Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Fixing what's wrong with Florida's environmental movement … by Larry Fink

(The following is republished from the Sierra Club Everglades Listserve. Larry Fink is a former lead scientist of the South Florida Water Management District.)

There is no margin of safety left in our natural systems for another four decades of environmental incrementalism. In terms of our social contract, commerce is always trying to socialize more risk to privatize more profit, while our inalienable right to life becomes increasingly conditional on a game of toxic substances Russian Roulette, with more and more bullets in the chamber of the revolver held to our heads. In the vernacular, they have already come for our fleece, and now they are coming back for the mutton. In Darwinian terms, its not personal, its just business, but our saving the Everglades, the state, the nation, and the planet is a more serious business and has more evolutionary value than commerce saving its profits, so there will be a reckoning for the unregulated free market's gross mismanagement of the natural economy and its reckless disregard for the public health, safety, and welfare and the natural systems held in public trust, both in this world and the next. If taking God's name in vain is blasphemy, how much greater is the sin when one takes God's great natural works in vain?

In the spirit of game-changing plays, start by agitating for a permanent breach of the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD) with a spillway/flow-way and supporting infrastructure to distribute and stack the emergency releases on private property where they will do the least private harm and the most public good and routine overflows that will rehydrate the Everglades the old fashioned way. This will relieve the pressure on the rapidly failing HHD, stack water on the EAA instead of blowing out the estuaries, stop peat oxidation and claim carbon sequestration credits, and allow us to lease-back the land acquired via eminent domain for routine uses that are more compatible with stacked-water conditions, e.g., rice, aquaculture, algae biofuels production, and that produce wastewater, leachate, and runoff that can be captured and treated by the STAs down to all applicable Everglades Water Quality Standards at the end-of-pipe and is, therefore, a water supply appropriate for rehydrating the Everglades, which wastewater,runoff, and leachate from oxidizing EAA peat soil is not.


Geniusofdespair said...

Good post!

Anonymous said...

Sounds great - if there were STA's down pipe to handle all the "spillway" flow - otherwise you're just re-routing a dirty water problem provided to us compliments of Big Sugar.