Monday, March 09, 2015

The GOP, the Kremlin Winter and Florida's Future … by gimleteye

The weekend news from Florida went viral: Tristram Korten, for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, writes that Florida's environmental officials "have been ordered not to use the term "climate change" or "global warming" in any official communications, emails or reports."

As the news spread,  Gov. Rick Scott's aides sought to damp down the controversy.

These days a Kremlin winter is solidly in place around the state capitol. Its signs are everywhere.

In Gov. Scott's recent state of the state speech, there was not a single mention of the most important two issues moving through the legislature: changing state water law to facilitate polluters and hijacking the largest pot of money ever allocated to land purchases for environmental restoration, through Amendment 1; the constitutional amendment passed by 78 percent of Florida voters.

The adopters of the Kremlin winter in Tallahassee include the most ambitious of GOP officials edging to move up in ranks: Agriculture Secretary Adam Putnam, House leader Steve Crisafuli, and Representative Matt Caldwell.

If it does not already exist, one can anticipate that soon there will be a list of unspeakable terms which Republican legislators must commit to memory before being sworn into office. The first entry is "climate change". The second entry is "compulsory regulations". The third entry is "Fair Districts" and the fourth is "methyl mercury".

Methyl mercury is a toxic that abounds in fresh water bodies in Florida like the Everglades. If you listen to Big Sugar billionaires like the Fanjuls of Coral Gables and Palm Beach, they will tell you their farming practices have nothing to do with it. Methyl mercury damages fetuses and causes early development disabilities in children. In fact, it is more concentrated in the umbilical cord than anywhere else in a pregnant woman's body.

Long before the Kremlin winter descended on "climate change", methyl mercury was on the "do not admit" list with Florida's environmental officials.

When I try explaining to audiences that the one government agency with a heavier veil of secrecy than the Florida Department of Environmental Protection is the Florida Department of Health related to toxics and cancer epidemiology, listeners stare at me blank-faced.

As blank-faced as Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the top Florida Democrat in the House of Representatives, whose ears are closed to entreaties of environmentalists to support the buyout of US Sugar lands in the Everglades Agricultural Area.

The Kremlin winter in Tallahassee has Democrats shivering even more than Republicans because they have less protection from the cold.

1 comment:

Alexandria said...

Every time I am at the SFWMD board meeting I talk about Mercury. I am always dismayed at the fact that they just want to talk about phosphorous and nitrogen. The 241 chemicals in most canals in Florida is insane. DDT is still found in the Miami canal and no one talks about it.