Florida county plans for rising seas and the flooding that will follow – Developers, climate-change naysayers promote conspiracy theoryPosted by Jim at Thursday, September 20, 2012
By Brittany Wallman
13 September 2012
(Sun Sentinel) – By 2060, residents of the posh Las Olas Boulevard community in Fort Lauderdale could find seawater lapping at their doors. Parts of Hollywood, Hallandale Beach and Dania Beach also could be wading in water at high tide, county officials warn.
Agreeing that Broward County is at risk of flooding, sewer failure and contamination of drinking water because of climate change and an accompanying rise in sea level, commissioners moved Tuesday in a new direction for this coastal county — with climate change planning.
Sea level here has risen 8 to 10 inches in the past 100 years, Broward County Natural Resources Planning Director Jennifer Jurado said. But it's expected to rise faster — 9 to 24 inches — in the next 50 years.
Broward's undulating surface ranges from lows of 3 to 4 feet above sea level around Las Olas to highs of about 30 feet at Davie's Pine Island Ridge. That puts some neighborhoods at risk if waters keep rising.
The idea behind the planning blueprint is that the rise in sea level should impact decisions about what's built here and how, from sewers to sidewalks to seawalls. It also lays out ways to stave off climate change, setting priorities like reducing greenhouse gas emissions, promoting energy efficient buildings and transportation, promoting "green'' jobs, and a lot more.
Prominent national and international scientific organizations — including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Meteorological Society, American Geophysical Union, American Association for the Advancement of Science and World Meteorological Organization — have endorsed climate change as a real phenomenon and one caused primarily by human activities.
And yet the controversy surrounding climate change was readily apparent Tuesday, as some residents cried out that the county was being lured into a United Nations scheme for world domination, and the building industry urged caution and delay.
“Global warming is a hoax and we should not get involved in it,” Scott McNees told commissioners. "It's a very expensive mistake and would bring in a form of totalitarianism that we should not have.''
“What are we sacrificing to achieve this, and at what cost?” asked Henk Koornstra, former deputy director of the county's traffic engineering department.
William Beaver said commissioners were smirking, and he called it “disgusting.”
“This is something that the United Nations is trying to come in and take us over,” Beaver told commissioners, "and you don't give a damn.''
Broward Commissioner Stacy Ritter told the world domination theorists that they were listening too much to conservative pundit and radio host Glenn Beck, formerly of FOX News, who advanced the notion that a U.N. document about sustainable development, Agenda 21, is in fact a "socialist-created, redistribution-of-wealth, globalist scheme disguised really poorly as environmental crusades.”
“You want to talk about a national takeover?” Ritter asked Tuesday. “This is an organized plan by people on the far right to come to communities which promote sustainability, to try to raise some red flag about Agenda 21 and the U.N. taking over the U.S. I just don't believe it.” […]