In Florida, Nervous Republicans Eye Sea Level

June 6, 2019

NBC 2 Fort Myers, Fla:

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. – Representative Francis Rooney and 35 of his constituents took a boat ride last month to see the effects of climate change and sea level rise firsthand.

“I think it’s really important that as many people as possible see firsthand these things that we’re seeing,” Rooney said. 

Scientists from Florida Gulf Coast University led the excursion to Keewaydin Island, a barrier island, off the coast of Naples, that’s managed by state and federal agencies.

So, what makes Keewaydin so special?

The management strategy has always been to leave Keewaydin Island alone — let it behave naturally, without manipulation — and see what happens, related to sea level rise.

“Keewaydin Island is a great laboratory for looking at the effects of climate change, sea level rise, and storminess,” said FGCU marine science professor Michael Savarese. “We’re here mostly to help you understand what’s going on as best we can.”

As we toured the island, it looks like any ordinary beach to our untrained eyes.

But Savarese called it an “island on the move.””We saw trees that used to be behind the dunes, now in standing water, because everything in front of the trees, the dunes and beach, have eroded away, and that part of the island has been eroded back,” Savarese said. 

So, why should you care?

If sea level rise continues at its current rate, Keewaydin will keep retreating.

If sea level rise increases, Keewaydin could actually drown. And without Keewaydin, Southwest Florida loses that protection.

Rooney said that’s a big concern.

“I think this points out very poignantly the risks to our barrier islands of loss of the dunes, the loss of protection,” Rooney said. “If we were to lose all of these barrier islands, in short, we’d be vulnerable to rising water.” 

Over the last year, Rooney has emerged as a leader on climate change – not because of political pressure he said – but because of science.

“I just don’t think we can deny so much of the evidence that has been put out by so many scientists all around the world, that despite the fact that both man and nature have inputs into some of the changes that are happening, man has had a big role,” Rooney said.

5 Responses to “In Florida, Nervous Republicans Eye Sea Level”

  1. J4Zonian Says:

    Rooney, a leader on climate change? Really?

    Psychotic psychopaths take part in an organized conspiracy to deny reality and delay solutions for 30 years, then suddenly, confronted with incontrovertible evidence that they’re lying, reverse their position with hardly a word about it, admit some part of the truth (it seems they’re not down with any actual solutions yet) and expect to be allowed to continue making decisions for others.

    The solutions to climate catastrophe are clear: a massive emergency Green New Deal, replacing fossil fuels with efficiency, wiser lives, and clean safe renewable energy in the next 10 years or less, transforming industry and agriculture, reforesting the world… and to do all those, it will be necessary to make sure only sane people make decisions for the country and the world. Whatever he’s saying now to keep power, Rooney’s made it obvious with decades of lying that he’s not one.

    • rhymeswithgoalie Says:

      Psychotic psychopaths take part in an organized conspiracy to deny reality and delay solutions for 30 years…

      The most insidious aspect of AGW denial is that people who don’t generally pay attention to things beyond their daily lives tend to live off the information that those they culturally trust give them. This has made it easier for the Koch Bros et al to feed talking points to their bought politicians.

      As with the post-WWII analysis of normal Germans embracing Nazi “talking points”, we’re looking at human behavior that prompted the concept of “the banality of evil”.

      As with social injustice, drug usage, religious idiocy and economic behavior, it’s important to understand how basic human cognitive structures allow something like AGW to get worse and worse. We don’t need psychopathy to explain bad behavior on the part of whole societies.

  2. mtpccl Says:

    Whatever Rooney’s past stance on climate, he’s been working hard for several years now to build a bipartisan understanding of climate and effective solutions. He became a member of the Climate Solutions Caucus when it formed and is one of the original sponsors of the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2018 and now 2019. This bill now has 40 Dem sponsors and Francis Rooney. He and many others, especially the nonpartisan Citizens’ Climate Lobby, are working hard to bring on more GOP.

    Please check out the Energy Innovation Act. Its price on carbon that increases each year will reduce emissions at least 40% by 2030 and at least 90% by 2050. Its carbon dividend allocated equally to all households will protect folks with low and working class incomes. Its border tax adjustment levels the playing field on carbon intensive exports and imports, keeping manufacturers in the U.S. It’s good for people, good for the economy, effective, and revenue neutral.

  3. Certain comments here show how stupid people are in the USA. They (Dem Supporters Anti Republican Political types who think they are the only ones that care) are more interested in owning the “global warming” issue then fixing it. We always hear how the Dems have the solutions. The real fact is no country on the planet is doing enough and there is NO solution. The only solution is when the bad things happen only then will democratic countries react. Communist China will do nothing large scale enough and Democratic countries will act slowly in the interest of there people and that’s the way the world works so wake up if your a SJW or Leftist. To stop whats coming really needs the entire Materialistic World Economy to be shut down and all people to be using resources at the rate 3rd world people use them. Its NEVER going to happen. Republicans and Democrats are more alike then not and UNITY and education is the only way to deal with the disasters coming.

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