THE INVADING SEA NEWSLETTER, No. 9
Florida and the rest of the world are getting hotter; ‘heat officers’ will help us cope
Summer in Florida is so terribly hot that most of us hustle from one air-conditioned space to another. Scientists say that the warming climate is contributing to the extreme heat Florida and the rest of the country is enduring this year. And, of course, they predict the dangerous summer temperatures are going to get worse.
Scientists predict that if we don’t significantly curb carbon emissions soon, parts of Florida will experience 30 more extreme-heat days per year – days when the temperature feels like it’s 105 degrees or more.
In April 2021 Miami-Dade County became the first city in the world to create the position of “Chief Heat Officer.” Since then, Los Angeles and Phoenix have hired heat officers. There are heat officers in Greece, Africa, Chile and Mexico.
Their job is to use the power of government to reduce the risks from extreme heat. Heat kills more people than any other weather event. And the death estimates are low because many who die from extreme heat are in poor health to begin with.
National Public Radio recently interviewed Jane Gilbert, Miami-Dade’s Chief Heat Officer. Gilbert discusses what she and the county have been doing to lower the risk, if not the temperature. She doubts Florida will be cooling down any time soon.
“We have almost double the number of days with a heat index of over 90 degrees from the 1960s,” she told NPR. “And we’re seeing dramatic increases with days of heat index of 100 and 105 more going forward.”
The Environmental Protection Agency
Heat waves are occurring more often than they used to in major cities across the United States. Their frequency has increased steadily, from an average of two heat waves per year during the 1960s to six per year during the 2010s and 2020s.
Much of the western United States will be gripped by a heat wave this week, with temperatures in some parts of California soaring above 110 Fahrenheit (43 Celsius) on Wednesday.
Wall Street Journal
Where the bill could be truly consequential is in planting the seeds for technology adoption that drives emissions lower beyond 2030. Recent history shows that climate policies such as taxes, subsidies and mandates matter most by catalyzing a virtuous cycle of higher demand that leads to more innovation, learning-by-doing and economies of scale that lower costs and further boost demand.
INVADING SEA OPINION
By Coty Perry, YourBassGuy.com
Florida is one of the only states to have coral reefs around the coast. Besides being beautiful and interesting, these reefs serve an important purpose. The reefs provide a home for many fish and attract tourists to the communities along the shore.
It’s no secret that our waters have been in danger for a long time now and we hear about these issues all the time. We hear of plastic pollution, illegal dumping, emissions, and more.
One issue that is rarely discussed is overfishing and how it hurts not only the fish population, but the state as a whole.
By Dr. Robert Knight, Florida Springs Institute
Imagine yourself in a life raft floating on the ocean. You have 10 pounds of drinking water and 10 pounds of gold, but the raft is sinking from the extra weight. Which would you throw overboard? (See the simple true/false test below if you need help.)
Which of the following is true?
- Potable water sustains life
- You can’t eat or drink gold.
- Gold can buy water but only if there is water available.
- Drinking water is worth more than gold.
Groundwater in Florida’s aquifers is deposited through a natural process called recharge. When it rains, a relatively small portion of that rain seeps down through the soil and recharges the water in the aquifers. This recharge is analogous to a retiree’s Social Security check being deposited in a bank account.
By Renata Happle
Humans have rights. But what about nature? Does nature have rights of its own? A global movement with a foothold in Florida is saying yes.
Under this philosophy, nature would gain legal personhood. It may sound weird until you realize that other decidedly non-human entities such as trusts and corporations already have personhood under Supreme Court rulings such as Citizens United. In fact, giving nature rights might save us from ourselves.