Saturday, November 07, 2015

On Keystone Victory, Guest Blog by "350 South Florida's" Steve Malagodi

350 South Florida enthusiastically welcomes President Obama’s decision today to finally reject the Keystone XL Pipeline. Even without Keystone, South Florida will experience dramatic impacts due to climate change and sea level rise in the near future. But the decision by the President and the State Department sends a powerful signal that our nation and the rest of nations of the world as a whole must begin to move away from fossil fuels and toward renewable sources. Likewise, leaders in Tallahassee should heed the scientific data as well as the popular will and common sense of the vast majority of the people of Florida with policies that work toward a sustainable future and away from disastrous dirty energy projects like Keystone XL.

Yes, we celebrate the Obama Administration's rejection of Keystone. But let's remember that this single effort, which essentially began in 2010, took the extraordinary efforts and mass arrests of activists 5 years to accomplish, combating both the politics and the policies of the administration the whole time. We simply do not have any more time to waste on politicians and political parties who should have been on the right side of this issue long ago.

Keystone XL may be dead, but the "All Of The Above" policy that drives increased oil and gas production toward our civil collapse is still very much alive, as evidenced by the President's speech. It's the policy that's the problem. And just as with civil rights movement of the 60's, a "go-slow" policy like All Of The Above that doesn’t address the issue head-on is just not acceptable from any political party now, just as it was not then.

Just this past week, the South Florida Regional Climate Compact revised its official projections about sea level rise. Those experts are now saying that we can expect a 6-10 inch increase in sea levels in South Florida by 2030. That’s nearly double their last estimates. What that means is that as things are today, we can expect ~at the minimum~ a complete devastation of the South Dade agricultural area in the next 15 years. You can’t grow crops in salt water. As the President said in his address, “"Ultimately if we’re going to prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable, but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them. … If we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change before it's too late, the time to act is now, not later, not someday; right here, right now."

That means no more go-slow attitudes and outright denials for the sake of political expediency and short-term profits. We need to begin to address all the issues that accompany sea level rise in South Florida. We need to talk about affordable housing, and public transportation, and living wages, not just pumps and elevated parking for people with luxury cars and condos. Will Broward and Palm Beach Counties welcome our climate refugees from South Dade? Where are people going to go? Yet we continue to spend more money on animal control than we do on climate change.

To quote President Obama:
“If we want to prevent the worst effects of climate change before it's too late, the time to act is now, not later, not someday; right here, right now."
Nature Always Wins.


Anonymous said...

So this is assuming that South Florida will have to be abandoned within a generation?

Anonymous said...

OPEC wins again, thanks Obama.
So he lies, again and again: President Barack Obama on Thursday took his energy tour to the heart of Oklahoma oil and gas country, where he promised to make the southern half of the Keystone XL pipeline a “priority” — but touched on few details of the White House’s plans to expedite federal approval for the project.

“Right now, a company called TransCanada has applied to build a new pipeline to speed more oil from Cushing to state-of-the-art refineries down on the Gulf Coast,” the president said, standing in front of rows of green-tinted pipes for an outdoor speech on a chilly, overcast morning at a TransCanada pipe storage yard near Cushing, Okla. “And today, I’m directing my administration to cut through the red tape, break through the bureaucratic hurdles and make this project a priority, to go ahead and get it done.

Read more:

Anonymous said...

This is a very thoughtful guest blog. Thanks for raising the level of discourse on the issue of our times.

David said...

I'm just curious about how we are going to make solar and/or wind part of the base load mix when neither has a sufficient capacity factor to do so? Additionally, due to the low energy & power density of both fuel sources, where do we get sufficient real estate to produce base load power from these two highly inefficient sources?