Florida's Vanishing Wetlands
and the Failure of No Net Loss

Wetlands crucial to battling climate change

Posted on Jan. 4, 2011 9:04 p.m.
By Craig Pittman

Although some folks are ready to declare media interest in climate change at an end, there was an intriguing Reuters story out of the Cancun climate talks just before Christmas.

"Climate negotiators at UN talks agreed to consider letting rich countries cut their climate-changing emissions by 'rewetting' degraded peatlands, in the first official sign of global action on the issue," Reuters reported.

"It was a victory for conservationists who long fought for incentives in UN forestry and land-use proposals to entice governments to stop draining carbon-rich swamps."

Why is that important? Because peat soils are carbon sinks, absorbing about twice the carbon as all the planet's forests. And when you drain or burn them, they release what those wild-eyed eco-nazis at The Economist call "prodigious quantities of climate-changing carbon dioxide" into the atmosphere.

For instance, the Reuters story notes, "Indonesia, the third biggest carbon emitter, is No. 1 in peat pollution. The draining and burning of its swamps accounts for 900 millions tons of CO2 — roughly equivalent to the yearly emissions of Germany."

The solution, notes The Economist, "is simple and relatively cheap: stop draining wetlands and allow water to accumulate in them again."

Of course, there are some folks who contend that the rules should change to make it even easier to wipe out wetlands. But those folks may not believe in climate change, either -- despite abundant evidence otherwise.

Clean Water Act turns 40

Posted on Oct. 18, 2012 8:50 p.m.
By Craig Pittman

Today marks the 40th anniversary of passage of the Clean Water Act, one of the most remarkable, far-reaching and contentious ...

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Supreme Court gets a chance to botch another wetlands case

Posted on Jan. 8, 2012 9 p.m.
By Craig Pittman

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the somewhat tangled case of Mike and Chantell Sackett , whose ...

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U.S. wetlands are "at a tipping point" -- and worse off than report says

Posted on Oct. 13, 2011 10:05 p.m.
By Craig Pittman

The U.S. Interior Department issued its latest report on the status and trends of the nation's wetlands last week, and ...

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New study shows Supreme Court decision left wetlands vulnerable

Posted on Sept. 13, 2011 8:07 p.m.
By Craig Pittman

Last week the Environmental Law Institute released an extensive new study on the state of the nation's wetlands in the ...

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House casts historic vote to yank EPA's Clean Water Act authority

Posted on July 13, 2011 9:57 p.m.
By Craig Pittman

In a historic vote late Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to yank the Environmental Protection Agency's authority over ...

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