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Intelligentsia International, Inc. >>> Carbon Cature Advocacy

Global Warming Issues

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Florida Power & Light (FPL) sought approval from the State of Florida to construct a coal-fired power plant in Glades County, just 20 miles from LaBelle. FPL proposed building the first ultra-supercritical pulverized coal combustion power plant in the USA, a system much better than the old style coal plants, but with some fundamental flaws from a global warming perspective.

Our group took a position that this technology was not sufficient. Dr. John Capece advocated a carbon capture design using gasification technology – IGCC (Integrated Gasification and Combined Cycle). Some of the Intelligentsia's program participants opposed the entire idea of any type of coal power plant…and publicly advocated their personal perspectives.

Gasification technology makes CO2 sequestration far more feasible and reduces the emissions of other pollutants such as mercury. IGCC also has much lower water demands. Unfortunately, the Glades County Economic Development Council voted to support the pulverized technology, despite attempts by Dr. Capece to amend the resolution to request a carbon capture design. In doing so, the EDC was effectively stating that a global warming problem does not exist or that it is not a serious concern worthy of its action.

This led Intelligentsia to participation in a statewide information campaign, opposing the pulverized coal design. Even presidential candidate, John Edwards, came to our area to speak on the issue in a special climate change rally. The State of Florida eventually recognized the will of people and rejected FPL's coal plant request - a dramatic change from what was the expected outcome. Building upon what the grassroots efforts started, the Florida governor followed up with a climate change summit featuring speeches by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The lesson of this local experience shows that small, grassroots effort can and does make a difference in a democracy.

During your time with Intelligentsia, you will have an opportunity to learn more about these issues, which in wider perspective affects all of us. Ask yourself - are you willing to contribute towards improving life for people everywhere?

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