[GWSG] FL's water; market work; $119 b barrier; lawsuit failing; effective actions; building ahead; Davos to act?; Trump's fix

Tilley, Al atilley at unf.edu
Sun Jan 19 09:16:33 EST 2020

1. Deirdre Irwin of the St. Johns Water Management District observed that The Price of Sprawl’s data on Florida’s water crisis is out of date regarding the organization of Florida’s water districts and sends this link to the Central Florida Water Initiative, a collaborative water supply effort covering five counties and parts of the three largest water management districts.  https://www.cfwiwater.com/

If NE FL is running out of water and S FL has run out, that does not necessarily mean their faucets are drying or dry—it  could mean that the supply is not up to their current usage, or it could mean that the wells which draw from the aquifers are becoming unusably saline as the sea level rises. I would like to know which it is; the problem is general to our part of the world, and perhaps elsewhere as well.

2.  Since 2009, power plant emissions in the nine member states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative have dropped 47%. That’s 90% more than the rest of the US. The gross domestic product of the region also rose 47%, as opposed to 31% for the rest of the country. New Jersey dropped out but wants back in. So do at least two other states.  https://www.yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/01/power-plant-emissions-down-47-percent-under-the-regional-greenhouse-gas-initiative/?utm_source=Weekly+News+from+Yale+Climate+Connections&utm_campaign=91a9915f4a-Weekly_Digest_of_January_13_20_2020&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e007cd04ee-91a9915f4a-59270721

Given that the climate sensitivity according to the best new models has close to doubled recently, we may not have time for even such successful market-based programs to work for us. We probably need more urgent measures, which will amount (in many cases) to closing plants and replacing them as we are able, disruptive as that would be (and it would be most disruptive—though superior by far to the alternative). We may anticipate rolling brownouts or outright outages. I had never expected to be so grateful for existing nuclear power.

3. The Army Corps of Engineers has proposed a $119 billion barrier to protect New York City against storms. This and similar projects elsewhere provide little protection against sea level rise. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/nyregion/sea-wall-nyc.html

4. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has dismissed the Oregon Children’s Trust lawsuit against the government to force climate action. https://www.npr.org/2020/01/17/797416530/kids-climate-case-reluctantly-dismissed-by-appeals-court

5. Climate actions can fail. Sometimes they are sabotaged, and sometimes they fail on their own. “Our research has identified four questions to ask when designing and implementing climate action to counter these dynamics: Does it disrupt dependence on fossil energy? Does it build coalitions that favor more aggressive actions? Is it sensitive to broader connections? Does it spark climate action elsewhere?” Effective climate actions are tied to systematic change.  https://phys.org/news/2020-01-action-climate-stuck.html

6. We in the US have become shy about large building projects. We have even let our roads and bridges fall into disrepair. Climate adaptation requires that we become builders again. What must we renovate, rebuild, or build anew? “Water systems, power systems, stormwater systems, reservoirs, dams, pipelines, airports, train tracks. It’s everything.” We will probably need to streamline the approval process.  https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615045/climate-change-green-infrastructure-us-public-works-building-boom/

7. A world economic forum report finds more than half the world’s gross domestic product threatened by a degrading climate. https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/an-intensifying-climate-crisis-threatens-more-than-half-of-the-worlds-gdp-research-claims/ar-BBZ6IgN

Surely that should be the entire economy beyond local barter, if the time scale were adequate to the problem. Robert Reich has little expectation that much will be done about the problem at Davos. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/19/donald-trump-impeachment-trial-abuse-power-davos  We are probably going to have to solve the problem ourselves. Billionaires are not doing well at the task.

8. Neither is our leader, who recommends mops and buckets to deal with incoming sea water. https://climatecrocks.com/2020/01/18/trump-for-sea-level-rise-try-mops-and-buckets/

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