Year 2, Month 8, Day 12: The Water Is Wide

Well, looks like it’s time to start buying beachfront property in Northern Florida, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel (July 27):

South Florida can’t afford to ignore growing dangers from pollution-fueled climate change, according to new findings from the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Rising seas, more flooding from storm surge and saltwater seeping in and fouling drinking water supplies are among the looming threats from climate-altering pollution, according to the environmental group’s nationwide review released Tuesday.

South Florida, and Miami in particular, is one of the most vulnerable parts of the country, and local governments need to play a larger role in dealing with the damaging effects of climate change, according to the NRDC.

It’s a good excuse to call out Rick Scott. Sent July 27:

With even fairly conservative models suggesting a good chance that most of the Florida peninsula will be under water by the century’s end, it would seem a no-brainer for the state’s residents and government to start focusing on adaptive strategies to cope with the effects of climate change. While we humans haven’t shown much real skill at long-range planning in the course of our evolution so far, that will have to change if we are to survive in the climatically-transformed future that now seems all but inevitable. Our economic systems are built around the requirements of quick profitability, just as our political systems are geared to the exigencies of two, four, or six-year electoral cycles; it’s no wonder that we’re failing to craft a sustainable future. What we need from our business and political leaders is long-term vision; what we get from politicians like Rick Scott is myopic greed.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 6, Day 13: The Florida Land Bust

The Saint Petersburg Times has an excellent editorial citing Chicago’s greening programs as worthwhile models for Floridian cities. Governor Rick Scott, of course, is a typical denialist (and a crook, too!). Poor Florida — soon to be submerged:

As the New York Times recently reported, in 2006 then-Mayor Richard M. Daley embraced climatologist predictions the city was warming at such an alarming pace that by the end of this century Chicago could be facing as many as 72 days a year with temperatures in the 90s, along with increasing precipitation. So Chicago has embarked on a massive green initiative with increased tree plantings, environmentally sensitive building efforts and improved reclaimed water systems. And what of Florida, perhaps the most ecologically sensitive state in the union? For starters, there is Gov. Rick Scott, who doesn’t believe — despite proof to the contrary from the scientific community — that global warming even exists. As sea levels have risen, Tallahassee continues to whistle past the environmental graveyard, abolishing the Florida Energy and Climate Commission and even attempting to repeal the Florida Climate Protection Act on the dubious and misinformed logic it is no longer needed. While Chicago acknowledges global warming and develops forward-thinking strategies, Florida’s leaders ignore scientific reality even as the seas slowly and steadily erode the peninsula.

Good stuff. It’s always enjoyable to mock the twisted thinking of denialists. Too bad they’re for real. Sent May 30:

As the evidence for global climate change piles up ever higher, it would seem that conservative “skeptics” would eventually be won over to the side of science-based policy. To be sure, this does happen occasionally. But in general, this is not the way the denialist mind works. If past history is any guide, a far more likely response will be intensified advocacy of increasingly improbable and complex conspiracy theories. Al Gore heading an international cabal of climate scientists? Check. IPCC Director Rajendra Pachauri secretly planning a One-World Government, complete with mandatory re-education camps for SUV drivers? Check. The ninety-seven percent of the world’s climate experts who agree on the human causes of global warming and the terrifying threats it poses are, in the denialist mind, more likely to be avaricious hypocrites out to make a quick buck than conscientious scientists reporting their findings to the world. Projection, anyone?

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 6, Day 3: Rick’s A Dick

The Miami Herald’s Fred Grimm has a column reprinted in the Kansas City Star, noting the ignorance of Rick Scott and the problems it presents:

Climate scientists are lending their computer modeling and data analysis and research findings and learned assumptions to the new governor’s first state hurricane conference this week. Gov. Rick Scott seems fine with that, as long as the brainy guys confine their theories to the short term.

In his short speech opening the conference Wednesday, for example, Scott didn’t object to warnings that Florida is statistically likely to absorb a big hit in 2011. He promised Florida would be ready. “We’re going to be very prepared.”

Scott, however, only accepts climate science devoted to the upcoming hurricane season. When it comes to the long-term stuff – the overwhelming research that warns of man-made global warming – he remains Florida’s denier in chief.

Idiot. Buffoon. Psychopath. Sociopath.

Sent May 22:

Of course Florida governor Rick Scott has seen nothing to persuade him that global climate change is real and dangerous. He’s a perfect specimen of the modern Republican politician: obsessed with short-term gain, oblivious to long-term consequences. For Governor Scott and others of his ilk, “future generations” exist only as a phrase to be used in public in order to manipulate low-information voters. Like the Rapturists whose vision of the future ended last Saturday, these politicians think no further than the next election cycle; their corporate sponsors, similarly, think no further than the next fiscal year’s profits.

When it comes to the dangers posed by climate change, we need genuinely far-sighted leadership — leaders who are ready to confront the scientifically confirmed bad news head on and help all of us understand what we as a country need to do in order to secure a sustainable future for our descendants.

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 6, Day 2: How Many Times Must A Man Turn His Head?

The Miami Herald runs a piece on how climate change has become a low priority for Florida’s government since the Scott takeover. Big surprise.

Four hundred scientists gathered in Copenhagen recently to talk about the warming temperatures in the Arctic. Their conclusion: The Arctic’s glaciers are melting faster than anyone expected due to man-made climate change.

As a result, the world’s sea level will rise faster than previously projected, rising at least two feet 11 inches and perhaps as high as five feet three inches by 2100, they said.

In low-lying Florida, where 95 percent of the population lives within 35 miles of its 1,200 miles of coastline, a swelling of the tides could cause serious problems. So what is Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection doing about dealing with climate change?

“DEP is not pursuing any programs or projects regarding climate change,” an agency spokeswoman said in an email to the Times earlier this month.


Crist’s successor, Gov. Rick Scott, doesn’t think climate change is real, even though it’s accepted as fact by everyone from NASA to the Army to the Vatican.

“I’ve not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change,” Scott said last week. “Nothing’s convinced me that there is.”

That guy is really a pustulent sore on the body politic. Sent May 21:

When Governor Scott pronounces himself unpersuaded about the reality of global climate change, saying that nothing’s convinced him of its existence, he reveals more about himself and the contemporary Republican party he represents than about the state of contemporary climate science. In the world of science, nobody needs convincing anymore; evidence for the human causes and catastrophic consequences of climate change is overwhelming and utterly unambiguous. In GOP-world, however, the laws of physics and natural phenomena are subordinate to popular preference; the disasters attendant to the greenhouse effect will be nullified by tea-party decree. Why isn’t Mr. Scott convinced? Hint: it’s not because he’s examined the evidence. Rather, it’s because he (along with his ideological allies throughout the country) is philosophically opposed to any policy that doesn’t generate higher profit margins for the fossil fuel industry. The Governor’s already made up his mind; don’t confuse him with the facts.

Warren Senders