Environmentalist warns of climate change

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By Ryan T. Butler

Dan Kipnis said he loves Cedar Key. He just wouldn’t want to buy property here. 

Speaking before two-dozen people Nov. 3 at the Cedar Key public library, Kipnis  warned about pending catastrophes from global warming. The traveling boat captain used scientific data, photos and land-mass projections to show the destruction climate change could do to Earth, and costal communities in particular, if action isn’t taken. 

“I believe that we can lose much of the human race to extinction,” Kipnis said. 

Using data from recent weather reports, Kipnis said the global temperature could rise from its current 54 degrees fahrenheit to 86 by 2100. That would begin melting the polar ice caps and flooding costal areas worldwide.

He presented diagrams that showed projections of Miami-Dade County over the next century if current weather trends persist. By 2084, Kipnis said one-third of the county will be underwater. A few decades later, the majority of it will be uninhabitable. The same impact will be felt in Cedar Key. 

The heating oceans will also cripple sea life, particularly plankton at the base of the food chain. This would in turn negatively impact all other marine life, including clams and oysters. 

This shake-up in temperature will also increase natural disasters such as the recent hurricane in the mid-Atlantic, “super-storm” Sandy. 

“The only way people will change their minds is catastrophe”, Kipnis said. “Mark my word (another storm) is coming.”

He said the solution is legislative change. He encouraged everyone in attendance to speak to their law makers and encourage them to take action on climate change. 

Kipnis had previously been commissioned by Al Gore to speak on his behalf and present his award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”. He has also appeared on CBS, CNN and PBS to discuss climate change. The Miami Beach resident now travels around the country speaking about global warming.