One month, one city, two panels looking at the future of energy, with two very different tones.
This October, Jacksonville will host the Florida Energy Summit. The event, sponsored by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the JAX Chamber, is billed as “convening energy leaders from across the state and around the nation to share ideas on diversifying the state’s energy resources, spurring economic growth and promoting energy conservation.”
However, critics who follow climate policy have been quick to point out that even though the Summit is an energy supply event, greenhouse gas emissions and climate policy are not even mentioned as line items on the agenda.
Also this month, Jacksonville University is hosting “Climate Change From Several Perspectives: Thinking Globally and Acting Locally,” a panel discussion that ironically also features a JAX Chamber representative, among other stakeholders. The event coincides with the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, will feature a mayoral proclamation, and “will summarize the major issues in climate change as well as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) established through the UN,” according to event organizers.
This seeming cognitive dissonance on climate was highlighted during the recent Climate Reality Project conference in Miami, when former Vice President Al Gore used images of South Beach’s flooded sidewalks to criticize Gov. Rick Scott and the state’s power companies for ignoring the effects of a warming planet.
Under Scott, the Department of Environmental Protection has avoided using the phrase climate change, but the governor denied he banned the term.