Stories about climate and sea level from other media

These stories were published in recent years by media other than South Florida’s newspapers and public radio station. We list the date, the publication, a summary of the story and a link to it below the summary.

March 6, 2018
New York Times

“College Republicans Propose an Unusual Idea From theRight: A Carbon Tax”

As the Republican Party struggles to find its footing with the next
eneration of voters, several conservative college groups have banded together to champion something anathema to the party: a carbon tax.
The group is led by the Yale College Republicans, the main campus student organization for young Republicans at Yale, and includes other prominent Republican groups at 22 other schools around the country including Clemson University in South Carolina, North Carolina State University and Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas. Under the name Students for Carbon Dividends, the coalition is backing an idea first broached by Republican heavyweights including former Secretary of State James A. Baker III and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz: Tax the carbon pollution produced by burning fossil fuels and then return the money to consumers as a dividend in the form of monthly cash payments to individuals, both adults and children alike.

March 5, 2018

“New Report Predicts Rising Tides, More Flooding”

Some of the worst flooding during this past weekend’s East Coast stormhappened during high tides.
Shoreline tides are getting progressively higher. A soon-to-be-published report obtained by NPR predicts a future where flooding will be a weekly event in some coastal parts of the country.
“The numbers are staggering,” says oceanographer William Sweet, at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Today’s storm will be tomorrow’s high tide,” he says, referring to how high coastal water rises. “A storm [such as we experienced] along the East Coast of the United States this weekend, that will be a high tide at some point in the future, whether that’s two or three decades or eight decades, we’ll see, but it’s coming.”

March 1, 2018
New York Times — Climate Fwd.

“Your Burning Questions”

Removing carbon dioxide that is already in the air is seen as a potential way to combat global warming. There are various approaches, lumped together as “negative emissions technologies” to distinguish them from technologies that reduce or eliminate emissions from power plants and other sources.
In theory, reducing the concentration of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere might be one way to keep the world under the two-degree Celsius target for warming established by the 2015 Paris climate agreement. But in practice, removing carbon dioxide is far from simple. There are major questions about scale, cost, speed and energy requirements. In most cases, the carbon dioxide that was removed would have to be buried underground indefinitely — and carbon storage technologies have only been deployed on a small scale so far.

Feb. 24, 2018
New York Times

“Left to Louisiana’s Tides, a Village Fights for Time”

Jean Lafitte may be just a pinprick on the map, but it is also a harbinger of an uncertain future. As climate change contributes to rising sea levels, threatening to submerge land from Miami to Bangladesh, the question for Lafitte, as for many coastal areas across the globe, is less whether it will succumb than when — and to what degree scarce public resources should be invested in artificially extending its life.

Feb. 24, 2018
New York Times


NEW ORLEANS — Burnell Cotlon lost everything in Hurricane Katrina — “just like everyone else,” he said.
When the flawed flood wall bordering his neighborhood here in the Lower Ninth Ward gave way in August 2005, the waters burst through with explosive force that pushed his home off its foundations and down the street. What was left: rubble, mud and mold.
Not far from his rebuilt home stands a rebuilt flood wall, taller and more solidly anchored in its levee than the old one. On the other side of that lies the canal whose storm-swollen waters toppled the old wall, letting Lake Pontchartrain spill into the neighborhood and then sit, more than 10 feet deep, for weeks on end. As an added shield, an enormous gate closes the canal off from the lake when storms approach. Similar gates can secure the city’s other major canals. In all, federal, state and local governments spent more than $20 billion on the 350 miles of levees, flood walls, gates and pumps that now encircle greater New Orleans.

Feb. 16, 2018

“Pretending to care about climate change has never been so easy for House Republicans”

This story was originally published by Mother Jones and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Matt Gaetz, a freshman congressman from Florida, would like to abolish the Environmental Protection Agency. Known for attacking the FBI’s Russia probe and inviting a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union, the House Republican earlier last year introduced a one-sentence bill to terminate the EPA. He’s also heraldedTrump’s “strong leadership” for the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement. So it came as a surprise in November when the House Climate Solutions Caucus welcomed him as a member.

Pretending to care about climate change has never been so easy for House Republicans

Feb. 14, 2018
Miami New Times

“Melting Glaciers Will Drown Miami in Two-Foot Ocean Rise by 2100, New Study Warns”

According to a report released Monday in the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, new satellite data shows that the rate at which ice caps in Greenland and Antarctica are melting is increasing, and researchers now warn that the seas could rise by as much as two feet by 2100.

Jan 17, 2018
Wall Street Journal

”Swampland Republicans”

Texas, Florida and especially Puerto Rico are rebuilding after last year’s hurricanes, and for once Washington’s response includes more than a cash infusion. The House recently passed improvements to a flood insurance program that is under water financially, and the question is whether this progress will be stopped by parochial Senate Republicans.

Jan. 16, 2018

“Coastal waters threaten Florida’s historic resources”

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — What do St. Augustine’s Castillo de San Marcos and Egmont Key near Tampa have in common? They are two of thousands of Florida’s heritage sites that are vulnerable to rising seas. “Jupiter Lighthouse, Fort Zachary Taylor in Key West, Fort Jefferson and Fort Pickens in Pensacola — all of these places are threatened,” said Clay Henderson, executive director of Stetson University’s Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience.
The Castillo de San Marcos withstood two sieges in 330 years and changed hands five times, but its latest invader — the rising Atlantic Ocean — threatens to erode the historic St. Augustine fortress.

Nov. 2017
New Yorker Magazine

Can Carbon-Dioxide Removal Save the World?

Adrian Corless and his team are engaged in a project that falls somewhere between toxic-waste cleanup and alchemy. They’ve devised a process that allows them, in effect, to suck carbon dioxide out of the air.

Feb. 6, 2018

Washington Post

“The Arctic is full of toxic mercury, and climate change is going to release it”

We already knew that thawing Arctic permafrost would release powerful greenhouse gases. On Monday, scientists revealed it could also release massive amounts of mercury — a potent neurotoxin and serious threat to human health.

Aug. 15, 2016
Forbes Magazine

“Florida’s Sea Level Rose 6x Faster Than Average And It’s Not Due To Climate Change”

If you’re living along the coast of Florida you experienced sea level rising six times faster than the global average and this was NOT a result of climate change. The rapid sea level rise along the US east coast from Cape Hatteras to Miami is the result of a localized sea level rise hot spot.
A new study, published in Geophysical Research Letters and undertaken by the University of Florida analyzed tidal and climate data for the southeastern seaboard of the United States. They found that between the years 2011 and 2015 sea level rose more than six times faster in the southeast United States as compared to global average sea level rise.

Surging Seas
First published in The Miami Herald
By Ben Strauss

“Florida and the Rising Sea”

Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change. Rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.
Some 2.4 million people and 1.3 million homes, nearly half the risk nationwide, sit within 4 feet of the local high tide line. Sea level rise is more than doubling the risk of a storm surge at this level in South Florida by 2030. For the hundreds of thousands of Floridians holding 30-year mortgages, that date is not far off in the future.

Jan. 31, 2018

“Why the Federal Flood Insurance Program Is Under Water and Sinking Fast”

To put it simply, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is in serious trouble. And after the 2017 hurricane season — officially the most expensive on record — the flaws of this ambitious but beleaguered federal program have never been starker.