Climate Change

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Ninety-four percent of Floridians live in areas experiencing more extreme heat days a year, according to a new study published Tuesday by the Natural Resources Defense Council.  


Wednesday on “First Coast Connect” we heard how climate change affects storms like Hurricane Irma with Jacksonville University climatologist Jeff Martin (01:13). Ahead of the Ken Burns PBS documentary, “The Vietnam War,” we spoke with female veterans Rene Johnson and Margaret Yarborough (27:09). Our monthly First Coast Connect Book Club with Stacey Goldring featured the classic novel “Catch 22” (38:48) and University of North Florida Gallery of Art Coordinator Jim Draper talked about the gallery’s latest exhibit (45:09). 

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

St. Augustine Mayor Nancy Shaver addressed the U.S. Green Building Council Thursday in Jacksonville.


Ryan Benk / WJCT News

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry celebrated the end of a multi-million dollar project to rebuild area beaches after last fall’s Hurricane Matthew.


Environmental Protection Agency

St. Petersburg is facing scrutiny over its recent decision to pump 20 million gallons of sewage from an overloaded treatment plant into Tampa Bay.

One national environmental organization is warning: similar overflows could become more common as the climate changes.


Louisiana State Office of the Fire Marshal

Tuesday on First Coast Connect, we discuss: Could recent severe weather be a sign of things to come? We also talk about how you can help the blind read printed books and a new art exhibit at the University of North Florida shows off fans' love for the band U2 in a unique way.   

            

We discuss the week's top news stories for the full hour with our roundtable of local journalists.

Joining us are:

  • Tonyaa Weathersbee, Florida Times-Union columnist
  • A.G. Gancarski, Florida Politics writer
  • Lindsey Kilbride, WJCT News reporter
  • Tim Gibbons, Jacksonville Business Journal editor

Topics include the Democratic National Convention, a new study about the effect of climate change on Florida's coastal military installation, and more.

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

Florida is seen as the state most vulnerable to flooding from the impacts of sea level rise attributed to climate change.

Since 2004, retired UNF professor Allen Tilley has run a listserve that curates reports about climate change and the impacts of rising oceans.

And he says, particularly here in North Florida, government leaders aren’t doing enough long-term planning to prepare.

Allen Tilley joins us with his thoughts.

 A potentially historic U.N. summit on climate change later this month in Paris, expected to draw President Barack Obama and other world leaders, will be scaled back due to security concerns following Friday's terror attacks that left 129 people dead across the French capital.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls reportedly told local radio Monday morning that the conference will be "reduced to the negotiation" between countries' representatives, adding that "a lot of concerts and festivities will be canceled."

We discuss what could be expected out of the conference with Josh Gellers, assistant professor at UNF and research fellow at The Earth System Governance Project, the largest network of social scientists working on governance and global environmental change issues.


Jacksonville University and the UN Association of Jacksonville this weekend will hold a discussion of one of the most important political issues of the 21st century: the global response to climate change.

Also this Saturday, JU’s Marine Science Research Institute brings its event “Science on the St. Johns” to the campus waterfront - a chance for the community to learn about the impact of the river and marine life on our area.

We preview both events with Dr. Stephen Baker, JU professor of political science, Dr. Quint White, director of JU’s Marine Science Research Institute, and engineer David Bruderly, organizer and moderator of the climate change event.


This week Jacksonville University and the local chapter of the United Nations Association are sponsoring an open forum on climate, from greenhouse gases to sea level rise, and more. Climate experts agree that the world's overall temperature is headed upwards, but this doesn't mean every place is getting steadily and predictably warmer. Climate change is making the weather more variable, causing hotter summers, colder winters in some places, and more severe storms. What can we glean from the latest research, and in particular how is climate change expected to affect Florida with its thousands of miles of coastline? We discuss what's known and what isn't known about climate change with Dr. Jeremy Stalker, Jacksonville University ocean geologist.


North Florida Land Trust

A North Florida nonprofit group is working on a toolkit to help conservation groups across the country respond to climate change.

North Florida Land Trust is creating a database with information about rising sea levels in different parts of the country.

During an appearance on WJCT's “First Coast Connect,” Marc Hudson, Land Protection Director for the North Florida Land Trust talked about the group’s work.

Gregory Todaro / WJCT News

“If all the ice melts — and that’ll happening if we keep doing what we’re doing — the oceans come up 75 meters. That’s about 250 feet,” Dennis Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, told the crowd Friday morning.

“This’ll convert downtown Jacksonville skyscrapers into hazards to navigation,” he said.

Bushnell gave a lecture about the consequences of sea level rise on the First Coast Friday morning at the UNF Adam W. Herbert University Center.

Jeb Bush is keeping Sunshine State governors in the global-warming crosshairs with comments this week in which he called the science surrounding the issue "convoluted."

On the campaign trail last year, Gov. Rick Scott demurred when asked about climate change, saying, "I'm not a scientist."

Former Florida Gov. Bush isn't a scientist either --- he earned a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from the University of Texas at Austin.

Troy Cryder / NASA

We speak with Hazel Henderson, founder and president of the Ethical Markets Media, an St. Johns County based independent media company focusing on sustainability news. Henderson is also an evolutionary economist, author and consultant on sustainable development. She joins us to discuss Florida and climate change, as well as her organization's Green Transition Scoreboard, which tracks private investment in green technologies.

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