Global Hoaxing Threatening Florida

A new report by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting says that not only don’t the Governor and Senators believe in Global Warming, the entire state appartus has been ordered not to use the term.

“The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years.

But you would not know that by talking to officials at the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the state agency on the front lines of studying and planning for these changes.

DEP officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports, according to former DEP employees, consultants, volunteers and records obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

The policy goes beyond semantics and has affected reports, educational efforts and public policy in a department that has about 3,200 employees and $1.4 billion budget.

“We were told not to use the terms ‘climate change,’ ‘global warming’ or ‘sustainability,’ ” said Christopher Byrd, an attorney with the DEP’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee from 2008 to 2013. “That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel.”

FCIR | Korten

Pensacola Under Historical Flooding

We sure don’t know how many ‘historical’ events it’s going to take before the 34% of those who don’t think the weather is changing change their minds.  Following some of the most powerful tornadoes on record, the Florida-Mississippi coast line, especially Pensacola, got an historic drenching — worse than during Hurricane Ivan, which dumped 3-7 inches of rain,  according to some residents.

About 22 inches of rain had fallen by midmorning in Pensacola, with 4 more expected Wednesday. Average annual rainfall for Pensacola is 65 inches, meaning much of that area was seeing about a third of that amount in just one day.

In some neighborhood, streets flowed like rivers as water reached mailboxes. Cars were submerged in driveways, and residents paddled by on kayaks.  NoLa

A road bed after  heavy rains on April 30, 2014 in Pensacola, Florida.

A road bed after heavy rains on April 30, 2014 in Pensacola, Florida.

The National Weather Service called the event “historic.” The official rain gauge at Pensacola’s airport measured an astonishing 5.68 inches in a single hour before it failed around 10 p.m. Tuesday. An analysis by the NWS office in Mobile, Alabama, estimated that single hour to be a 1-in-200- to 1-in-500-year event. The official rain gauge and weather radar both gave out, presumably from lightning strikes, so we might never know exactly how much rain fell Tuesday night.* Still, several unofficial rain gauges measured impressive totals.  [Slate]

Heavy Downpours Increasing

Heavy Downpours Increasing




And it’s not all kayaks and complaining.  A massive gas explosion, apparently set off by flooding the knocked out a retaining wall, has killed at least two prisoners and allowed three to escape county jail — which is to say, the results of severe weather are unpredictable.  Trying to adapt to what we can’t prepare for is sure to bring enormous knock-on effects, at every level.

Drought, Rivers Down, Over Fishing: Big Trouble in Florida

It’s hard getting our empathy worked up for people who are heavily involved in causing their own troubles, or at least not minding the signs and signals that troubles are coming and continuing as though it will be just another year.  Nevertheless, the conditions described by Lizette Alvarez in Sunday’s New York Times in Florida’s northwest Apalachicola Bay make us pay attention.

Oyster Seeding Oyster Seeding

In a budding ecological crisis, the oyster population has drastically declined in Apalachicola Bay, one of the country’s major estuaries and the cradle of Florida’s prized oyster industry.

The fishery’s collapse, which began last summer and has stretched into this year, is the most blatant sign yet of the bay’s vulnerability in the face of decades of dwindling flow from two rivers originating in Georgia. For 23 years now, Georgia, Alabama and Florida have waged a classic upstream-downstream water war, with Alabama and Florida coming out on the losing end of a long court battle in 2011.

Oyster overharvesting in the bay after the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which largely missed this area, worsened the situation, as did persistent drought.

Though the fight over river water between three states is described as the leading cause that of course has the cart before the horse, or horses — of drought, extravagant water use (lawns and golf courses!), poor planning, over population and anti-scientism.

And of course, those who cry loudest about big government have got few other ideas but to ask big government for help when they, themselves, need it.  So different than when the unworthy and sinfully lazy poor ask.

Economically, the situation has become so desperate that Gov. Rick Scott, a conservative Republican who is not inclined to ask for federal help, wrote to the United States Commerce Department last year and asked it to declare the oyster harvesting areas a fishing disaster.