As young people learn about the impacts of climate change, they have the power to change the attitudes of their parents. Meanwhile, adults who are painfully aware of the existential realities of the climate crisis learn new ways to cope with their growing despair. In Part I of Treading Water, we explore the allure of young activists in the age of eco-grief.
Young people are suing their policymakers for violating their constitutional rights. Their complaints allege that governments have known about the dangers of climate change for 50 years, yet have continued to promote fossil fuel energy systems, which contribute heavily to climate change. In Part II of Treading Water, we examine how such lawsuits are contributing a new legal landscape for the rights to a stable climate.
Today’s youth have already become disillusioned with our power structures. Loss and trauma will define their coming-of-age stories, and they are holding their leaders accountable for action on the climate crisis. They are the ones who stand to lose everything. In Part III of Treading Water we echo the urgency and stand by the most important crisis of our time.
As rising sea levels threaten Florida, Jesse Wilson worries about the fate of her hometown of Sanibel. Stashing away her personal blame and guilt, she heads to Sanibel to embrace the simple act of saying goodbye, as she would for anyone she loved.
Twenty-one percent of Panama City residents live below the poverty line. Many rely on federal housing subsidies to help with rent, but funding for affordable housing programs is limited. Hurricane Michael exacerbated the housing shortage. After the storm, displaced hurricane survivors with little resources were left navigating federal aid options, searching for scarce homes all while trying to find a sense of normalcy.
Timber has sustained many Florida families for generations, and is a linchpin of rural Florida culture. The Florida Panhandle is home to some of the state’s most robust timberlands, but after Hurricane Michael leveled millions of acres of trees, many producers and workers were left to pick up the pieces and wonder if they are ready for this year’s hurricane season.
Take a look outside. What do you see? For residents of the Florida Panhandle after Hurricane Michael, it was complete and utter devastation. Photos of leveled homes, smashed businesses, flooded streets and forests laid to waste made their way through news outlets, across social media, and in texts and emails to loved ones. But what was less obvious was how the destruction set the stage for a new landscape: a landscape defined by invasive species.
Dylann Turffs, a naturalist at the Biscayne Nature Center, traces the legacy of Marjory Stoneman Douglas to forge a connection between people and the natural world.
There’s no better place to see Florida’s complicated sugar story playing out than on the ground in the communities where residents engage in the day-to-day operations of the industry and are considering its future. An important—and often overshadowed—piece of that puzzle is the harvesting techniques that some cane families say are responsible for a public health crisis.
Residents of the Glades region near Lake Okeechobee are divided over health concerns of sugarcane harvesting. This ongoing tug-of-war is punctuated by a growing body of research that spells out the implications for people living near sugarcane fields. What do these efforts mean for South Florida and the future of its long-time sugar industry?