Skip to main content

An Ecology Florida Staff Feature

A recent feature in Ecology Florida News reported on an offer from ten climate-change specialists to meet with Governor Rick Scott to explain to him the basics of climate change and the impact global warming is having and will have on the state of Florida.[1]

As noted in that feature, it is still not clear if the governor or only members of his staff will meet with the scientists. What is clear is that the scientists know what they are talking about and one, Jeffrey Chanton, can present the facts of climate change in a very clear straightforward language. He does so in "What I will tell the governor on climate," published on August 8, in the Tampa Bay Times.[2]

Chanton is a good writer, and presents the reality of global warming in a way that nearly anyone with basic literacy skills can understand.  He also specifies the looming catastrophes that await the state if nothing is done.

Florida Sea Level Rise (5 meters)

Chanton holds high academic rank.  He is the John Winchester Professor of Oceanography and a Distinguished Research Professor at Florida State University. If you are expecting jargon and rhetoric only other scientists can understand, think again. Chanton will surprise you.  After reading his short account, even non-scientists will easily understand what is happening and what is at stake.  This is important, because Gov. Scott has reminded us repeatedly that he is not a scientist. Neither are most other people.  It appears that Professor Chanton has taken Gov. Scott's assertion to heart, and the rest of the non-scientists have benefited as well.  "What I will tell the governor on climate" is easy to read, direct, cogent, and convincing.

Coastal states affected by sea level rise
Importantly, Chanton tells us (and presumably the governor), over the last 800,000 years (a period known as the Pleistocene), researchers have observed a direct correlation between fluctuations in temperature, carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, and sea level.  During this entire period, carbon dioxide in the air ranged from "280 parts per million (ppm) in warm periods and 180 ppm in cold times." He then observes: "Since the Industrial Revolution in the 1800s, human burning of fossil fuels has raised the carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere on a massive scale, to more than 400 ppm.  This level is higher than it has been for more than 1 million years."  

So, a warm period, with higher temperatures, melting ice, and sea level rise is signaled by CO2 at 280 ppm.  Today it is over 400 ppm.  The implications seem clear – and they have been clear to many for decades – even to those of us who are not scientists.  There is no need to restate them here, but if you are interested in further comment, see the earlier ECFL News feature, "400" on our passing of the 400 ppm milestone.[3]

Even if the governor does not meet with Professor Chanton, it will be beneficial if he reads Chanton's essay.  It is good news that the rest of us also have the opportunity read it as well. "What I will tell the governor" offers an excellent account of climate change for all the folks who are not scientists, which, after all, is just about everyone – including Governor Scott.

Did you enjoy this editorial? Consider visiting and supporting EcologyFlorida.org in its mission.

Sources and References

1. "The Governor and The Scientists," Ecology Florida News, Feature

2."What I will tell the governor on climate," Jeffrey Chanton, Tampa Bay Times, Exclusive

3."400," Ecology Florida News, Feature

Originally posted to jtietz on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 06:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by DK GreenRoots and DKos Florida.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  I was taught (7+ / 0-)

    you can lead a horse to water...

    "the northern lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see. Was that night on the marge of Lake Labarge, I cremated Sam McGee". - Robert Service, Bard of the Yukon

    by Joe Jackson on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 07:03:22 PM PDT

  •  I have seen no mention of the wave of humanity (7+ / 0-)

    that will be fleeing the rise in ocean level.

    Are there estimates as to how many desperate families will be displaced and forced inland?

    Ted Cruz is upset that there are so many refugees who would like to come make a life in America the way his father has.

    by Gordon20024 on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 07:31:35 PM PDT

    •  The NOLA Clearances Were How Many People? (5+ / 0-)

      Whatever your numbers, they need to include those.

      Desperate fleeing isn't going to be from rising mean levels, it will be in small bursts from exceptional storms.

      General sea level rise (combined with subsidence in parts of the east and southern coasts) will act more slowly, driving taxes up through demands of infrastructure repair and replacement, trouble with water supplies and other utilities etc. so that I expect lots of small towns will be declared uninhabitable as has happened around some coal mine fires and other occasional situations in the past.

      The insurance industry is real interested in this topic.

      Unfortunately with finance owning the place, what this means is that you and I will be bailing out the 0.1% more and more.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 08:18:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Living in Nebraska, . . . (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gwennedd, Gordon20024, pvasileff

      . . . what I see likely to happen is that sea-level rise (which will put my son's home in Florida underwater) will force out the very wealthy that own beachfront property from Eastport, Maine to Key West.

      They will be the ones moving inland and buying up property, when it becomes obvious that no amount of tax money will save cities like Jacksonville Beach or Virginia Beach (what will Rev. Pat Robertson's organisation do - he claimed to pray away Hurricane Hugo when I was there, will it do the same for Hampton Roads going under).

      Those of us who are poor but own our own property will be forced off it, to make room for the "makers" busily taking our property.

      "A Conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'Stop!'"—William F. Buckley, Jr.—Founder of the conservative policy magazine "National Review"

      by Village Vet on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 12:32:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IPCC (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, fauxrs

        I thought the most recent IPCC report projected a sea level rise of 59cm by the year 2100. Now I know that any sea level rise is bad, why does the graphic above show a sea level rise of 5 meters?

        "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

        by Blue Silent Majority on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 03:47:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Because its scary (0+ / 0-)

          Projected GMSLR that I last read projected the absolute worst case by 2100 of 1.2 meters. That of course would be devastating enough as it is, but if you want to scare people you show absurd levels like the 5 meter map.

          I think its things like that, that cause some people who might otherwise be amenable to listening to discount the science because they see what they perceive as gross exaggeration, scare tactics and missed projections.

          If you ask me, a single meter of rise by the end of this century is horrifying enough, a close up map of Miami under a 1 meter sea level rise which is within the lifetimes of the grandchildren of present day voters might have more impact than these 5 meter rise maps which might be as much as a millennium out.

          We are a short lived short sighted race as much as I might wish it otherwise, when you consider we have a government incapable of thinking a year in advance most of the time, trying to get them to get worried about something that could occur 1000 years from now is absurd.

          Religion is like a blind man, in a pitch black room, searching for a black cat that isn't there.....and finding it.

          by fauxrs on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 05:03:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bad Idea (0+ / 0-)

            I think its a bad idea to use scare tactics like that when talking about global warming because it becomes more like a" doomsday" religion than science.

            "For all those whose cares have been our concern, the work goes on, the cause endures, the hope still lives and the dream shall never die." --Senator Ted Kennedy

            by Blue Silent Majority on Thu Aug 14, 2014 at 06:57:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  great diary...and yes...going to read Chanton's (3+ / 0-)

    article...thanks..!!

    We are not broke, we are being robbed. ~Shop Kos Katalogue~

    by Glen The Plumber on Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 07:50:16 PM PDT

  •  Rick Scott should pay attention because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, tidalwave1, PeterHug

    eight of Florida's ten largest cities will be underwater, including all or most of the counties in which they are located.  The only two which will survive are Orlando which is located in the center of the state and Tallahassee which is located in the north Florida hills.  

    Here are Florida's ten largest cities as of 2014 estimated populations:

    1    Jacksonville  821,784
    2    Miami    399,457
    3    Tampa   335,709
    4    St Petersburg 244,769
    5    Orlando    238,300
    6    Hialeah    224,669
    7    Tallahassee  181,376
    8    Fort Lauderdale    165,521
    9    Port Saint Lucie    164,603
    10  Pembroke Pines    154,750

    "I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~ Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~ So.Lib.inMD UID166438

    by gulfgal98 on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 03:50:08 PM PDT

  •  This will be a serious problem for Publix supermar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pvasileff, smileycreek

    kets. That's their biggest territory and infrastructure.  All just gone.  You'd think they'd be more concerned.

  •  Look at that map! (0+ / 0-)

    Know I see, I see a lot of democratic counties underwater. It's a clearly a republican state. Don't expect a lot of action from Rick Scott on this one!

    Give the people a choice between a Republican and a Republican and they will vote for the Republican every time - Harry S Truman

    by mr market on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 05:18:05 PM PDT

  •  I've been watching climate change science (0+ / 0-)

    for only about 10 yrs. I will admit to being a little slow coming over to the light side. This planet's atmosphere is a huge and chaotic system and the butterfly in China flaps it's wings often. It's difficult to model.

    The arctic permafrost is melting, the arctic methane hydrates are overturning. One meter of sea level rise this century may be optimistic. The models are a bit conservative, IMHO. I live about 2 meters above  high tide and am not a disinterested party

    Political Realities are an excuse to vote against progress

    by Wood Gas on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 08:43:08 PM PDT

  •  All of the Everglades wildlife has to go somewhere (0+ / 0-)

    Not much use for zoos once the pythons and gators begin appearing in the hood.

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Wed Aug 13, 2014 at 09:27:53 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site