Jeb Bush stuck with anti-science bias

March 17, 2015

(printed in Context Florida) We know how Gov. Rick Scott feels about climate change: his administration refuses to allow the words to creep into any state policy documents.

And what about former Gov. Jeb Bush – the likely GOP nominee for president in 2016?

We know about his brother, George W., and climate change denial. The historical record is clear: lobbyists President Bush appointed to run the White House Council on Environmental Quality imposed changes on EPA policies, subjugating science to ideology.

Jeb says, “I am my own man”, in trying to distance himself from unpopular aspects of his brother’s presidency.

But when Jeb was governor, agency staff that interacted with journalists on the environment were also censored. Under Gov. Bush, for instance, the State Department of Health refused to discuss the most severe threat to public health from toxics in the environment: cancer clusters. Read the rest of this entry »


Adam Putnam and the Great Destroyers: Deleting history (and Land) in South Florida

February 6, 2015

(Published by ContextFlorida and reprinted by Counterpunch) Fox News Florida branch, Sunshine State News, printed recently, “Putnam on Water Policy: Get Priorities Right From First, Then Spend Accordingly” (January 23, 2015). Some interpretation is needed for readers inclined to take the faux news source literally.

Adam Putnam is the telegenic, multimillionaire farmer and two-term Secretary of Agriculture for Florida. We last observed Secretary Putnam paving the way for the Cabinet to green light Florida Power & Light’s two new nuclear plants at Turkey Point.

So, it bears paying attention when Sunshine/ Fox surrogate reports what Putnam said to the Florida Legislature about water policy. Read the rest of this entry »

The Future of Water: On the 40th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act

October 19, 2012

When the Clean Water Act was passed by Congress forty years ago under a Republican administration, I was a clueless college undergraduate at Yale. Laws belonged to those serious looking law school students around the corner, perhaps including two I may have passed crossing the quad: Hilary Rodham and Bill Clinton. The environment? It seemed good to me. If I had been questioned, I could have testified, walking with school friends to the banks of the Providence River in Rhode Island to watch the river in flames like the Cuyahoga in Ohio, that triggered the calls for federal clean water standards. Read the rest of this entry »

Blown Away: Big Wind’s Inconvenient Truth

February 11, 2012

(Counterpunch, Feb 10, 2012) The installation of wind turbines too close to houses and personal property is a major headache for the wind power industry, but headache scarcely begins to describe their impact to nearby property owners and neighbors. My property and home are scarcely three quarters of a mile from a three 1.5 megawatt turbine wind farm that went online in November 2009 with blades stretching nearly 400 feet into the air. Read the rest of this entry »

Taking Over BP

June 11, 2010

(Counterpunch) As a routine strategy, “managing expectations” is the best way to deal with disaster. It is easy to understand why BP’s first instinct was to keep the video feed of the oil spill 5,000 feet underground from flowing to the public. BP is continuing to harass and to limit access of reporters from viewing and reporting damaged wildlife. Those oiled birds and sea turtles are toxic to corporate power. The images also contribute substantially to the pressures rising on the Obama administration, as the Gulf of Mexico turns into a horror over a long, hot summer.

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The Police Got There First: Where Money for Environmental Crimes, Goes

March 12, 2010

(Counterpunch) It is little more and a little less than a footnote to an investigation by theMiami Herald of Miami-Dade police who used funds collected from environmental fines to buy SUV’s, Direct TV receivers, high powered rifles, and Costa del Mar sunglasses among other purchases irrelevant to the fund’s intended purpose.

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Fat Tires in the Everglades: A New Place to Ride

January 21, 2010

(Counterpunch) It was a gamble what time to leave Coral Gables. I would either make the meeting on the other side of the state or waste the day missing it.

A hundred miles away in Naples, Collier County commissioners scheduled a 9:00 AM public hearing on its growth management plan. Included, an item brought forward by Miami-Dade County commissioners: whether or not to amend their comprehensive growth map to create a recreational area for off road vehicles in the middle of the Everglades in land owned mostly by Miami-Dade County but on the border with Collier County and designated within the federal boundaries of the Big Cypress National Preserve. Read the rest of this entry »