Thursday, April 23, 2015

FPL and NRC hearings today … and don't forget: you are paying for this folly because Gov. Rick Scott and the GOP legislature is making you pay … by gimleteye

Yesterday in Everglades National Park, President Obama seemed out of sorts. He had the script and the right points, including the one about the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, James Inhofe (R-OK), walking to the podium with a snowball from DC Capitol Steps to prove there is no global warming. In the president's defense, it's not as though he doesn't have a hundred distractions even as he mounts the bully pulpit. He has shown his willingness to fight from there -- that's exactly what Theodore Roosevelt did, who the president cited as an example of a Republican leader who embraced the environment. Roosevelt coined the damn term. It was President Obama's to use in the Everglades, but he didn't yesterday in his only trip to the Everglades.

If you think we are too harsh and partisan on this blog, please read this post that shows why we are not.

Bruce Ritchie writes on Florida Politics:
The Florida House on Tuesday voted down bill amendments that would have repealed or scaled back a 2006 state law that allows utilities to charge in advance for nuclear power plants that may never be built.

HB 7109 is a bill that establishes term limits for Public Service Commission members and provides for Duke Energy Florida to issue bonds to cover the $1.4 billion cost for shutting down its Crystal River nuclear plant.

Democrats offered 16 amendments but half were voted down on voice votes or mostly along party lines. Seven amendments were withdrawn and one was ruled out of order.

Since the advanced nuclear cost recovery fee was approved by the Legislature in 2006, the Public Service Commission has approved nearly $1 billion in fees for Duke Energy Florida and more than $700 million for Florida Power & Light Co.

Plus, with sea level rise these nuclear plants approved by Gov. Rick Scott and Ag Secretary Adam Putnam and the GOP led legislature will all be decommissioned nearly as soon as they are built, if they are built.

Please read FIU scientist Pete Harlem's response to Sierra Club representative Jon Ullman's letter, printed recently in The Miami Herald. The response is printed with permission from the writer, who created a map of Florida showing what happens to the state with only 2 degrees centigrade rise in emissions.

Harlem writes, "It's just a question of when, not if, we are going under." The question to ask yourself: once it becomes clear that sea levels are rising rapidly -- we are beginning to see that now at the mangrove fringe in South Florida -- at what point do our elected officials have the guts to say to FPL: stop!

I am not anti-nuclear. I am pro-solar for Florida, pro-distributed energy production to the consumer, and anti-nuclear unless both the facility and the service region for the reactor/s are more than thirty feet elevation from sea level. Let's get moving, indeed.

Well said Jon! (Response to letter to editor below)

As you know the temperature increase caused by emissions is the driver for ocean expansion and ice melt from the poles. Levermann et al. in 2012 set the relationship of 1 degree C equals 2.3m (7.5 ft) of sea level rise commitment. As it is the current goal in the US to keep the temperature anomaly to just plus 2 deg. C, I plotted what that commits us to regarding the ocean rise. See the attached map.

It is imperative that we find radical solutions to the emissions problem as we cannot adapt out of this if we let the temperature rise more than it already has. This will be excessively hard for a country addicted to rampant capitalism to solve. But on the trend we are on South Florida and the Everglades are finite. Its just a question of when, not if, we are going under.

I wish it were not so.
Peter W. Harlem, MS
Geologist--GIS Coordinator
FIU GIS-RS Center and
Southeast Environmental Research Center
On 4/21/2015 9:06 PM, Jonathan Ullman wrote:

South Florida needs to heed the ocean’s rise

President Obama is coming to Everglades National Park on Earth Day to talk about climate change.

His trip couldn’t come at a more critical time. The glaciers are melting faster than anyone could have predicted, and the Everglades and South Florida, just feet above sea level, cannot escape the ocean’s rise. He gets it and is willing to do something about it.

Miami, however, is in denial, as are many of our leaders in this state.

Miami is in the midst of a development frenzy fueled by international speculation and runaway growth policies. Massive condo towers sprout along the coast like weeds.

The Miami-Dade County Commission just passed resolutions about sea-level rise, but banned discussion of what causes it — carbon, because it was too political. In the western Everglades, oil and gas frackers are poised to drill, baby, drill.

Our state, under Gov. Rick Scott, banned the use of the phrase climate change, and our new Secretary of Environmental Protection recently said it’s not clear what impact humans have on it.

The best thing our state could do to slow down the Everglades demise — buying sugar land — is being held up because leaders in Tallahassee have been too busy on Texas hunting trips sponsored by Big Sugar.

Miami’s native son and climate-change skeptic Sen. Marco Rubio said, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.”

Those he referred to as “these scientists” represent the 97 percent of climate scientists, who say cutting carbon is the only way to slow down the rate of sea-level rise for the Everglades, Miami, and the hundreds of millions of coastal residents worldwide.

Scott and Rubio should end the denial and support Obama’s efforts to lower carbon.

Can Obama save South Florida?

I don’t know. But when his grandchildren ask him what he did to stop climate change, he will have an answer. And all the Florida officials who say the science isn’t settled and rely on walls and pumps to hold back the world’s oceans, well, they’ll just have to look away in silence.



Anonymous said...

Where will all the pretty condos go? And all the pretty things that went into them?

Anonymous said...

All going to be very very very cheap.

Anonymous said...

You were correct about the Turkey Point sessions being "folly". It was a well-organized (if amateurish) parade of shills for the FPL money train: instructed plant workers, mayor of Florida City, Chamber of Commerce heads from Homestead and Coral Gables, etc--all depicting FPL as a perfect corporate citizen with our best interests at heart. Fortunately, there were a few dissenting presenters who ranged from informed environmentalists suggesting that the project was a misguided and profit-motive based action by FPL to an emotional young lady who pleaded with the attendees to stop representing their employers and oppose this project for themselves, their families, their community, their country, etc. Dissenters were concerned that the construction of Towers 6 & 7 would be bad for the environment, the tourist economy, and, pose a longer-term meltdown threat to South Florida under a number of scenarios.