Squeaky-Clean Futures From ISIS & Florida’s Rick Scott

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Did you hear that right? Yes, I just compared the actions of the scariest group on earth and the governor of the state of Florida. Both have rewritten a little history lately, and I’m somewhat concerned about what their revisions portend for our future.

Relief maps generated with data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (earthobservatory.nasa.gov, year 2000)
Relief maps generated with data from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Greenland ice melt would cause interim results (earthobservatory.nasa.gov, year 2000).

The governor of Florida appears to be attempting to whitewash the fact that residents of his state are in for some coastline alterations due to climate change. The news comes from a report over the weekend by Tristram Korten of the little-known Florida Center for Investigative ReportingClimate Progress broke the news on Sunday and 35,000 people reportedly shared it. Quickly, the Miami Herald, the Tampa Bay Times, and national and international media picked up the story. National Geographic was even ahead of the game. In February, Laura Parker thoughtfully addressed Florida’s “noisy, contentious public debate” over climate issues, including but not limited to taxes, zoning, public works projects, and property rights.

In his weekend investigation, Korten starts out slow with some facts that [almost] everyone agrees with:

“The state of Florida is the region most susceptible to the effects of global warming in this country, according to scientists. Sea-level rise alone threatens 30 percent of the state’s beaches over the next 85 years…. Low-lying Miami is among the U.S. cities most vulnerable to sea-level rise.”

As well as sea level rise, the state is also uniquely vulnerable to harmful changes in storms and in hurricanes, temperature and precipitation, the acid balance of the ocean, and — vital for citrus crops — the duration and timing of the frost-free season.

Miami’s risk stands out because sea water has already started to soak through the city’s bedrock of porous limestone, seep up through pipes and drains, and compromising freshwater supplies. Global change there will affect landowners, minicipalities, federal interests, the real estate market (currently booming thanks to European and South American investors), the flood insurance system, and tourism, the state’s economic backbone. Ironically, Florida ranks fifth among states, behind only Texas, California, Pennsylvania, and Ohio, in annual carbon dioxide emissions. As borders contract due to land subsidence and sea level rise, the CO2 numbers will likely fall.

Korten goes on to explain how independent witnesses, one of them a longtime attorney with the Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of General Counsel in Tallahassee, have revealed an unwritten policy adhered to by state officials since 2011, when Governor Rick Scott took office.

Scott, who beat Democrat (and longtime Republican before that) Charlie Crist and his backer Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action group, says he does not believe that climate change is caused by the activity of humans. He has reportedly instructed state employees not to use the terms “climate change,” “global warming,” and “sustainability” in any official reports. (They’ve been told to refer to “nuisance flooding” instead.) The governor’s directive goes beyond semantics, Korton says, and has affected “reports, educational efforts and public policy in a department that has about 3,200 employees and [a] $1.4 billion budget.”

Funny how soon governments forget the conclusions they came to only five years ago. The Florida DEP, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services through The Oceans and Coastal Resources Act, wrote a report in 2010 that unequivocally stated:

Florida Oceans and Coastal Council 2010 update on climate change and sea level rise (pdf)“Some effects of climate change, such as acceleration of sea level rise, have already begun. Others will begin in the coming decades, and the time will come when Florida is simultaneously and continuously challenged by many of these effects. The long-term extent and severity of oceanic or coastal effects caused by climate change including sea-level rise ultimately depend on how rapidly humanity can eliminate human sources of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere at harmful levels, now and in the future…. Several local communities have begun to respond. Our wisest course is to expand our response to all of Florida now, while at the same time increasing our knowledge as recommended by this report.”

The official National Climate Assessment of 2014, an in-depth look at climate change impacts across the US, mentions Florida 71 times. A team of more than 300 experts produced this report, guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee, and experts [including a panel of the National Academy of Sciences] and the public reviewed it exhaustively.

Also last year, hundreds of scientists from 27 countries participating on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change wrote in the IPCC assessment report for world policymakers: “Human influence on the climate system is clear, and recent anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are the highest in history. Recent climate changes have had widespread impacts on human and natural systems.”

The vulnerable Florida coastine (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)

Questioning Florida state officials about what the witnesses had told him, Korton heard from Jeri Bustamante, a spokesperson with the governor’s office, that “There’s no policy on this.” The press secretary for the responsible state agency (Florida Department of Environmental Protection), Tiffany Cowie, replied “DEP does not have a policy on this” and declined to respond to three other emails requesting more information.

The newspaper reports cited University of Miami geologist Harold Wanless:

“You have to start real planning, and I’ve seen absolutely none of that from the current governor. It’s beyond ludicrous to deny using the term climate change. It’s criminal at this point.”

It’s ridiculous to claim this 180-degree volte-face in Florida has nothing to do with national politics and vested interests. And it can’t be laughed down to the level of some dude with a snowball (Senator Jim Inhofe) taking up precious minutes of congressional time.

Censorship image (thesleuthjournal.com)Rick Scott isn’t the only singleminded state tyrannosaurus. Both the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources — and perhaps agencies from other states, we’ll see — have witnessed similar political sanitizing on climate change. Both Tennessee and Louisiana have passed laws to allow education about alternative “theories” to climate change, and five other states have considered similar legislation.

Perhaps even scarier, Florida’s Marco Rubio, Arkansas transplant Mike Huckabee, and Jeb Bush, all possible 2016 Republican candidates for the presidency, appear to share Scott’s perspective on the existence, causes, and possible antidotes for global climate change.

Declining to elaborate when asked about the weekend’s report, Scott told reporters yesterday, “First off, it’s not true. What we’re doing is, we’re solving problems…. Here’s what we’re dealing with: we’re dealing with the problems of Florida. We’re dealing with beach re-nourishment, flood mitigation, dealing with making sure we push water south [through the Everglades], we have the right storage things for the Everglades. We’re dealing with all these things.”

One account noted that Scott seemed to be recalling talking points from his reelection campaign. In a May 2014 interview, a Miami Herald reporter asked him, “Do you believe man-made climate change is significantly affecting the weather, the climate?”

“Well, I’m not a scientist,” Scott predictably averred. “But let’s talk about what we’ve done. Through our Division of Emergency Management — the last few years, three years — we put about, I think, $120 million to deal with flooding around our coast. We also put a lot of money into our natural treasures, the Everglades, trying to make sure all the water flows south. So we’re dealing with all the issues we can.”

A followup question came from the audience: “So do you believe in the man-made influence on climate change?”

The governor’s reply: “Nice seeing you, guys.”

ISIS militants destroy ancient artifacts in Mosul (ISIS video)Now, observers around the world have recently seen video of ISIS thugs destroying irreplaceable monuments of our human past. The bloody revisionists believe these artifacts to be idolatrous and contrary to their politically correct ideology of today. Never mind that these statues and friezes belong to the whole world and reach back as long ago as the settlement of the Fertile Crescent, where humans first learned to farm and to write. Along the same lines as 20th century iconoclasts Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin, the current North Korean government, and a few other leaders of today, ISIS is attempting to wipe out collective human memories, while institutionalizing chaos.

What’s so different about these “true believers” and the governor of Florida? ISIS is bound on destroying vestiges of the past, on the grounds that these icons sully the present. Scott and his political kinfolk are taking thick red pencils to everyone’s future.

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27 thoughts on “Squeaky-Clean Futures From ISIS & Florida’s Rick Scott

  • Ironically, isis might solve the climate problem, think about it.

    • Even if for some reason 90 % of the people on the planet would be gone overnight, it would slow climate change but not eliminate it, because some what us humans set in motion would continue on for decades or centuries. 🙁

      • It doesn’t need 90% of the humans gone, if the 10% who die are all from the West, then the problem would be solved.

        • If you murder in their sleep 700 million people who live in the countries with the largest per capita greenhouse gas emissions, then you would kill everyone in the United States and Australia. Also, all the main Middle-Eastern oil producers – and that’s based on domestic emissions, not what is embodied in exports. It also murders everyone in Taiwan, Russia, South Korea, and Luxembourg. But western type places such as France, Germany, the UK, Norway, etc. get off fine. However, all this bloodshed, this great swell of blood from 700 million children, women, and men slain, all this death would only cut emissions by a little more than a third. That’s not where near enough to stabilise emissions. The Russo-Americans only produce about 3.5 times the greenhouse gases of the Germano-Indo-Chinese. Obviously more will have to be murdered. Let’s see – Everyone in China will have to die, but I think we can save India, if our goal is to stabilise CO2 levels in the atmosphere. If we want to stop global warming altogether we’d better murder all of them too.

          But if one’s goal in stopping global warming was to save human lives, then killing vast numbers of people would be kind of counter productive.

        • Europe hit peak CO2 in 1990 and has been trending down since. The US hit peak CO2 in 2005 and has been heading down. China appears to have hit peak CO2 in 2014 and hopefully will be heading down.

          India needs to get its shit together.

          • Bob, where is up-to-date emissions data available?

          • I don’t know if there’s much 2014 data available yet.

            One of the regular authors is chasing down the 2014 Chinese data point. It comes from a reliable and highlyregarded person in the field but his data source link is broken. I emailed him a few minutes ago to see if we could get something solid.

            This seems to be a good place to look for pre-2014 numbers and trends –

            “Global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel combustion and from industrial processes (cement and metal production) increased in 2013 to the new record of 35.3 billion tonnes (Gt) CO2, which is 0.7 Gt higher than last year’s record. This moderate increase of 2% in 2013 compared to 2012 is a continuation of last year’s trend and of the slowdown in the annual emissions growth.

            The actual increase of 2012 compared to 2011 was 0.6 Gt or 1.7% (excluding leap year correction) and both are about half the average annual growth rate of 1.1 Gt or 3.8% since 2003 (excluding the 2008–2009 recession years). Note that the average annual emission increase in the 1995–2002 period (after the large decline in energy consumption in the former Soviet Union countries) was about 1.2% or 0.4 Gt CO2 per year.

            With the global economic growth of 3.4% and 3.1%, in 2012 and 2013 respectively, a further decoupling of the global economic and emission trends can be observed. This decoupling is consistent with the increasing service sector share (growing by 1.5% and 1.8% in 2012 and 2013 on average in middle income countries, including China) to the overall gross domestic product, at the expense of more energy intensive industrial activities.
            China increased its CO2 emissions by 4.2% in 2013, compared to 2012, which is much lower than the annual increases of about 10% over the last decade, but higher than the increase of 3.4% in 2012.”


        • I was just trying to point out some facts, but a fact of history is also, that in a number of cases whole segments of populations have been wiped out due to different reason, by their own people, which is a very sad part of our history. :((

  • Don’t insult ISIS. As the post below mentions, by seizing oil fields and fighting over it, they are helping fight climate change, not cause it. The Republican party, much like Australia’s Liberal Party, has nailed itself firmly to an idiotic cause. This won’t end well.

    • ISIS is a bunch of stupid heads.

      • ISIS was caused by funding from US allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and perhaps a few other Gulf States. The United States itself funded the Taliban, and has been generously involved in wrecking West Asia over the decades.

        Every single action has been toxic. Bring back Saddam!

        • Don’t be an ass.

          • I think we have to draw the line at necromancy.

    • If the Islamic state had the purpose of shutting down the oil fields they have seized in order to help with the climate change situation it might be seen as a positive. But the exact opposite has happened, the only reason they want them is to get the profits for themselves from the sale of the oil.
      This along with the mass killings of members of their own society because their version of Islam doesn’t agree with what the Islamic state profess’s, and destruction of cultural items that are actually part of the history of all the people’s of the world make them a cyst on the buttocks of the world that needs to be popped.

      • Their ideology is irrelevant, what matters is the results. Iraq, pre Gulf War, was one of the largest exporters of oil in the world. The war with ISIS has prevented any likelihood of Iraq returning to exporting oil any decade in the short term future.

        This is a huge win for climate change, bigger than any country has done in all of human history. Go ISIS.

        Again, persisting with irrelevant topics. ISIS is hardly the only nation that wages war against minorities in their country, the USA wages war against black people. Australia against Aborigines. This hardly makes them beyond the pale.

        If waging war on a minority group in your country makes them a boil to be popped, let’s start with the USA and Australia first. Much bigger boils. And if weren’t for your countries meddling in West Asia, ISIS wouldn’t even exist in the first place.

        • No, America does not ‘wage war against black people.’ While there is certainly racism, you may have noticed that blacks are represented among the political and economic elite.

          But as you note, this is not exactly relevant.

        • “what matters is results”
          Oh I see, the confirmed deaths of over fifty thousand of their own people, and the destruction of multiple cities is a good thing.
          If the same thing had been happening in the US or Australia at a similar scale that would mean the deaths of millions, that just hasn’t been happening. In fact in the rest of the world the percentages of murder and assault have been steadily declining over the past fifty years.
          No the US and other countries should not be meddling in the politics over there that is one thing that we agree on. But that doesn’t mean that anything would be any better, the inherent corruption involved in Persian style caliphate politics would just see groups with different names rebelling.
          The UN spent over a decade attempting to establish a stable government, and the one that was left in control was the choice of the people. Yet within two months of self rule the whole Arab spring mess erupted across multiple countries.
          But perhaps you are right, the infighting amongst the various factions of Islamic State and the other Muslim variants will eventually get rid of enough of the people that population control and climate change will no longer be an issue there. I seriously hope not, but then the rest of us can go on resolving the problems in a peaceful manner.

    • Disagree. ISIS is a mini-petro state in itself. If ISIS were to gain the upper hand (a prospect I find highly unlikely), they’d be selling oil as if there were no tomorrow–so to speak.

      • ISIS controls oilfields, yet it doesn’t have air superiority. The coalition of countries fighting against it could easily bomb the main source of money for ISIS if they wanted to win. And ISIS does rule parts of Syria and Iraq already, so they do have the upper hand in certain sections of the world.

        They are already a mini state.

        • The coalition has bombed those oilfields, repeatedly.

          • Oh wow, bombed oilfields repeatedly. Which tells us quite clearly they couldn’t even get the job done the first time around. And ISIS has multiple oil fields under its control, what has stopped the US from knocking them all out?

            ISIS doesn’t even have one propeller plane to its non existent airfleet.

          • Now you’re being silly. Do you really think that ISIS can’t find people to repair bombed facilities? Or, for that matter, that bombing is magically 100% effectives–“Just one raid, and you’re done!”

            But I am done with you, as you clearly have no interest in anything but trolling.

          • Exaclty where will ISIS find and recruit skilled technical talent to repair facilities? With what money? And the USA has many more bombs than ISIS has oilfields. If the USA was serious about fighting this war, they would be bombing the oil fields, it’s quite clear they are just making up a justification without taking any actual action.

            If ISIS was a real threat, why are they not bombing the oil fields? You can’t answer a simple question. But you are obviously a troll, who doesn’t even understand the topic under question.

          • Obviously you do not know how to behave in polite company.

            Why don’t you sit it out for a while and consider being a nicer person/

  • It is so clear that any idea that human activity in any way has anything at all to do with anything remotely related to so called “climate change” or “Global Warming” or “”Rick Scott Florida Statewide Florida Water Parks” is absolutely ridiculous. The Old Testiment, the New Testament, the Islamist cartoon books and the Book of Mormon undoubtedly tell us the universal truth about all this government funded taxpayer scientific nonsense. It ain’t got nothing to do with the activity of what all us hard working play by the rules lower taxes less spending human being people do. No way. That is so insanely foolish. Climate Change is all about what heartless, greedy, insane Corporations do. Corporations are not people. They are Corporations. Learn the America English language and stick to it Mitt Romney and you foolish Coca Cola Brothers with all your election candidate money. This is the United States of America not Citizens United. Stay warm and dry.

  • It;s an unhelpful comparison, scarcely better than those with the Nazis that that Internet culture reproves. ISIS, horrible as it is, does not, unlike Rick Scott, represent a significant threat to the United States. Why? Because, unlike Osama bin Laden, it aims to establish a caliphate, here and now. A caliphate has to be a territory ruled by a proper Muslim theocrat. So it’s all about conquering land and population in the Middle East. The United States has a part in ISIS’ crackpot scenario as the provider of a heathen army to defeat the true Muslims in a literally apocalyptic battle (link), an intervention it tries to provoke with filmed atrocities.

    • That theory is hardly crackpot, 2 billion Christians, 1 billion Muslims, all believe that some raving Middle Eastern lunatic was divine. One madmen is a lunatic, 3 billion is what you call normality.

      Apocalyptic prophecy is not an Islamic monopoly, your Jewish and Christan friends are also franchise members. I do call them insane, yes, but I call your God the exact same thing. Consistency.

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