Sunday, September 25, 2016

Enemies of the State - The Fanjuls of Florida

The Seminoles called the vast tropical wetlands of Southern Florida Pa-hay-okee. The swamps atop the limestone plateau have been inhabited from 10,000BC, however the recent predation of Man threatened to destroy the Grassy Waters.

Green algae covers the waterways and coastal shores with a thick slime.

The 2013 outbreak was bad.

The 2016 bloom has been worse.

The Everglades have suffered with the expansion of housing into the once impenetrable swamps. The State of Florida receives about $700 million in taxes from real estate transactions and by law a third of this sum was earmarked for the rehabilitation of Everglades, instead the Republican government has diverted the funds to pay off budget shortcomings, as explained by wikipedia in 2008, the State of Florida agreed to buy U.S. Sugar and all of its manufacturing and production facilities for an estimated $1.7 billion. Florida officials indicated they intended to allow U.S. Sugar to process for six more years before dismissing its employees and dismantling the plant. The area, which includes 187,000 acres (760 km2) of land, would then be rehabilitated and water flow from Lake Okeechobee would be restored. In November 2008, the agreement was revised to offer $1.34 billion, allowing sugar mills in Clewiston to remain in production. Critics of the revised plan say that it ensures sugarcane will be grown in the Everglades for at least another decade. Further research is being done to address the continuing production of sugarcane in the Everglades to minimize phosphorus runoff.

Easy to blame the GOP, however the main criminals are the Fanjuls Brothers, whose sugar plantations cover a good percentage of the wetlands, leading to massive runoff of fertilizer during the rainy season. The Cuban-born brothers are big spenders on politics, influencing state and federal legislatures to support their exploitation of the Everglades and their workers.

They have also bought the Press.

The Fanjuls are never mentioned in articles about the green slime.

But what else can you expect for capitalism?

The truth.

Which is that 'we' also are part of the problem with our lawns, cars, and swimming pools and shit.

Despite all our damage the Everglades remain magic.

Nothing better than a canoe trip in them either.

Baby gators, birds, and turtles.

I love them.

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