Paddle Florida, Citizens Climate Lobby and Alachua Conservation Trust presented the documentary film “Facing the Surge” at Prairie Creek Lodge near Gainesville. No seat remained empty, and there were people sitting on the floor.
Following the film, Dr. Andrea Dutton from the University of Florida led a group discussion. Dutton, an assistant professor in UF’s Department of Geological Sciences, is co-leader of an international working group investigating the geological record of changes in sea levels and ice sheet mass in order to better predict future sea level rise. Her research currently focuses on reconstructing sea level over periods spanning thousands of years, with an emphasis on establishing the behavior of sea level and ice sheets during previous warm periods.
Other panelists were Dr. Brett Scheffers of the University of Florida and Bob Tancig, Coordinator at Florida Coalition for Peace & Justice in Gainesville, and Executive Director of Contemporary Oriental Medicine Foundation, also in Gainesville. Moderator was Bill Richards of Paddle Florida.
Many changes are occurring that we are not aware of unless we are looking. Examples are that animal genetics are changing, animal physiology is changing, wheat is losing its genetic diversity, caribou herds are in serious decline and we are experiencing a reorganization of life on our planet.
Interesting information brought out during the panel: the fundamental science of climate change is here, climate change is not a belief, it is now a social problem. There is no way to stop the ocean, we can not win.
However, we may help the world in ways that may be unexpected: Dr. Scheffers suggested we cut back on meat in our diet, as growing beef requires too much water and space to justify (thus is the message of the film “Cowspiracy.” A wise woman sitting near us in the audience suggested we curtail our insatiable consumption of objects we don’t need for a productive, comfortable lifestyle.
Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life: once taken, it cannot be brought back-