06 June 2011 We Can’t Make This Stuff Up Posted by: Caitlin Leutwiler | Leave a comment | Share: (A NEW, irregular column to capture insults to wildlife) Florida’s new Governor Rick Scott has taken a wrecking ball to many environmental and social programs in Florida. And now he’s got efforts to fight climate change in the cross hairs, repealing climate change programs and dismantling relevant committees and agency departments established by former Governor Charlie Crist. This is distressing news for the low-lying Sunshine State. According to a report put out by the Endangered Species Coalition, the Greater Everglades region is one place where action to address the impacts of climate change is critical. With projected rises in sea level of three feet or more over the next century, much of the low-lying Everglades ecoregion is at risk of being submerged under water. For iconic Florida species like the panther, whose diminished population already struggles with increased development and habitat loss, such an impact could prove devastating. And it isn’t only the state’s wildlife that’s in trouble – 95 percent of Florida’s population lives within 35 miles of its 1,200 miles of coastline. In fact, Florida has already seen the impacts of sea level rise: roughly 9 inches in the past 75 years, with an acceleration in the rate of rise in the past decade, according to a report from Florida Atlantic University. Changes to natural habitats are already visible. On Big Pine Key, for instance, what used to be a pine forest has turned into a tidal marsh. Apparently, this hasn’t made an impact on the governor. “I’ve not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change,” Scott said in May. “Nothing’s convinced me that there is.” Hopefully Gov. Scott and the folks in Tallahassee have enough life rafts to go around. Learn more: Read the full story in the St. Petersburg Times. See how Defenders is working to protect wildlife and natural places from the harmful impacts of climate change. Post Your Comment Click here to cancel reply. Name (required) Mail (required) (will not be published) You May also be interested in Wolf Weekly Wrap-Up Helicopter gunning kills 23 wolves in Idaho; Urge Secretary Jewell to abandon gray wolf delisting proposal — Call your representative by March 14; Washington wildlife agency urged to end support for abolishing federal wolf protections; The latest on Governor Otter’s wolf control board. Two Too Many Development Projects in the Ivanpah Valley While these projects most definitely directly impact a species that has been identified as threatened and is dependent on the habitat where they would be built, Silver State South and Stateline’s approval is most troubling for a bigger reason. You see, this isn’t just an issue for the Ivanpah Valley. Developers and agencies need to be conscious of how and where they plan energy projects all across the country. They need to look at renewable energy planning with a landscape-wide lens, understanding that building in the right places and making an effort to minimize environmental impacts from the start are essential. California’s Rim Fire: Opportunities Rise from the Ashes After California’s devastating Rim Fire, will officials take the opportunity to give nature a chance to fully recover?