Water-Related News

LWV speaker discusses greenhouse gases, rising sea levels and more

The League of Women Voters of Sanibel hosted a luncheon on March 15 at the Sundial Beach Resort featuring Dr. Rick Bartleson, research scientist with the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation.

He spoke about greenhouse gases, rising sea levels and the South Florida ecosystem.

Scientists predict that at the current rate of global warming, even assuming some mitigation efforts, much of Florida - including Sanibel and Fort Myers - is expected to be under water by 2100. Sea level rise in Fort Myers and Miami is expected to be even more severe than in other parts of Florida because of wind, sea currents and other factors, according to Bartleson.

By 2100, about $1 trillion in U.S. gross domestic product will be lost per increased degree Fahrenheit. He reported that Florida will experience one of the highest levels of economic damage in the country. Florida's state government holds a below-average grade in steps taken to mitigate the expected damage. The National Resource Defense Council awarded Florida a grade of C minus in climate preparedness.

The current administration has rolled back a number of steps to limit climate change. In 2017, the League of Conservation Voters gave some of Florida's politicians scores of 0 percent in protecting the environment, with a number of elected officials in the state receiving scores of 8 percent or less.