Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition will help counties adapt to climate change

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Next week the region will create a Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition to work together for solutions to problems caused by climate change; next Monday (October 8), local leaders will sign a memorandum of understanding to create the coalition. Twenty-two local governments are signed on. It’s similar to what we’ve seen in South Florida for nearly a decade. Hillsborough County has not committed, but may discuss joining during a county commission meeting Wednesday.

In a press release, Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long — the chair of the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council — wrote, “Our objective at the regional planning council is to assist local governments with viable opportunities for implementing both adaptation strategies that increase the region’s resilience to sea level rise and climate change to avoid further vulnerabilities … the Regional Resiliency Coalition will foster collaboration such as shared sea level rise projections so local governments can better coordinate, develop, and implement appropriate coastal adaptation and implement risk reduction strategies to reduce the drivers of sea level rise and inland flooding with the critical goal of maintaining our region’s wonderful quality of life for generations to come.”

On WMNF’s MidPoint, we spoke with Susan Glickman, the Florida director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. She’s also involved in the Tampa Bay Regional Resiliency Coalition.

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The coalition will develop a Regional Resiliency Action Plan.

During the show we talked about an unbelievable report in the Washington Post – it says that last month in an environmental impact statement the Trump administration made a breathtaking assumption. It expects the planet to warm by seven degrees Fahrenheit by the end of the century because of an estimated 789 ppm of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Essentially, the argument in that report goes: why bother improving vehicle efficiency when temperatures will rise anyway. So on the show, we talked about what Florida might look like in a future that’s seven degrees warmer.

We also talked about a Florida Center for Investigative Journalism report on Governor Rick Scott’s investments in Florida Power and Light.

Meanwhile, September 2018 was the warmest month ever recorded in Tampa. The National Weather Service Tampa Bay tweeted Monday that the month that ended Sunday had an average temperature of 85.9 degrees Fahrenheit, which is two degrees warmer than any other September on record and three tenths of a degree warmer than any month in the region’s recorded history, dating back to 1890. The three hottest Septembers have been in the last three years.