Thursday, October 31, 2013

Carbon is king

Seminole Coal Plant, Palatka, FL Source: ENS
Floridians who want to act on sea level rise should not forget what got us here: carbon. Adaptation is good, but carbon is king.

Fortunately, President Obama is getting tough on carbon as promised in his inaugural address. Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it will regulate carbon for new power plants, effectively eliminating coal, cause of the worst of the greenhouse gasses. Next year, it will regulate carbon from existing power plants.

(Click here to send your comments to the EPA.)

Polar bear waits for a bus in salt water on South Beach.
From the movie "Shored Up" about Superstorm Sandy
The coal industry and its allies will try to stop the EPA from enforcing the rule, sacrificing Florida’s coasts in the process. Some say a certain amount of sea level rise is already “baked in,” but our ability to curb carbon going forward could make a real difference in the rate and amount of sea level rise and the severity of its impact.

This month, Sierra Club joined Surfrider, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the CLEO Institute in Miami to present the movie Shored Up, about the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. We collected comment cards in support of the EPA's carbon rule. After the one year anniversary of this devastating event, Floridians need to remind themselves sea level rise and superstorms are not going away, but we can temper their impact by regulating carbon now.

Send your comments to the EPA today.


Comment on the EPA's new power plant carbon rule:

EPA Fact Sheet on new power plant carbon rule:

Miami sea level rise animation:

-- Jonathan Ullman, South Florida/Everglades Senior Representative