Tag Archives: florida

Florida governor fakes interest in climate change to grab votes

From Jeb Bush to Rick Scott, Floridians have had about as much luck with politicians as the 40-year-old Virgin did with the ladies. Of course, they do keep voting these boneheads into office, so our pity for their plight is limited.

In his latest charade as a human being with a conscience, Florida Republican governor Rick Scott, who has been adamant that climate change ranks up there with unicorns and Bigfoot, finally acquiesced and met with scientists. According to Farron Cousins of Desmogblog, the meeting was more about propaganda than protecting the environment.

Florida State University environmental science professor Jeffrey Chanton gives a presentation to Florida governor Rick Scott on climate change on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 in Tallahassee, Fla. Photo: Brendan Farrington/AP)

Florida State University environmental science professor Jeffrey Chanton gives a presentation to Florida governor Rick Scott on climate change on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014 in Tallahassee, Fla. Photo: Brendan Farrington/AP

See, Scott’s biggest rival in the next election (Charlie Crist – again) does actually believe in climate change, so this meeting was all about Scott cleaning up his drill-baby-drill persona in order to nab the votes of those lucky folks living on the Florida’s soon-to-be-submerged coastlines.

Florida Governor Rick Scott Meets With Climate Scientists, Learns Nothing
by Farron Cousins, Desmogblog, August 26, 2014

[...]

Governor Scott recently met with prominent climate scientists from universities with the expressed goal of learning all that he could about climate change.  The truth, however, is that the entire experience was more of a publicity stunt than a science lesson.

According to the scientists, at least half of the thirty-minute meeting was spent with Scott asking questions about the scientists’ education, classes they teach, and various other “small talk” questions.  This left them only 15 minutes to explain the science behind anthropogenic climate change to the inattentive governor.

Check out the full article on Desmogblog. To read a play-by-play of the “meeting,” check out the aptly titled article, “After Climate Meeting, Scientists Still Aren’t Sure That Rick Scott Is ‘Climate Literate,'” by Katie Valentine from Think Progress.

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EF! Banner Hang in honor of Judi Bari Day

judi bari day banner

Palm Beach Gardens, FL-Early this morning Everglades Earth First!  activists hung a banner over I-95 reading “Save Briger Forest Now!” to  demand that the Briger forest be saved in honor of Judi Bari Day.

“For it is the working people who have their hands on the machinery.  And only by stopping the machinery of destruction can we ever hope to stop this madness.” Judi Bari

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Forests, Genetic Engineering

BREAKING: Protesters disrupt genetically engineered trees corporate event

May 14, 2014. Source: Global Justice Ecology Project

Industry Warned: “Plant genetically engineered trees and expect resistance”

Tallahassee, FL (US) – Demonstrators today interrupted an event hosted by genetically engineered (GE) tree company ArborGen, warning participants to expect growing protests should they plant GE trees. The event brought together landowners and foresters from the industrial tree plantation industry and featured top ArborGen scientists working on GE trees.

“We sent a clear message to participants — plant genetically engineered trees and expect resistance,” said Keith Brunner, an organizer with Global Justice Ecology Project. “Invasive GE eucalyptus, planned for deployment across the US South, would irrevocably devastate native ecosystems, exacerbate droughts and lead to catastrophic firestorms. This must be stopped before it is too late.”

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) is expected soon to accept public comments following the release of its draft Environmental Impact Statement on ArborGen’s request to commercially sell millions of potentially flammable and invasive genetically engineered eucalyptus trees, for planting across the US South from South Carolina to Texas. The USDA will ultimately issue a final decision approving or denying ArborGen’s request.

GJEP member Keith Brunner and Stephanie Hall, Toad Clan, Seminolee Miccosukee, interrupt an ArborGen event. Photo: Will Bennington/GJEP

Stephanie Hall, a member of the Toad clan of the Seminolee Miccosukee People, interrupts the ArborGen event. Photo: Will Bennington/GJEP

If approved, ArborGen’s freeze-tolerant GE eucalyptus, designed to be planted in industrial tree plantations for bioenergy and pulp production, would be the first commercially approved GE forest tree in the US. Approval of GE eucalyptus could open the door to approval for other GE species like GE pine and poplar, which pose additional risks due to the likelihood of contamination of wild relatives in native forests.

Stephanie Hall, a member of the Toad Clan of the Seminolee Miccosukee People, also pointed out the link between ArborGen’s plans and the history of genocide against Indigenous Peoples in the region: “ArborGen could not be planning for the development of vast industrial plantations of genetically engineered eucalyptus trees on land in Florida without the previous history of genocide and forced removal of Indigenous men, women, children, plants and animals from the region. People should not be complicit in this — we must ban genetically engineered trees.”

“Early last year, the USDA received nearly 40,000 comments opposing ArborGen’s GE eucalyptus, with only a handful received in favor,” stated Anne Petermann,Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project.  “Then in May of 2013, the international Tree Biotechnology conference in Asheville, NC was protested and disrupted for almost a week by hundreds of protesters. These protests and today’s disruption are only the beginning. As the USDA considers ArborGen’s request to legalize GE trees, opposition to these trees and the threats they pose to communities and native forests continues to grow.”

 

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Filed under Actions / Protest, Biodiversity, Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Climate Change, Commodification of Life, Corporate Globalization, False Solutions to Climate Change, Forests, GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Green Economy, Indigenous Peoples

KPFK Earth Watch: Florida Power and Light threatens Seminole nation, panther habitat with plans for Florida’s 2nd biggest power plant

March 13, 2014.

kpfk_logoDanny Billie, of the Independent Traditional Seminole nation, discusses Florida Power and Light’s plan to build one of the nation’s largest fossil fuel power plants adjacent to the Big Cypress Seminole reservation and right in the middle of critical panther habitat.

Global Justice Ecology Project teams up with the Sojourner Truth show on KPFK Pacifica Los Angeles for a weekly Earth Minute each Tuesday and a weekly Earth Watch interview each Thursday.

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Filed under Climate Change, Ending the Era of Extreme Energy, Energy, False Solutions to Climate Change, Hydrofracking, Indigenous Peoples

Seminole Tribe leads protest walk against gas-fired power plant

By Eileen Soler, February 25, 2014. Source: The Seminole Tribune

The West County Energy Center hard fought by Everglades Earth First! from 2006-2008. It is said that the proposed Hendry County Energy center is to be a carbon copy of this plant.  Photo: Earth First! Newswire

The West County Energy Center hard fought by Everglades Earth First! from 2006-2008. It is said that the proposed Hendry County Energy center is to be a carbon copy of this plant. Photo: Earth First! Newswire

BIG CYPRESS — Plans are in the works for Tribal members, environmental activists and all friends of nature to let their feet do the talking against a massive Florida Power & Light (FPL) plant that could be built on property a stone’s throw from the Big Cypress Reservation.

Carrying banners, more than 200 who oppose the plant will begin walking April 17 from Big Cypress Reservation to the seat of Hendry County government, the LaBelle Courthouse Complex at 25 E. Hickpoochee Ave.

Demonstrators hope to bring widespread attention and support for the Seminole Tribe v. Hendry County case set to be heard at the courthouse April 21. The case concerns land zoning changes to the FPL property that could clear a path for construction of one of the largest gas powered plants in the country.

Activists, elders, traditionals and Tribal department heads gathered Feb. 7 at the Frank Billie Office on Big Cypress to strategize for the roughly 70-mile walk. They are driven by science-based predictions that the plant will bring disastrous consequences to the environmentally sensitive land and end the delicate balance of nature, history and culture for the Seminoles. Continue reading

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Genetically modified mosquitoes set off uproar in Florida Keys

By Patricia Sagastume, November 9, 2013  Source: Al Jazeera America

KEY WEST, Fla. ­ In late October, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Department of Agriculture tested insecticidal aerial spraying techniques over a warfare range in Jacksonville, Fla. The purpose: to evaluate how to lower populations of the blood-feeding Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits dengue fever.

Farther south, on the Treasure Coast, Florida health officials had a busy summer trying to control the most recent dengue fever outbreak. Some 22 people contracted the disease, known as break-bone fever for its debilitating joint pain and severe flu-like symptoms.

“It’s very difficult to spray everywhere where this mosquito hides and breeds,” said Gene Lemire, director of Martin County Mosquito Control. “It’s very sneaky.”

Officials admit they are having mixed results with conventional methods, such as fumigations and aerial spraying. The mosquito is tough to hunt down. It thrives in tropical metropolitan areas, moves indoors and can hide in closets, even in folds of laundry.

It’s something most people agree is a problem. But a different and controversial potential solution is splitting communities in the Sunshine State.

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Filed under Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Justice, False Solutions to Climate Change, Genetic Engineering, Greenwashing, Water

Can GMOs save the orange?

Note: The emerging controversy over genetically engineered orange trees adds to the already bitter fight for a total ban on all genetically engineered trees.  South Carolina-based ArborGen is moving forward with plans to commercially sell genetically engineered eucalyptus trees in the southern US — a move which would have devastating impacts on native forests and rural communities.

Global Justice Ecology Project and the Campaign to STOP Genetically Engineered trees are taking action to stop this disaster before it starts.  Sign the petition calling for a ban on genetically engineered trees here: http://globaljusticeecology.org/petition.php

-The GJEP Team

By Annalisa Palmer, 19 August, 2013. Source: One Green Planet

GMO-orangeWhat does a jumping plant louse have to do with GMO oranges? The Asian citrus psyllid is said louse, and it has led the president of Southern Gardens Citrus, and supervisor of half a million trees, Ricke Kress, to allow for Florida oranges to be genetically modified. Amidst the Washington 522 GMO labeling campaign, covert Trans-Pacific Partnership, and increased public awareness of GMOs, this recent decision has been met with a black and white schism: consumers vehemently against a GMO version of the beloved citrus, and those for it. This pesky psyllid, however, is directly linked to Kress’s decision to allow for the genetic modification of the crop since it has caused citrus greeningpreventing ripening, leaving sad, sour, green oranges behind.

As Kress is also head of a factory that produces orange juice for the Tropicana and Florida’s Natural brands, GMO oranges seemed to be the right direction to go in. Now, he worries that the “natural” label on the Florida’s Natural juice will have to be removed. Pepsi’s Naked juice brand was obliged to remove their label because of GMO ingredients, so Tropicana and Florida will probably have to do the same once the GMO juice hits shelves. Continue reading

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Filed under GE Trees, Genetic Engineering, Industrial agriculture

Florida Keys prepare for sea level rise

By Jennifer Kay, Associated Press, July 2, 2013. Source: ABC News

Photo: Rob O'Neal/AP

Photo: Rob O’Neal/AP

Hurricane storm surge can inundate the narrow, low-lying Florida Keys, but that is far from the only water worry for officials.

A tidal gauge operating since before the Civil War has documented a sea level rise of 9 inches in the last century, and officials expect that to double over the next 50 years. So when building a new Stock Island fire station, county authorities went ahead added a foot and a half over federal flood planning directives that the ground floor be built up 9 feet.

Seasonal tidal flooding that was once a rare inconvenience is now so predictable that some businesses at the end of Key West’s famed Duval Street stock sandbags just inside their front doors, ready anytime.
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