Everglades project can ease harm of climate change, scientist says
by Robert King
CAPTIVA — Global warming means
But Harold Wanless offered one
glimmer of hope: Restoring the
"We have set into motion a monster," said Wanless, who chairs the university's department of geological sciences. "I wish I was writing you a novel. But unfortunately this is, as far as we can see, very real."
Wanless' presentation cast a brief
pall over the four-day
"I have never heard this room so silent," said
The warnings also caught the attention of leading appointees of Gov. Charlie Crist, who has made the fight against global warming one of his major environmental initiatives.
"Those are the worst effects of climate change - that is the do-nothing alternative," said Michael Sole, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection, adding that Crist is seeking ways to limit greenhouse-gas pollution and blunt the worst of the damage. "If people wait to see what happens, the cost of taking action is going to grow."
Eric Buermann, chairman of the
board of the South Florida Water Management District, said he's taken Wanless' words to heart. "We need to get
Wanless said he doesn't know
whether existing restoration plans would build up enough peat in the
Hours after Wanless' talk, U.S.
Sen. Bill Nelson unveiled a proposal to make the fight against global warming
work to the
The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., and John Warner, R-Va., would order cuts in carbon dioxide emissions and set up auctions in which many polluters would have to buy permits.
The bill would allow some of the money to go to aquatic
habitats threatened by climate change, including the
"Despite the fact that now most scientists agree that
He urged the
The pollution-credits program wouldn't begin bringing in
money until 2012 at the earliest, so help for the
Wanless said one key question is
how much time the
"I've heard climate scientists that say, 'I think it's hopeless and I think we've really lost it,' but I'm going to do everything I can to fight it," Wanless said. "Because we have to. That's our responsibility, isn't it?"