Climate Change Conference - Effects on Florida, Day 1

05/09/07 Seán Kinane
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 Today at the Tampa Renaissance Hotel, a Climate Change Conference brought together scientists and policy makers to discuss climate change in Florida and come up with recommendations to present to the state’s Century Commission. Today was the first of the three-day conference hosted by the Patel Center for Global Solutions at the University of South Florida and the Center for Environmental Studies at Florida Atlantic University. WMNF’s Seán Kinane reports.


Earlier this year, the International Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, issued two reports on climate change. Howard Hanson is Associate Vice President for Research at Florida Atlantic University. He summarized the IPCC reports and said that they built on earlier findings by the international body but provided greater certainty than before.



We’re progressing toward a better understanding but certainty becoming greater. Warming is unequivocal. Stronger language and very likely due to green house gasses. 90%. Stronger statements.


During the Ronald Reagan administration, former ambassador Richard Benedick successfully negotiated the Montreal protocol to eliminate CFCs which cause ozone destruction. Benedick said that rather than have huge meetings of all the countries in the world, it would be more effective to just gather the major polluting industries, such as the automobile industry, and come up with solutions.




We could assemble about 15 countries around a table –major auto producers. And just say look, you’re going to do it, but we know you could do it. We don’t have to have 190 countries participating. I become optimistic.


WMNF asked former U.S. Senate candidate, and current Executive Director of the Patel Center for Global Solutions, Betty Castor if the new building being planned for the Patel center would be a LEED certified green building and what level of LEED it would attain.




“No, we really want to build a green building. And if we get underway soon, we could be the first green building on campus. … I’m not sure at what level we’ll come in but I am certain people will be watching very closely because when you’re sponsoring conferences like this and you’re trying to work in places around the world on sustainable communities, I think it’s important for us to take the lead, if you will, with our building on campus.”


Castor has high hopes for results of this climate change conference.




I think this conference is a significant one. Brings together scientists and policy makers. Work together to solve probs.


The conference continues on Thursday and Friday. To find out more, visit:


For WMNF News, I’m Seán Kinane


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