THE INVADING SEA NEWSLETTER, Edition No. 5
Let’s focus on some good news – the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022.
This is the compromise worked out between Sen. Joe Manchin, D. W.Va., and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. It’s called the Inflation Reduction Act to make it more palatable to legislators who worry about the national debt.
But it’s mostly about trying to get something done about the climate, keeping gas prices below $5 a gallon, helping Democrats in the midterm elections and giving poor President Biden something to smile about for a few days.
But passage is not assured. There are still some hurdles.
Do you remember Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona? Like Manchin, she opposed the massive Build Back Better program Biden was pushing early in his tenure. Manchin was the most prominent opponent of that legislation, but Sinema opposed it too. So far, she hasn’t announced her position on the Manchin-Schumer compromise.
Also, proponents of the bill need to get it passed before senators rush out of town on Aug. 5 for their summer recess.
And, as you might imagine, conservatives think the bill is dangerous.
But for people in the United States who are worried about the warming planet, having this bill become law would cheer you up. Let’s see if the Democrats can get it over the goal line.
And in keeping with my theme today that all news about the climate isn’t grim, here’s a piece from a site called MIC. Enjoy. 5 good news stories about climate change.
The New York Times
The climate and tax deal announced by Senate Democrats on Wednesday would pump hundreds of billions of dollars into programs designed to speed the country’s transition away from an economy based largely on fossil fuels and toward cleaner energy sources.
So far, 2022 has been a year of tremendous climate extremes. Humanity is learning the extent of the existential threats posed by climate change and ecological destruction the hard way. In a year of such tremendous transformation, leaders and innovators continuously come up with solutions and new ways of thinking that make us reflect and hope. In Earth.Org’s best climate change books, we see a world that is ambitious about humanity’s prospects, but humble about our place in nature. Extremely hopeful for our future, while realistic about what we might have to endure.
Continuing to target what he calls “woke” corporations, Gov. Ron DeSantis wants to prohibit state investments that use “environmental, social and governance” ratings, which can include taking into account impacts of climate change.
DeSantis plans to have the State Board of Administration, which oversees investments, direct pension-fund managers against “using political factors when investing the state’s money.” So-called ESG policies have drawn criticism from Republicans across the country.
The Wall Street Journal
Soaring oil and natural gas prices. Electricity grids on the brink of failure. Energy shortages in Europe, with worse to come. The free world’s growing strategic vulnerability to Vladimir Putin and other dictators.
These are some of the unfolding results in the last year caused by the West’s utopian dream to punish fossil fuels and sprint to a world driven solely by renewable energy. It’s time for political leaders to recognize this manifest debacle and admit that, short of a technological breakthrough, the world will need an ample supply of carbon fuel for decades to remain prosperous and free.
INVADING SEA OPINION
Officials charged with protecting Florida’s wildlife and ecosystems don’t seem to understand science – or care about it
By Christopher Koenig and Felicia Coleman
When we started presenting the results of our research on goliath grouper ecology to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) over a decade ago, we found that none of the commissioners had any background in science or in wildlife management.
So when the commission opened discussions to have a limited fishery for goliath grouper, a species that has been protected since 1990 and remains vulnerable to extinction, several of us published a peer-reviewed essay summarizing all the data relevant to goliaths in Florida to help them out.
We sent the publication to the commissioners several times, once including an endorsement of nearly 100 respected scientists and conservationists.
By Dr. Robert Knight, the Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute
National parks have attained a special status in America. As a conservationist, I understand and appreciate national wildlife refuges, state parks, state and national forests, and other state and federally managed conservation lands and how they help us work toward solving problems like climate change and extinction.
But national parks represent the best-of-the-best of our country’s natural and cultural scenic areas. They are places that tug on our heartstrings, protected and managed not just for sustainability but for future generations to traverse and explore.
By Carol Lindsey and Shauna Junco
The mission of the Florida Clinicians for Climate Action, a group of clinicians across the state representing a diverse set of specialties, is to educate health professionals and the public about the impact a warming climate is currently and increasingly having on our health.
We join together now to ask University of Florida President Kent Fuchs and the UF board of trustees why they have not acted on the analysis provided by the Rocky Mountain Institute to provide for UF’s energy needs by tapping into renewable energy and making upgrades to energy efficiency and storage. As detailed in The Sun in March, the institute’s clean energy proposal would be more than $100 million less than the UF trustees’ current plan, which is still outlined on their website, to build a methane-burning plant referred to as the Central Energy Plant.
By Chris Farrell, Audubon Florida
Being a professional conservationist is not all hip waders and binoculars. Just as often, it’s the methodical review of draft rules and management plans or scrutinizing the science of regulatory agencies.
It was just this kind of glamorous work I was involved in last month –reviewing the St. Johns Water Management District Governing Board’s Agenda — when an item on the consent agenda caught my eye.
It was a request for approval of the District’s new surplus lands list. The accompanying information included 18,000 acres of state-owned parcels deemed to be no longer needed for conservation.