By the year 2100, computers predict that much of Florida's coast will be drowned by the increase in the water level caused by global warming. This will affect fishing, both for sport and for food. Even a 15 inch water rise could be devastating.
Manley Fuller, of the Florida Wildlife Federation, says, "Fishing as we know it could disappear in a matter of decades. Our coastal habitats are shrinking and if we lose our coastal fisheries to rising seas, the effect on fish and wildlife Floridians have worked so hard to protect will be devastating."
Fuller's organization used computers to measure how a sea rise as small as under two inches would affect the fishing and tourist industries and found that nearly 50% (approximately 23,000 acres) of critical salt marsh and 84% (166,572 acres) of tidal flats would be lost. Dry land will decrease by 14% (174,580 acres), and around 30% (1,000 acres) of ocean beaches and two-thirds (5,879 acres) of other beach areas would disappear.
Meanwhile, a national poll of 750,000 members of the National Wildlife Federation, which is made up of hunters and fishermen, found that 76% of them think that global warming is real and 73% believe it is impacting their sports. About two-thirds of them said they would vote for a presidential candidate who supports strong laws and immediate action to address global warming. And 75% said "Congress should pass legislation that sets a clear national goal for reducing global warming pollution with mandatory timelines because industry has already had enough time to clean up voluntarily."
The British journalist David Attenborough, whose nature shows have been shown on PBS here in the US, says, "I was skeptical about climate change. I was cautious about crying wolf." But now that he's seen the effects of climate change for himself, he says, "I no longer have any doubt at all."
In the Independent, Michael McCarthy quotes Attenborough as saying, "I think conservationists have to be careful in saying things are catastrophic when, in fact, they are less than catastrophic." But now he says, "People say, everything will be all right in the end. But it's not the case. We may be facing major disasters on a global scale."
He came to this conclusion while traveling around the planet for his TV show Planet Earth. He says, "I have seen the ice melting. I have been to parts of Patagonia and heard people say: 'That's where the glacier was 10 years ago?and that's where it is today.' The most dramatic evidence I have seen was New Orleans, after Hurricane Katrina. Was that climate-change induced, out of the ordinary? Certainly so. Everyone who does any cooking knows that if you want to increase a chemical reaction, you put it on the stove and heat it up. If you increase the temperature of the oceans, above which there are swirling currents of air, you will increase the energy in the air currents. It's not a mystery.
"One of the things I don't want to do is to look at my grandchildren and hear them say: 'Grandfather, you knew it was happening?and you did nothing.'"
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