Florida is ground zero for sea level rise, which is likely to be one of the most pronounced impacts of climate change. Large areas of Florida are projected to be underwater by the end of this century, and if icecap melting accelerates, as many scientists believe, it could happen sooner.
Damage from extreme storms may render parts of the Florida coast uninhabitable because of physical changes, unaffordable or unavailable insurance, and capital flight away from vulnerable areas.
2014 is on track to set a new record for the hottest year since temperatures have been recorded, beginning in 1880. 1995, 1997, 1998, 2005 and 2010 also set that record, while the last record cold year was in 1916. As the earth warms, animal and plant species respond faster than humans as subtle ecosystem shifts occur around them. A bird that suddenly finds its most important food source gone must migrate or die. A butterfly that must lay its eggs on a particular weed suddenly finds the weed becoming scarce, responding to changes we can barely detect.
Suncoast Waterkeeper will always fight for awareness of climate change, for the primacy of science over superstition and politics, and for policies that anticipate climate change for the benefit of human and wild communities.
There are two general categories of response to climate change: adaptation and prevention. Suncoast Waterkeeper will support both sets of response, within reason. Technological fixes are ultimately a poor substitute for simply cutting carbon emissions. We favor higher mileage vehicles and clean energy now, as two of the lowest-hanging fruits that must be addressed.