In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Florida’s Academic Scholarships and Scholarships Program has issued a statement saying they have been working to protect Florida’s climate for years and have made clear to their state legislators that climate change is real and a threat.
The program’s executive director, Stephanie Fenn, released the statement Friday in response to the hurricanes, the Florida Department of Health, and the governor.
“As a state, we are working to mitigate the impact of climate change by implementing smart solutions to our state’s climate challenges, such as the state’s Climate Action Plan,” Fenn said in the statement.
“We are committed to protecting the future of Florida’s economy and our students’ academic performance.”
The statement does not address any of the questions raised in the recent Miami Herald article, including: What happens when the sea level rises?
How long does it take?
What will it cost Florida to fix its aging roads and bridges?
What is the cost to the state of Florida to respond to the hurricane?
Why is Florida’s academic leadership being so dismissive of the issue?
It does not mention that Florida has long acknowledged climate change, that a federal report concluded climate change was happening, or that it has a climate action plan.
In the past, Florida has received millions in federal disaster aid to address the impacts of climate disruption.
Fenn told The Associated Press that the state will provide funding for storm recovery efforts and other needs that are not covered by federal aid, but she did not provide details about how much money is on the table.
She said the program has not received federal grants for hurricane response or to help educate the public on climate change.
“This is a critical time for Florida,” Feren said in a statement.
The Florida Academic Scholars program was established in 2007 and is run by the Florida Institute of Technology, a public university.
Feren also said the state is seeking more funding for research on climate science, which has been the subject of controversy in the past.
FENN’S STATEMENT OF FACTS The statement was released at a time when several Florida academic leaders were criticizing the state for its inaction on climate and the need for action on climate.
Florida was one of the states that received more than $5 billion in federal hurricane aid during the storm.
The state also received more aid than any other state for Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey in Texas, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“Florida’s leaders need to stop talking about climate,” said James D. Lunsford, president of the Florida Association of Scholars.
“There is no question that climate is changing, and it is a serious issue.”
In March, the University of Florida, which includes Tallahassee, announced it would not accept hurricane grants.
“The Florida Academic Scholar Program does not accept federal grants to fund hurricane relief,” the statement said.
“While the University continues to take a hard look at the issue, it is important that Florida’s leadership continue to act.
We are grateful to all of our scholarship recipients, including the University, for their commitment to the future.”
Florida’s Coastal Research Center, a nonprofit that focuses on sea level rise and coastal erosion, also issued a press release Friday saying it would no longer accept grants from the state.
“In the absence of an immediate federal response, we will need to develop a new model to predict future sea level changes,” said Dr. David K. McArthur, a co-founder of the Coastal Research Centers and a professor at the University at Albany, New York.
“That means that coastal cities that were already impacted by rising sea levels, such, New Orleans, would likely have to increase their building and building permits, which will increase their flood risks.”
Florida has already begun preparing for a warmer ocean.
A study released by the National Research Council on Thursday said the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would rise 1.3 to 3.5 feet by the end of this century.
A report by the University College London said that by the middle of the century, the amount in the oceans could be 4.3 feet higher than it is now.
“If we continue on the current trajectory, sea levels are likely to rise by 3 to 5 feet in the next 50 to 100 years,” said Richard J. H. Trewin, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
“So there is no doubt that we are heading for an increase in the frequency of large storms and large floods in the future.
This is a very dangerous situation.”
The state is not alone in not understanding climate change: In June, Florida was among several states that passed a resolution that acknowledged climate disruption and said it was committed to addressing climate change and was working to adapt.
The resolution was signed by U.S. Representatives Carlos Curbelo of Florida and John Culberson of Texas.
The two senators who introduced the resolution, both Republicans, are also members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
“President Trump and Congress