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:
- Telling your federal leaders to stop the rollback of ocean protections.
- Reduce your consumption of plastics with a #ZeroPlasticLunch.
- Join the March for the Ocean (or wear blue to show support).
#MarchForOcean #ZeroPlasticLunch #WorldOceansDay
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
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.
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,"
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.”
"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."
"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 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.”
“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.
"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
"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.”
"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.
"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.'”
"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.'"
"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.'"
“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.'"
"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.'"
"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."
"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."
"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.”
"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."
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.
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."
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
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."
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."
"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."
"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?"
Tallahasseeans want more money for schools and the environment, restrictions on guns and a ban on fracking
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 President: Kim Ross and Communications Director: Brian Lee were involved, check out the full article in the Tallahassee Democrat by clicking the title above.
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.
"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."
ReThink Energy Florida Pres. Kim Ross to be interviewed on 'Tallahassee National Action In Action' radio show
FSView & Florida Flambeau
February 19th, 2017
WTXL ABC 27
January 18th, 2017
November 21, 2016
Protesters Take to the Streets for National Day of Action against Pipeline
November 15, 2016