Foreigner Determining Florida’s Environmental Policy

Having lived in Florida only since 2003, he has not seen the changes Tolbert has. He has no memory of what Florida was like when manufacturing, automobile, residential and wastewater runoff was killing its bays and estuaries; when industrial and power-plant discharge fouled its air; when Florida was a less healthy place for wildlife and humans alike.

Hah, sucked you in with that one didn’t I? Not like I remember the bad-old-days, but I have been to Biscayne National Park and Bayshore Blvd. – two locales mentioned for their environmental significance.

Scott’s record is too new to understand the possibility for him to fuck this up. Still, Floridians need to be proactive.  Be prepared to flood your congressmen if you want the state to avoid circling the drain.

In the past, un-checked pro-business capitalism led to, among other things, this scenario.

Tampa Bay would be so putrid with waste that the water, as it once did, would tarnish silver in Bayshore Boulevard homes. Raw sewage would be gushing into waters around the state’s world-class beaches, industrial discharge would be expanding the marine dead zone at the mouth of the Fenholloway River and concrete seawalls of dredge-and-fill projects (once completely unregulated) would rise in place of the last mangrove habitats.

And here’s the killer, the one fact that seems most out of place because you never hear it.

An independent study conducted by University of North Carolina researchers, and confirmed by numerous other studies, finds that “states with the best environmental records also offer the best job opportunities and climate for long-term economic development.”

Does anyone find that hard to believe? Think of previously horrible cities in terms of environmental issues and where they are now. Detroit, Michigan; Gary, Indiana; all of New Jersey, and so on. Whereas liberalizing influences in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Chicago and New York City saved those metropolitan areas from further decline after years of environmental ravages.

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