The Real Outrage Is So Few Of Us Are Outraged

stop epa

 

The real outrage is so few of us are outraged. We don’t throw politicians out of office any more for allowing our air and water to be poisoned. And the politicians know that. So do the high-rollers who bankroll them.

We have been known to criticize the EPA and the DEP, but that is always because they do not protect enough.  Take them away and we have devastation.  The question is can our environment outlast the current policy of non-protection?

We are still headed toward two solutions –  new leaders and litigation.

Go to this link to read Ron Cunningham’s complete article in the Gainesville Sun.

Comments by OSFR historian Jim Tatum.
-A river is like a life:  once taken, it cannot be brought back-


RON’S VIEW

RonCunningham1 In: The Real Outrage Is So Few Of Us Are Outraged | Our Santa Fe River, Inc. | Protecting the Santa Fe River in North Florida
Ron Cunningham

Attacks on environmental regulations endanger us all

Imagine how many local jobs we could have created with $26.5 million.

Instead, we had to blow it on a haven for bird watchers.

Horrible.

Ostensibly, the purpose of Gainesville’s Sweetwater Wetlands Park is to filter nutrient-laden sewage effluent before it flows down Alachua Sink into the Floridan aquifer.

But let’s be clear. So far as we know, nobody ever died of a little sweet water in the ground.

Big Government overreach. Blame the Environmental Protection Agency. Speaking of which: The EPA put Gainesville through a quarter century of bureaucratic hell by slapping a Superfund designation on an old creosote plant that, so far as we know, never killed anybody.

Damn the EPA.

And that’s just the local damage wrought by our federal environmental overlords.

Think of the billions squandered trying to put the Everglades back together after visionary Florida politicians and entrepreneurs spent a century ditching and draining that very same bankable asset.

Or what was spent trying to clean up the PCB-laden waters of Pensacola, just so a bit of sea grass might grow again. Or trying to keep the St. Johns River from turning green in the summertime.

You call that value added?

Point being that, left to our own devices, we Floridians can surely tend to our own environmental problems without the feds ordering us around. That’s why we have the Florida Department of Environmental Passivity.

Oops, sorry. I mean Environmental Protection.

OK, now that I’ve gotten that out of my system, let’s be honest.

When the Big T tells you we will have clean air and water even as he guts the EPA and nullifies Obama-era protections, he is lying to you.

Likewise Rick Scott’s relentless campaign to get Florida out from under federal environmental oversight, and the Legislature’s indifference to all the crap Big Sugar and Big Ag are flushing into our lakes, streams and bays.

This is not a simple choice between jobs and the environment.

People do get sick from dirty water and contaminated fish. People do die from breathing particulate-laden air. The oldest and the youngest of us are especially vulnerable.

It’s not speculation. And it’s going to get worse.

Those of us old enough to remember have seen this before, and know what comes next.

It’s been a long time since a river in Cleveland caught fire. And, no, the Love Canal was not a Woodstock-style music festival. Some American cities did look like Beijing does now. Jacksonville did reek of paper mills. And the American eagle was on the brink of extinction.

The EPA, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act and Superfund law didn’t just magically appear. They were created because the American people demanded it.

And that’s the problem. Too few of us remember.

“People can’t touch, smell and feel pollution the way they did back in the 1960s, the 1970s,” William Ruckelshaus, the first EPA administrator, recently told National Public Radio. “I think the EPA and state agencies have become a victim of their own success.”

No, the real outrage should be that it took the EPA so long to “do something” about Koppers. And that we were allowed to get away with treating Alachua Sink like a disposal for as long as we did.

The real outrage is so few of us are outraged. We don’t throw politicians out of office any more for allowing our air and water to be poisoned. And the politicians know that. So do the high-rollers who bankroll them.

If you aren’t mad you aren’t paying attention. That could end up being a fatal error. — Ron Cunningham is former editorial page editor of The Sun.

RON CUNNINGHAM

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1 Comment

  1. The Bio Mass plant is another BIG waste of taxpayer money. From what I have heard it now sits idle, because electricity can be generated or purchased for less elsewhere.

    At least maybe the rampant destruction of all the “trash trees” will slow down a bit.

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