I am glad that the new nickel will feature a smiling Thomas Jefferson.
In Florida, it has been hard to swallow the continuous evasion by state bureaucrats and elected officials concerning massive outbreaks of toxic red tides and polluted rivers.
Smiling nickels would make me happy.Red tides are naturally occurring, they say, failing to add how much taxpayer money and effort has been spent to discredit scientific evidence to the contrary.
Or they say that science is inconclusive, while failing to note how powerful industries have obstructed investment in knowledge, except where it serves their reason.
Gov. Jeb Bush attempted to remove parts of the Caloosahatchee River from the list of impaired waters required by federal law. The Caloosahatchee is a major artery gushing pollution into the Gulf of Mexico.
Maybe the dime could get a smile, too.
This year, a federal appeals court ruled that Florida can’t redefine polluted waterways in midstream.
The state Legislature is more pliable. The governor succeeded in passing a new law to redefine pollution in the Everglades, but another federal court upbraided him.
On the quarter, could George Washington have a smile, too?
What is happening is this: Environmental change is accelerating much faster than the capacity of leadership to adapt.
That is because in the lexicon of politics today, the first indicator of sustainability is industry profit, and that is why Alexander Hamilton should have a smile.
Lately, in Collier County—one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States — 480 tons of algae-stricken dead fish have been hauled into local dumps.
Those fish belonged to all of us, or, to none of us. That scowler, Andrew Jackson, let him smile.
How much does accumulated, slightly elevated water temperatures in the Gulf compound effects of man-made pollution? We don’t know.
But Benjamin Franklin, the nation’s first scientist, should be smiling on a hundred-dollar bill.
What we don’t know can’t make us change.
Good scientists have never believed that there will be a point in time when answers will be available to assure policy-makers how the intricacies of nature can be sustained. In the absence of certainty, caution should prevail.
The opposite is true.
John F. Kennedy, who asked not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country, would not be smiling. Put a smile on him, anyway.
In the case of lawsuits brought by environmental organizations against past injuries, “best available science” is often defined as only that science that was available at the time of the offensive action, like asking the judiciary to swim with concrete shoes.
If we cared about the web of creation, we wouldn’t disqualify new evidence from judicial proceedings on environmental harm.
Smile, Susan B. Anthony, that suffragette who would have been pro-choice if she had a chance.
The more the planet warms up, the more that vested interests demand “strict interpretation” of laws that impinge on the rights of profit.
State legislatures, epitomized by Florida’s, and the Republican majority in Congress are desperate to promote new legislation that further codifies the segmentation of the common wealth of society.
Smile, Abe Lincoln.
The more that polar ice caps disappear, the more desperate Congress and state legislatures are to write new laws codifying the evasion of responsibility, the limitation of liability, so that the parts are always more valuable than the whole.
Smile on that $20 bill, Ulysses S. Grant.
Last week, a federal judge struck a blow at the plan by Florida’s governor to avoid complying with laws governing the destruction of wetlands. The federal law says that you cannot get a wetlands fill permit unless the cumulative impacts of the entire project are disclosed.
What Bush supported was the piecemeal permitting for the Scripps Institute at a site where a negative assessment by the state’s own expert had been blocked by environmental managers.
The governor has a problem with federal authority in service of the environment. Federal authority has a problem with federal authority.
The same week that Judge Donald Middlebrook sided with Sierra Club and Florida Wildlife Federation, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to eviscerate the Endangered Species Act.
So smile on William McKinley, Grover Cleveland, James Madison, Woodrow Wilson and Salmon P. Chase.
What you have in common is that you are no longer currency in circulation. So why not smile?
Soon enough, we will, too.