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President Obama to Celebrate Earth Day at Everglades National Park

On April 22, Earth Day 2015, President Barack Obama will travel to Everglades National Park in Florida and talk about man-made climate change.

… on Earth Day, I’m going to visit the Florida Everglades to talk about the way that climate change threatens our economy.  The Everglades is one of the most special places in our country.  But it’s also one of the most fragile.  Rising sea levels are putting a national treasure – and an economic engine for the South Florida tourism industry – at risk.

 – President Barack Obama, Weekly Address April 18, 2015


UPDATE: The President’s speech


Great Egret at Everglades National Park in Florida –

Rachel Maddow Show

Obama’s choice of the Florida Everglades as the setting for the speech is significant for the ecologically delicate nature of the area, as well as the fact that parts of the state are already routinely dealing with the effects of sea level rise as a result of climate change. Miami is regularly subject to “sunny day flooding” when tidal waters back up through the city’s drains. […]

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a Republican candidate for the presidency in 2016, has questioned the role of humans in climate change and voted against an amendment holding Congress to the view that humans are causing climate change.


Washington Post:

With legislative efforts dead on Capitol Hill in the face of Republican opposition, Obama has sought to move forward on his own in ways large and small. The trip, on Earth Day, to the 734 square-mile tropical wetlands is aimed at highlighting a region that the administration said is threatened by global warming.

“The Everglades are flat, and they border a rising ocean,” Brian Deese, a senior adviser to Obama, wrote on the White House blog. “As the sea levels rise, the shorelines erode, and that salty water travels inland, threatening the aquifers supplying fresh drinking water to Floridians.”

Deese tied the potential damage to the economy — namely, the state’s tourism industry — and added that “we’re far beyond a debate about climate change’s existence. We’re focused on mitigating its very real effects here at home.”

More on the Everglades below the fold …

From the White House Email: Tell Us, What Would You Fight to Protect?

Here’s where the President is traveling for the very first time this Wednesday:

That’s the Everglades — one of our country’s most unique and treasured landscapes. But Wednesday’s trip is about more than touring an iconic National Park on Earth Day. Here’s why:

The Everglades are flat, and they border a rising ocean. As the sea levels rise, the shorelines erode, and that salty water travels inland, threatening the aquifers supplying fresh drinking water to Floridians. That doesn’t just destroy a beautiful and unique national landscape. It threatens an $82 billion state tourism economy, and drinking water for more than 7 million Americans — more than a third of Florida’s population.

This Earth Day, we’re far beyond a debate about climate change’s existence. We’re focused on mitigating its very real effects here at home, preparing our communities where its impacts are already being felt, and leading an international effort for action. And the President has already acted in big ways. Over the last eight years, the United States has cut more carbon pollution than any other country, while creating 12.1 million private-sector jobs over 61 months; setting aside more public lands and waters than any Administration in history; and releasing a Clean Power Plan to curb carbon pollution from existing power plants — the single-biggest source of carbon pollution in the U.S.


Everglades National Park

America’s Everglades – The largest subtropical wilderness in the United States

Everglades National Park protects an unparalleled landscape that provides important habitat for numerous rare and endangered species like the manatee,  American crocodile, and the elusive Florida panther.

An international treasure as well –  a World Heritage Site, International Biosphere Reserve, a Wetland of International Importance, and a specially protected areas under the Cartagena Treaty.

Visit the park through photos and videos.


  1. John Kerry’s Mission To Save The Arctic

    On Friday, the U.S. Secretary of State will travel to the Canadian Arctic city of Iqualuit, Nunavut, where he will take temporary reins of the Arctic Council, a forum that could ultimately determine the fate of the Arctic. At the biennial Arctic Council ministerial meeting in Iqualuit, Canadian Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq – the current Arctic Council Chair – will turn the chairmanship of the eight-nation body over to Kerry.

    While it might be cliché to call this a critical juncture for the Arctic, Kerry is assuming this role at a time of unprecedented uncertainty for this diverse and fast-changing region. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, driving rapid melting of sea ice, glaciers and ice sheets across the region.

    These changes are exposing Native Alaska coastal communities to punishing storm surges, erosion, and sea-level rise, and putting some villages on the brink of falling into the sea. Rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet and glaciers are major drivers of global sea-level rise, leaving coastal and low-lying areas in the United States and around the world vulnerable to flooding. Further, as permafrost thaws, it could release a total of 120 gigatons of carbon into the atmosphere by 2100. Scientists warn that worldwide carbon emissions must stay below 1,000 gigatons over the same timeframe to prevent catastrophic climate change.

  2. Big Insurance Companies Are Warning The U.S. To Prepare For Climate Change

    A coalition of big insurance companies, consumer groups, and environmental advocates are urging the United States to overhaul its disaster policies in the face of increasingly extreme weather due to human-caused climate change.

    According to a report (PDF) released Tuesday by the SmarterSafer coalition, the U.S. needs to increase how much it spends on pre-disaster mitigation efforts and infrastructure protection. That way, it asserts, the U.S. can stop wasting so much money on cleaning up after a disaster happens.

    “Our current natural disaster policy framework focuses heavily on responding to disasters, rather than putting protective measures in place to reduce our vulnerability and limit a disaster’s impact,” the report reads. “This needlessly exposes Americans to greater risks to life and property and results in much higher costs to the federal government.”[…]

    Some states are simply expecting the federal government to, literally, bail them out:

    “With the federal government taking on such an enormous share of the financial burden and nearly all recovery responsibility, there is little incentive for disaster-prone states to take action to reduce risk,” the report says. “For example, disaster-prone states like Texas and Louisiana are among those spending the least of their state budget on emergency response and mitigation programs that can reduce disaster costs.”

    The report suggested changing FEMA’s payment system so that states that have taken the most mitigation and preparation efforts are rewarded with more federal aid when disasters strike. “[R]ather than simply writing a blank check after every disaster,” it says, “disaster assistance must be provided on a sliding scale so that communities can get a full share of funding only if they have taken significant steps to protect its residents from harm.”

    So states that are screaming about the federal government’s intervention into their “sovereign state’s rights” are not shy about taking money to clean up after disasters.  

  3. Diana in NoVa

    Who knows why human beings are so blind to their own interests? Especially humans who live in the South. I suppose when one assumes that “God” will take care of things, there is no need to take precautions or change behavior.

    I do like the idea of changing FEMA payments. Perhaps that would make the red states sit up and take notice

  4. Running Away From Mother Earth

    It’s Earth Day, and also the 45th anniversary of the annual event identified with the modern U.S. environmental movement. But for the people running for the GOP presidential nomination, it’s just another day to run away from Mother Earth.

    At Bloomberg Politics, Mark Drajem has a useful round-up of the views of all the major presidential candidates on global climate change and associated issues:

    Observers would have to squint hard to detect any movement among the main Republican candidates. They all back the Keystone XL pipeline, embrace the boom in U.S. oil and gas production, say the economy trumps climate action now and, among those that answered, say a deal to cut emissions between Obama and China is one-sided and toothless.

    Those of us who are old enough to remember the first Earth Day in 1970 are also old enough to remember when environmentalism was a thoroughly bipartisan cause. […]

    It would be nice if Earth Day were again bipartisan, but if not, then it’s another thing to add to the list of high stakes for the next election-maybe at the very top.

  5. Earth Day, 2015: Mixed Reactions – In which the earth has its day and numerous humans cheer

    Hey, it’s Earth Day, the 45th of that name. Happy Earth Day! Let’s see what dumbasses are saying about it.

       April 22 is Lenin’s Birthday. It also happens to be Earth Day. This is probably not a coincidence, as my colleague R. J. Smith notes at Openmarket. R. J. is one if the longest standing proponents of free-market environmentalism and private conservation, so was there at the time.

    Oh, well-played, young Master Bindlestiff.

    Elsewhere, in the place where Gaylord Nelson used to be senator and as much the birthplace of Earth Day as anywhere, Scott Walker, the goggle-eyed homunculus hired by Koch Industries to manage its midwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Wisconsin, has decided to celebrate in his customary fashion.

       DNR spokesman Bill Cosh said that of that number, 27 employees are in the Bureau of Science Services, a unit of the DNR where Walker is proposing significant cuts. The bureau performs significant research duties for the DNR, and the cuts have come under fire from wildlife and environmental groups who say research is the underpinning of many agency activities. Other positions that could be cut are education and communications personnel.

    I think the total firings will be about 57.

    Charlie continues:

    It’s probably pointless to mention again that the notion of conservation came to the American government largely through the efforts of Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt, or that the Clean Water Act was signed by Richard Nixon, who also created the Environmental Protection Agency. But some Republicans at least ought to remember all that instead of playing to the ignoramuses in their party’s base, or whoring themselves out to the extraction industries that would drill an oil well up Lincoln’s nose on Mount Rushmore if they thought there was a dime to be made there. What you have now is a plutocrat’s party, cheered on by paid scriveners who would be perfectly happy to despoil the entire American wilderness just because it makes liberals mad.

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