Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Florida officially denies climate change

Easily the most annoying feature of the culture of USA is its infatuation with the notions of motivation.  The most common manifestation, of course, comes from  religious practice—as in, "If you believe in your heart and in truest purity, your fondest wishes will be granted by a loving and benevolent god!"  The other Leisure Class occupations have also jumped on this bandwagon with both feet.  Athletics is a perfect example.  American football is mind-bogglingly complex complete with fat playbooks, high-tech scouting, and trainers with advanced degrees in sports medicine.  ESPN has exactly TWO on-screen talents (Trent Dilfer and Ron Jaworski) covering the sport who are willing to describe the building blocks of winning teams.  The rest are full-fledged members of the "you gotta believe—want it more" school of sports reporting.  Their idea of thoughtful coverage is speculating on why the death of some player's mother was responsible for a surprise victory.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, this refusal to learn the details and concentrate on the magic of having correct wishes is NOT confined to religion and devout observances.  The whole idea of cutting unemployment benefits is driven by the belief that folks will be driven to find non-existence jobs if we would only make their lives more miserable.  The almost useless "debate" over climate change is a tug of war over competing versions of motivation (and missing the point.)  The lefties believe that if you would just alter tax incentives for consumption and pass a carbon tax, you could force a solution to fall from heaven.  The righty denialists seem to believe that if we just don't talk about something, it will cease to exist.

And so we have a story of Florida and their official climate change denial systems.  In some ways, it is quite understandable that a state economically driven by petty real estate speculation would want to avoid discussing how much of the state will soon sink beneath the waves.  Real estate speculation lives off of wishful thinking but it is really amazing that there are not some more rational heads within the business who realize that they, more than almost anyone, have a lot to lose from climate change.  Rick Scott, Florida's governor recently responded to a question about man-made climate change by saying that he "is not a scientist."  No, Rick, you are not.  That is why you cannot understand a science-based problem.

Florida Officials Banned From Using Term 'Climate Change'


Officials in Florida have been banned from using the terms "climate change" and "global warming" in official communications, according to a report published by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting on Sunday.

Former officials and employees from the state Department of Environmental Protection told FCIR that they were warned not to used the terms in their work after Gov. Rick Scott (R) took office in 2011.

"We were told not to use the terms 'climate change,' 'global warming' or 'sustainability,'" Christopher Byrd, who served as an attorney in the DEP from 2008 to 2013, told FCIR. "That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors in the Office of General Counsel."

Kristina Trotta, a former DEP employee in Miami, said her boss told her not to used the terms "climate change" or "global warming" during a 2014 staff meeting.

"We were told that we were not allowed to discuss anything that was not a true fact," Trotta told FCIR.

Although Tiffany Cowie, the Department of Environmental Protection's press secretary, told FCIR that "DEP does not have a policy on this," former employees said the unofficial policy began when Scott appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. as the head of the department.

According to Byrd, his supervisor warned him not to used the term "climate change" shortly after Vinyard started as director of the department.

Jeri Bustamante, a spokesperson for the governor, also denied that there was an official policy on the terms.

Scott has avoided the issue of climate change and refused to acknowledge whether he believes human activity has had an impact on the earth's climate.

When asked last year whether he thinks man-made climate change has had an impact on the climate, he told the Miami Herald that he "is not a scientist."

Florida officials still do not use the terms "climate change" and "global warming," but according to FCIR, state officials have started using the term "sea-level rise" again. more


  1. It can be embarrassing to live in Florida...or to know that my home state of Wisconsin has sunk to the likes of Scott Walker.

    1. Wisconsin is something of a puzzle to me too. I look at Wisconsin as this place that gave us a tremendous amount of our Progressive traditions. For years, I have been using the Wisconsin Idea as an example of what Progressives could accomplish. This is a tradition that includes John R. Commons and Richard Ely. The 48ers. C. Wright Mills went to grad school in Madison. Veblen was born in Wisconsin. ETC. Apparently, Walker and Tailgunner Joe are necessary to bring the general level of enlightenment back to average.