader in this transition, the United States can attribute nearly half of the 24.6 GW of new electrical generating to renewables. 


South Florida Moms Celebrate Mother’s Day by Discussing Climate Change

May 13, 2018

"We want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with local leaders, supporting them, urging them to do more, and celebrating the innovations that improve the quality of our air, the quality of our lives, and our communities everywhere for future generations.”

The “Mama Summit” occurred on Mother’s Day this year in 11 different cities to bring a host of stakeholders together to address the negative impacts of climate change and how it affects future generations. Organized by Moms Clean Air Force, the summit brought awareness to surrounding issues and encouraged working with government officials to improve climate resilience infrastructure. 


Jobs in Renewable Energy Hit 10.3 Million Last Year, Report Finds

May 11, 2018

“Over 500,000 new jobs were generated by the renewable energy industry last year, a 5.3 percent rise when compared to 2016, according to a report.”

 

According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the number of people working in the renewable energy sector has hit 10.3 million.  As a pillar for low-carbon economic growth, data reveals nations with attractive policies are experiencing the most social, economic and environmental benefits.

“Fundamentally, this data supports our analysis that decarbonization of the global energy system can grow the global economy and create up to 28 million jobs in the sector by 2050."


Retired Vice Admiral Says Climate Change Is Already Threatening National Security

May 10, 2018

 

“Climate Change is a growing threat to national security and a concern for the military.  Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has said climate change is already impacting global stability”

 

An interview with Retired Vice Admiral Lee Gunn, a 35-year veteran of the US Navy, reveals the growing concerns about climate change and the impact it will have on our national stability and security. The United States military base structure, which is essential to readiness, is threatened by sea level rise.  The Union of Concerned Scientists published a report that 18 various military bases on the East and Gulf Coasts are also threatened.  Regardless of higher levels of office denying the existence of sea level rise and climate change, Gunn is confident the military is taking prudent steps in combating it.

“This is really an important factor. The base structure of the United States military is absolutely essential to the generation of readiness. Those stateside bases are invariably ... under threat from the consequences of climate change.”


Kids are suing Gov. Rick Scott to force Florida to take action on climate change

"Eight young Florida residents — the youngest is 10, the oldest is 20, and one is a University of Miami marine science student— are the named plaintiffs in a lawsuit that seeks to force a state extremely vulnerable to climate-driven sea rise to start work on a court-ordered, science-based 'Climate Recovery Plan.'”

April 16, 2018

The young group suing Governor Scott is represented by Our Children's Trust, which is an organization that sponsors similar law suits from children across the country. Some perceive this as a legal stunt, but a federal judge recognized the claims to be legitimate enough to send the case to trial. Florida is vulnerable to rising sea levels caused by climate change, especially in the southern regions of the state. In the law suit, the children and their lawyers are accusing Scott and his administration of falling short in the implementation of legislation aimed at curbing carbon emissions, and ignoring the inevitable damage caused by sea-level rise.

"Gov. Scott says he's not a scientist. Well, neither are most of the people that are forced to take action because the state is failing us." 


Constitution panel proposes putting 24 ideas into 12 amendments on November ballot

"While some CRC members wanted all the proposals to stand on their own to avoid voter confusion, others argued they wanted them grouped to save voters’ time."

April 4, 2018

A preliminary proposal unanimously adopted by the Style and Drafting Committee of the Constitutional Revision Commission would allow 24 proposals to be condensed into 12 amendments on the November ballot. Interestingly enough, Proposal 91, which would ban oil and gas drilling in Florida- owned waters, would be paired with Proposal 65, which would ban indoor vaping. Some believe that the bundling of proposals will lead to unfair outcomes, while others are concerned with minimizing lines at the polls. 

“We owe the citizens of this state the opportunity to decide on each individual proposal as to whether that proposal should become part of our Constitution,” Henry Coxe, a Jacksonville lawyer, wrote in a letter to the committee’s chair, Brecht Heuchan on Monday.


Massachusetts top court rules against Exxon in climate change probe

“Massachusetts’ top court on Friday rejected Exxon Mobil Corp’s bid to block the state’s attorney general from obtaining records to investigate whether the company for decades concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play in climate change.”

April 13, 2018

The Supreme Judicial Court of Mass. ruled that Attorney General Healey could legally obtain records to determine whether or not Exxon's marketing or sale of products derived from fossil fuel infringed upon the state's consumer protection law. Healey is eager to receive documents from Exxon that would most likely disclose the fact that they were aware of climate change, the risk involved in their industry, and at what time in the company's history that this knowledge came to fruition. The Mass. investigation into Exxon began in 2015.

"Healey’s probe related to how manmade greenhouse gas emissions had caused climate change, “a distinctly modern threat that grows more serious with time, and the effects of which are already being felt in Massachusetts.”


Oil spill laps shores during Chevron- sponsored French Quarter festival

“On April 12, an oil spill in the Mississippi River brought noxious fumes to music lovers at the New Orleans French Quarter Festival. The U.S. Coast Guard estimates 4,200 gallons of diesel oil spilled when a cargo ship hit the Nashville Wharf.”

April 13, 2018

Traffic had to be stopped on the Mississippi River while the Coast Guard and Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator's Office worked together to clean up the oil spill. According to witnesses, thick layers of oil and sludge were lining the shore, giving off intense fumes. Ironically enough, the main sponsor of the festival is Chevron, with many other popular New Orleans festivals being "underwritten" by big oil companies sponsorship.


Clean energy ambition creates jobs

"Statistics from the Solar Foundation show Atlanta, which pledged in 2017 to make the transition to 100 clean power by 2035, had a 21% increase in solar jobs last year – one of the biggest rises in the country."

April 6, 2018


Here's how climate change could make air travel even worse

"Climate change: it's disrupting our planet, and it's going to disrupt your future travel plans, especially if you're planning to fly. Weather disruptions will mean more delays and cancellations, strengthening jet streams at high altitudes means more turbulence, and traveling against the jet stream (like flying from Europe to the U.S.) means your flights will take longer."

April 8, 2018

Rising temperatures are predicted to give travelers a more difficult time for several reasons. Increased temperatures and subsequent heat waves will result in thinner air, which makes it more difficult for planes to generate the appropriate amount of lift during takeoff. Planes schedules to take off during the hottest times of the year will need weight restrictions to safely fly. Along with this, unpredictable storms and flooding can damage planes and terminals, as well as delay flights. 

“We’ll be able to adapt to these things, but it does have a penalty,” says Coffel. “You have to spend money just to maintain today’s performance, so in that sense [with] any adaptation, even if its successful, you’re still basically paying the cost of climate change.”


Pipeline spill in South Dakota twice as big as first thought

"Around 407,000 gallons (338,900 imperial gallons) spilled onto farmland when the pipeline broke near Amherst in Marshall County on Nov. 16, a spokeswoman for pipeline owner TransCanada Corp., told the Aberdeen American News. TransCanada had originally put the spill at 210,000 gallons (174,860 imperial gallons)."

April 7, 2018

The new development in the pipeline spill makes it the seventh- largest oil or petroleum spill on land since 2010. A mere 12 days after the leak, TransCanada continued normal use of the pipeline. It is estimated that the spill cost TransCanada $9.57 million. A report indicates that the pipeline might have been damaged during the construction process in 2008. 


Renewables grew twice as fast as fossil fuels in 2017

"Solar, wind, biomass and other renewables generated 12.1 percent of world electricity in 2017, up from 5.2 percent a decade earlier."

April 6, 2018

The world set a new record for installation of solar power in 2017, that is 98 GW of energy capacity. The capacity for fossil fuels in 2017 was much lower at 70 GW. Climate experts have encouraged governments to transition to renewable energy sources by mid- century if they are to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Investment in renewables increased by two percent across the globe. Furthermore, the cost of producing electricity from solar technologies fell by 15 percent last year.

“'We are at a turning point ... from fossil fuels to the renewable world,' Erik Solheim, head of U.N. Environment, told Reuters. 'The markets are there and renewables can take on coal, they can take on oil and gas.'”


Zinke sees low demand, strong opposition, for new offshore drilling

"President Trump's plan to open large swaths of the East and West coasts to offshore oil and natural gas drilling faces significant headwinds."

April 6, 2018

Zinke claims that a significant factor he is taking into account in moving forward with his offshore drilling plan is local opposition. States across the county have been vocal in their disapproval of opening up their coastlines to offshore drilling exploration. Zinke believes that the industry is uninterested in increased offshore exploration and points to the expensive infrastructure and environmental risk as reasons for the discouragement. 

"'There is a lot of opposition, particularly off the coast of the East Coast, the West Coast, on oil and gas," he said. "And so our plan takes into consideration the local communities, the voice of the governors.'"


Florida governor vetoes 'toilet to tap' bill

"Protecting Florida's environment has been a top priority during my time as governor," Scott said in the veto letter. "Florida has stringent water quality standards, and we are going to keep it that way."

April 6, 2018

The 'toilet to tap' bill would have given way to treated wastewater being pumped back into Florida's groundwater. Historically, Scott has not sided with environmentalists, but a handful of groups rallied citizens together to call and email the governor's office. Proponents of the bill claimed that the water would meet federal standards for drinking water; opponents countered that federal water standards do not test for harmful things, e.g. pharmaceuticals, which spread through human waste.

"'I am surprised by this, for sure, and pleasantly surprised by this, of course," said event organizer Brian Lee, who chairs the Leon County Soil and Water Conservation District. "I hope that means he was listening to the people.'"


Shell knew fossil fuels created climate change risks back in 1980s, internal documents show

“Internal company documents uncovered by a Dutch news organization show that the oil giant Shell had a deep understanding, dating at least to the 1980s, of the science and risks of global warming caused by fossil fuel emissions.”

April 5, 2018

The scientists at Shell urged the company to address the potential that fossil fuel emissions would have profound consequences such as unnatural climate change. Essentially, Shell, as well as several other oil and gas companies, knew of the danger associated with greenhouse gasses, yet kept that knowledge out of the eyes of the general public. Dutch environmentalists intend to sue Shell for withholding this information and perpetuating the climate crisis. 

In one Shell report from the 80s, the company acknowledged that "'The emerging problem "could have major social, economic and political consequences," it said—a powerful enough upheaval to be "the greatest in human history.'"


Young Americans want to save you from climate change 

"Around nine in ten millennials understand that the climate is changing, the highest proportion of any age group, while nearly eight in 10 think humankind must work to stem the rise in temperature."

April 1, 2018

Students from across the country have made their voices heard on the issue of climate change, and the need to take action. High school students from Connecticut founded a youth- led climate advocacy group called Zero Hour. The group is fundraising in order to organize a march in Washington, DC this July. The ultimate goal of the group is to demand lawmakers to transition the U.S. to 100 percent renewable energy sources by 2028. 

“'We really want to focus on finding youth from front-line communities who want to speak out and tell their stories,” Artis said. “We don’t want to make it about partisanship, but rather an issue that is going to affect everyone.'"


Florida community set to become nation's first solar-powered town 

"One brand-new Florida town has taken its first steps toward becoming completely solar powered. Babcock Ranch, just north of Fort Myers, already has residents moving in and businesses looking to get in on the action." 

April 2, 2018

Syd Kitson, the developer of Babcock Ranch, is striving to keep the solar energy they are producing in the hands of the private sector instead of  dealing with involvement from the federal government which could mean high tariffs. Upwards of 250 families are predicted to settle into the town withing the next year. Residents will enjoy inexpensive energy, autonomous transportation shuttles, and a wildlife preservation- with more than 90% of the land set aside for preservation purposes.  

"'I think the state of Florida has really, over the last several years, realized that it's the Sunshine State, and that this is a great opportunity for a renewable energy source for the state of Florida,' said Kitson."


Why Miami is the first stop on a campaign to ask polluters to pay for climate action

"Unlike plenty of other areas threatened by a changing climate, South Florida cities and counties have come up with plans to stem the floods — and they’ve committed hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars for the work."

March 9, 2018

In an effort to control the impacts of sea level rise, Miami recently voted to tax itself close to $200 million. Miami Beach is also contributing half a billion on improved storm-water systems and raised roads. However, new feelings area brewing within a political movement in Miami and it's pushing for a radical proposal. Polluters pay, not taxpayers

"“You hear them say the responsibility should be shared with states and federal government, but we’ve never had the conversation about polluters. What responsibility do they have?” said Maggie Fernandez, committee chair of the Miami Climate Alliance and president of Sustainable Miami."


A 'Major Second Wave' of U.S. Fracking Is About to Be Unleashed Upon the World

"U.S. oil and natural gas is on the verge of transforming the world’s energy markets for a second time, further undercutting Saudi Arabia and Russia."

March 6, 2018

Just in the time span of a few years remade the global energy sector by the mass adoption of fracking in the U.S. spiked barrels of oil into the billions and cubic feet of natural gas in to the trillions. The International Energy Agency said in a recent forecast that the increase in U.S. oil production will account for 80% of global demand for oil over the next three years. It is predicted to grow almost 30% to 17 million barrels per day by 2023. Much of that increase being attributed to fracking in West Texas.

The second fracking boom in the U.S. is followed by noticeable ramifications for the global energy markets and geopolitics in broader terms.

“In a shale revolution world, no country is an island,” said Birol. “Everyone will be affected.”


Climate Change Could Double Global Sea Level Rise By 2100: NASA Study

"There has been an acceleration in the total rise of sea level on Earth in recent years rather than it rising at a steady pace, a new NASA study has reported."

March 5, 2018

NASA has been compiling data on sea level rise for the past 25 years. This information was used to conduct a projection study that attributes the increase in sea level rise to the accelerated melting in Antarctica and Greenland. This incredible acceleration has the capacity to double the global sea level by 2100. This means if the melting continues, at this rate, the sea level would rise 26 inches by 2100. 

"This is almost certainly a conservative estimate," study lead author Steve Nerem said. "Our extrapolation assumes that sea level continues to change in the future as it has over the last 25 years. Given the large changes we are seeing in the ice sheets today, that's not likely."

 

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Floridians Against Fracking Call On Senator Bradley to Be A Hero On Fracking With Virtual “Bradley Bat Signal”

Asking Sen. Bradley to schedule SB 462 in his last Appropriations hearing

February 28, 2018

Tallahassee-, FL -- Today, the Floridians Against Fracking again called on Senator Rob Bradley to hold a final hearing on a bill that would ban fracking in Florida on Friday, March 2nd.  The event is the culmination of nearly 1500 phone calls and several actions across the state over the past week to encourage Senator Bradley to continue his legacy as a clean water champion by passing a bill to ban fracking.


Florida's Fracking Ban is Flying Through the Senate

Food and Water Watch 

February 14, 2018

"After passing through the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee unanimously, the fracking ban bill moved to the Appropriations Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources for the first time ever.
Each of these votes has been bipartisan and featured unprecedented support."

 

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Is Florida IN or OUT of Offshore Drilling Plan? Feds could decide later this year

WGCU SW Florida 

February 12, 2018

"Supporters and opponents of offshore drilling have one thing in common: neither believe Florida is off the table in the federal government’s proposed 5-year offshore leasing plan."
Uncertainty regarding Florida's Future means we still have to fight! We don't need oil to meet energy demands with the untapped potential of renewables!#SunshineState #ProtectOurCoasts


LWV Reports Sunshine State is Making Solar Strides

The Bradenton Times

February 11, 2018

"Florida now leads the nation in new residential rooftop permits with a growth rate of 110 percent in 2016. The Florida Solar Energy Center reports solar jobs are growing at a rate of ten times that of the Florida economy."


President Trump Slaps Tariffs on Solar Panels in Major Blow to Renewable Energy

Time

January 22, 2018

"The US will impose duties as much as 30 percent on solar equipment made abroad, a move that threatens to handicap a $28 billion industry hat relies on parts made abroad for 80 percent of its supply."


Lee County Residents Stage Mock Oil Spill to Support Anti-Fracking Legislation

WGCU
November 22nd, 2017

"A group of Lee County residents met in downtown Fort Myers Tuesday night to stage a mock oil rig spill to draw attention to the risks of fracking and promote the proposed bipartisan legislation that would ban the practice in Florida."

Protesters with signs


POINT OF VIEW: Court was clear: Community comes first on fracking

Palm Beach Post
November 8th, 2017

"Approximately 80 percent of Florida’s population has supported a ban on fracking through city and county resolutions. Is Rodrigues representing the majority of Floridians or fossil fuel interests?"

Protester with sign


Tallahasseeans want more money for schools and the environment, restrictions on guns and a ban on fracking

Tallahassee Democrat
October 31st, 2017

ReThink Energy Florida attended the 2017 Leon County Legislative Delegation Meeting on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017 to let our legislative delegates know we want a ban on fracking to be an issue they focus on in the upcoming legislative session. The event, which happen at the Leon County courthouse was packed with over 100 people. To learn more about the event and hear about how ReThink Energy Florida Executive Director: Kim Ross and Communications Director: Brian Lee were involved, check out the full article in the Tallahassee Democrat by clicking the title above.

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Education, fracking, crime: Leon County delegation hears concerns

Florida Politics
October 31st, 2017

At the Leon County Legislative Delegation Meeting, many issues were discussed including mental health problems, crime rates, and because of the attendance of ReThink Energy Florida and Floridians Against Fracking, fracking was a major issue discussed as well. You can read a synopsis of the issues discussed from Florida Politics by clicking the title above.

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UCF's enormous solar plant would slash $2 million a year from utility bills

Orlando Sentinel
May 5th, 2017

"UCF’s solar array would be the biggest in the state not backed by a utility and may mark Florida’s energy timeline as beginning to crack the utility monopoly on electricity."

UCF solar panels

 

ReThink Energy Florida Pres. Kim Ross to be interviewed on 'Tallahassee National Action In Action' radio show

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Reclaiming Florida's Future For All!

WCJB (ABC) - Gainesville, FL - WCJB TV 20 News 5 Live
March 22nd, 2017

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Advocacy for everyone: How to effectively influence Florida politics (February Lunch & Learn)

FSView & Florida Flambeau 
February 19th, 2017

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Competition teaches students STEM skills, solar power (2017 Energy Whiz!)

Tallahassee Democrat 
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Rethink Energy Florida Reflects on Election's "Good News"

WTXL ABC 27 
January 18th, 2017

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Water cannons, rubber bullets used on Dakota Access Pipeline protesters by police

BBC
November 21, 2016

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Protesters Take to the Streets for National Day of Action against Pipeline
WCTV
November 15, 2016

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Seas aren’t just rising, scientists say — it’s worse than that. They’re speeding up.


Top lawmaker calls for buying up sugar land to clean Everglades