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Audubon Florida
Pink wading bird standing in a shallow marsh
Audubon Florida Climate and Energy News Roundup
Today we share an op-ed by our Executive Director Julie Wraithmell about why better seawalls aren’t the answer to sea level rise, news about a roadway that can charge your Electric Vehicle, how climate change increases the risk of tree death, and more!
Roseate Spoonbill. Photo: Preeti Desai/Audubon
Sorry, Better Seawalls Are Not the Answer to Rising Seas in Florida | Column
From Tampa Bay Times

“I read with dismay the perplexing editorial from the Tampa Bay Times’ Editorial Board on investing more in seawalls in the face of climate change. I say perplexing because they are right — action is urgently needed to prepare for the unavoidable impacts of climate change — but an outsized focus on holding back a relentless sea with 20th century technology was naive at best and negligent at worst. There is much we must do to prepare — but an emphasis on this outdated technology is a dangerous distraction from the real work the Tampa Bay area and indeed Florida must undertake.”
DeSantis Signs Legislation into Law Addressing Sea Level Rise
From WMFE-FM Orlando

 “Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed legislation into law aimed at strengthening state and local infrastructure against flooding and sea level rise.  The measure builds upon legislation approved last year that, among other things, offered funding for local resilience planning and called for a statewide vulnerability assessment.  Beth Alvi of Audubon Florida says this bill goes further by, for instance, codifying the state chief resilience officer into law. She says the state is showing more leadership on these issues.”
A Roadway Will Charge Your EV While You're Driving
From Axios

“The nation's first stretch of road to wirelessly charge electric vehicles while they're in motion will begin testing next year in Detroit. Why it matters: ‘Electrified’ roadways, which have wireless charging infrastructure under the asphalt, could keep EVs operating around the clock, with unlimited range — a big deal for transit buses, delivery vans, long-haul trucks and even future robotaxis. In-road charging could also help pave the way for more widespread EV adoption by relieving consumers of the need to stop and plug in their cars.”
How Congress is Routing Climate Policy Through the Army Corps of Engineers
From Grist

“Even as President Biden’s signature climate change bill languishes in the Senate, Congress is poised to spend billions of dollars on ambitious new projects that would help the U.S. adapt to climate change. A bill that would authorize the Army Corps of Engineers to build infrastructure to protect against climate impacts is quietly sailing through Congress, demonstrating bipartisan support for measures to protect against flooding and sea-level rise. Lawmakers may not be willing to pass laws that will dramatically cut carbon emissions, but they appear eager to fund projects that will mitigate the harms those emissions cause.”
Weathering the Storm: Homes Collapsing on Outer Banks a Reminder of NC Coast's Uncertain Future

“Debris was scattered along the Cape Hatteras Seashore this week after two unoccupied homes collapsed into the ocean. The homes washed away, and there's concern it could happen again at any minute. Gripping video and images from the Outer Banks showed the power of mother nature. A coastal low brought flood warnings, strong winds and made high tides come further inland… The state has long championed its coastline for its natural beauty and scenic views, but between factors like rising sea levels, hurricanes and beach erosion, the environment is a valid concern for people trying to build a life there. Waterfront homes and livelihoods are especially vulnerable, as is the area's penchant for attracting tourists.”
Climate Change Increases Risks of Tree Death
From Science Daily

“Planting a tree seems like a generally good thing to do for the environment. Trees, after all, take in carbon dioxide, offsetting some of the emissions that contribute to climate change. But all of that carbon in trees and forests worldwide could be thrown back into the atmosphere again if the trees burn up in a forest fire. Trees also stop scrubbing carbon dioxide from the air if they die due to drought or insect damage. The likelihood of those threats impacting forests is increasing nationwide, according to new research in Ecology Letters, making relying on forests to soak up carbon emissions a much riskier prospect.”
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