Environment

With global warming expected to raise ocean levels, no state is as vulnerable as Florida. Florida has a tidal shoreline of 2,276 statute miles. It also has 663 miles of beaches and 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways. Much of state faces a double threat from increasingly frequent and/or more destructive hurricanes and rising sea levels. The 2007 IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report predicts the sea will rise an average of 7.5” to 23” by 2100. In 2008 Anders Carlson and his team at the University of Wisconsin ran sophisticated computer models based on studies of the Antarctic's Laurentide ice sheet. They now predict a rise of 50.7” in the next hundred years. Florida's coastal cities would be catastrophically affected if sea levels rose a mere 18”, well within either set of predictions. Without massive and prohibitively costly intervention, existing beaches would shrink drastically and hurricanes would send waves rolling into the hotels, condos, and homes that line our shoreline. Miami's average elevation is 6 feet, and it is the most likely city in the world to be hit by hurricanes. I have introduced a plan to address sustainability issues that would vastly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and drastically slow sea level rise. Calculations show that my Eco–Policy Design could eliminate most human–caused carbon dioxide emissions by 2029.

There are many obvious things we could do to help the environment. We could solve Florida's water crisis through conservation measures alone – especially through agricultural water management and consumer practices

There are up to a trillion plastic bags given away each year in the world. They cost 125 times more to recycle than to make new ones, which is why they make up 10% of the debris that washes up on our coastlines. Charging a 25–cent environmental tax on each bag that is stamped with a message to “Bring your own bag next time” will put a stop to this practice. We should also do the same thing with plastic bottles to help prevent oil–based, plastic toxins from being released into the environment. The largest landfill in the world is now The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a double gyre of floating toxic plastic that stretches from California to Japan. The plastic gets ground down into tiny toxic petro–polymers that enter the food chain and is eventually served back to us in the seafood we eat. Directly east of the Gulf Stream lies the Sargasso Sea, where another immense garbage patch is growing.

These issues are only a few of the environmental challenges facing Floridians. Read more.

E-mail: campaign@MichaelEArth.org