Eyes wide open on Florida

January 12, 2005

Many people who care about restoring the Everglades will be in Naples this weekend at the annual meeting of the Everglades Coalition, representatives of 45 conservation-minded groups from the local, state and national level, and fishermen, hunters and Native Americans.

More met in Orlando last November at the annual conference of the American Water Resources Association, eager for opportunities in water management, pipes and infrastructure imbedded in the latest iteration of hope for the Everglades: some $13 billion and counting. Read the rest of this entry »

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Swimming home from the Galapagos

January 5, 2005

In the Galapagos on New Year’s Eve, a few minutes past midnight, Ecuadorians pile the streets with carefully crafted life-sized papier-mache figurines representing the year’s aggravations elaborately staged on stoops and storefronts after Christmas and set them afire.

On San Cristobal Island, the year’s most popular themes were political vanity and corruption. What brighter way to look forward to the new year than to burn the ashes of that old darkness?

For Americans, accustomed to legislatures doing their worst in late hours of the night or on August days when no one ventures out unless there is money in it, what comfort to imagine a simple flame could transform victimizers into victims at the stroke of midnight before they can shake the sleep from their eyes and bluster with self-righteous indignation. Read the rest of this entry »