Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Lake O Shit Show ... by gimleteye

Tomorrow in Stuart there is going to be a public hearing, manned by Florida legislators and lead by state senator Joe Negron. On one side will be residents who have taken one million pounds of nitrogen down the gullet of the St. Lucie Estuary since May. On the other side will be sugar growers who dominate the water management system that made it so.

The right-wing, Fox News proxy, sugar sponsored Sunshine State News takes to task Martin County residents for resisting, over many years, the development of sewer systems instead of cesspits. From pundit Nancy Smith, the problem is never Big Sugar and it is never the radical GOP legislature she defends. Smith does spend one weak sentence allowing that Fl. state senator Joe Negron, who has taken by the way nearly a million dollars from Big Sugar, also vetoed recent legislation that would have required cesspit monitoring. Smith blames cesspits, not Big Sugar, for the St. Lucie sludge casting algae blooms so toxic that residents are warned not to touch the water.

No mention in the right wing press, either, anywhere of the role of deep well injection of scarcely treated municipal wastewater or the likely subsurface migration of filthy water from sugar fields into the badly damaged estuaries.

Gov. Rick Scott and his environmental defenders will also be featured, tomorrow, in the Lake O Shit Show. Audubon of Florida, the go-to quote for the mainstream press, simply can't state the bright truth for audiences of news. There is always with Audubon a gallon of sugary hope mixed into the vat of toxic slime.

Here is the unvarnished truth: Lake Okeechobee, the liquid heart of Florida and source of drinking water for millions and the Everglades and estuaries on both coasts, is a Shit Show; filled with the accumulated weight of fertilizers, pumped into and back from Big Sugar, and run off from dairy farms north of the lake, and from municipalities.

The fix has always been in view: purchase tens of thousands of acres south of the Lake, now used by Big Sugar, as engineered filtering marshes. Former Gov. Charlie Crist, through his proposed purchase of US Sugar lands five years ago, set in motion a plan for a flow-way give the adjacent estuaries a break; a plan, by the way, that never saw the light of day during two earlier terms of Gov. Jeb! Bush.

Jeb! loved Big Sugar. The Crist plan tacitly acknowledged the illegalities of the Bush Everglades schemes. The Crist plan was expensive. It was nonetheless applauded by environmentalists at the time, who also understood that completing the flow-way required the addition of lands owned by the Fanjul billionaires, strategically located to make a flow-way work.

The radical right and Tea Party activists in Florida, funded by Koch Brothers, by Big Sugar, and corporate interests hiding in 527 Committees, killed the plan. Why? Because it infringed on the ability of billionaires, billionaires who benefit from one of the most outrageous taxpayer subsidies in the US Farm Bill, to extract the last dime from sugar production before selling to the highest bidder.

The political fortunes of Gov. Crist were throttled by Big Sugar who, in retribution for the flow-way plan, pushed US Senator Marco Rubio into the Senate.

At tomorrow's hearing in Stuart, the Lake O shit show continues ... which is too bad because it stinks to high heaven.


youbetcha' said...

I loved Lake O growing up. I used to go fishing there as a kid. My cousins even as adults used to come down to the lake from GA with their bass boat. Now, I am not so sure.

We need to watch the water level. Let's see who opens the drain and whether that will concentrate the mess.

Geniusofdespair said...

Loved this post!

Anonymous said...

Please stop using sexist verbs! Staffed is a gender-neutral verb.

Geniusofdespair said...

Omg I missed your sexist verbs.

Anonymous said...

Some people are never happy on the lake level.
It's too high because of global warming, it's too low because of global warming.
It appears as if any reason for any change in anything climate related is an excuse to shoot at republicans. While we can try to be one people we all don't think alike but sometimes reading these type of articles leaves the impression that someone has to be blamed.
Isn't the real problem with the consumer who drinks the water, eats the food Florida farmers raise and use the sewage system moving here at 1,500 people per day?
I guess only republicans move to Florida which flies in the face of the past two presidential elections.
So go ahead and tear down the Lake O dike, restore the Everglades and eliminate the Southern Florida evidence of human existence.

The birds, fish and reptiles will be happy.

Anonymous said...

What on earth does your comment have to do with sugar production polluting our water supply?

Anonymous said...

Just more money making by the spin machine.

100panthers said...

'The Enablers"

"Audubon of Florida, the go-to quote for the mainstream press, simply can't state the bright truth for audiences of news. There is always with Audubon a gallon of sugary hope mixed into the vat of toxic slime.

Jay Honan said...

Calling Nancy Smith right wing media is an insult to to right wing media. Even calling her media is a insult to everyone involved in media. Call if for what it is, she does PR work for the highest bidders sprinkled with a little "news".