FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Rebranding Failure as Success

by ALAN FARAGO

So why is the Bush White House advocating for the removal of Everglades National Park from the United Nation’s list of World Heritage Sites in Danger? Orwellian, yes.

According to the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, “the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations, meeting in New Zealand, “commended the US for its investment of scientific and financial resources to rehabilite the site’. And x’ed the Everglades from its endangered ecosystem list.

Now hold on, pardner. If there was ever a poster-child for ruined ecosystems, Florida’s Everglades is it. Joe Podgor, of Friends of the Everglades, once said, “The Everglades is a test. If we pass, we get to keep the planet.” Well, yes.

We certainly are attentive, now, to issues of “keeping the planet”.

But, if you want a prescient estimate of our chances of keeping the planet, consider the damage the building boom of the past decade has done to Florida where the Growth Machine repeatedly advertised, unquestioned by the mass media, its accomplishments as a benefit to society and the economy: cast your eyes on the poor Everglades pinata.

Decades of agitation have not restored the Everglades. What the Everglades demonstrate above all else, in reflection of Joe Podgor’s observation, is that when the United States is confronted with pressure to change economic behavior rooted in the power of corporations, the result is an avalanche of “process” that condemns iniative to a bog as thick and heavy as–well– the Everglades.

One of the core precursor projects in the East Everglades keeps drifting further and further from completion. The price tage for Modified Waters has risen in nearly two decades from just over $100 million to nearly $1 billion. It is meant to balance the needs of an endangered species and also a handful of property owners in the 8.5 Square Mile Area who would not sell their property to the federal government. (A few former county commissioners who opposed the project version that would have subject the entire area to condemnation also owned property in the area.)

In other words, Everglades restoration is either an utter mess or a windfall for land speculators.

A Greenwire story today reports that “the Bush administration had lobbied the international body to remove the Everglades from the list of world-class ecosystems suffering from severe environmental degradation. The Everglades were added to the World Heritage List in 1979 and placed on the danger list in 1993. Todd Willens, Interior’s deputy assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks, said in a statement, “Although full implementation of some restoration measures is still a few years off, we have committed significant resources toward the restoration of the Everglades.'”

“We”? OMG. Did Everglades National Park even know that it was being de-listed? We bet, no. We bet that a poll of Everglades National Park scientists of whether to be de-listed or not would be 100 percent against de-listing.

The federal government has manifestly failed its end of the budget agreement to fund Everglades “restoration”. But for its part, Congress has rightly questioned whether the State of Florida–under Governor Bush, the state seized the leading role in what was intended, originally, as a 50-50 partnership–is really restoring the Everglades or just providing billions to industrial water supply projects to fuel Florida’s growth.

Everglades National Park is under-funded and at a competitive disadvantage in asserting science policy over restoration rubrics, primarily water supply enhancements for the cities and agriculture.

Would President Bush use the UN’s de-listing of the Everglades as an environmental “achievement” in his legacy speech, when he leaves office? If he does, it won’t be the first piece of misinformation rebranding failure as accomplishment.

ALAN FARAGO of Coral Gables, who writes about the environment and the politics of South Florida, can be reached at alanfarago@yahoo.com.

 

 

 

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades and can be reached at afarago@bellsouth.net

More articles by:
May 30, 2016
Ron Jacobs
The State of the Left: Many Movements, Too Many Goals?
James Abourezk
The Intricacies of Language
Porfirio Quintano
Hillary, Honduras, and the Murder of My Friend Berta
Patrick Cockburn
Airstrikes on ISIS are Reducing Their Cities to Ruins
Uri Avnery
The Center Doesn’t Hold
Raouf Halaby
The Sailors of the USS Liberty: They, Too, Deserve to Be Honored
Rodrigue Tremblay
Barack Obama’s Legacy: What Happened?
Matt Peppe
Just the Facts: The Speech Obama Should Have Given at Hiroshima
Deborah James
Trade Pacts and Deregulation: Latest Leaks Reveal Core Problem with TISA
Michael Donnelly
Still Wavy After All These Years: Flower Geezer Turns 80
Ralph Nader
The Funny Business of Farm Credit
Paul Craig Roberts
Memorial Day and the Glorification of Past Wars
Colin Todhunter
From Albrecht to Monsanto: A System Not Run for the Public Good Can Never Serve the Public Good
Rivera Sun
White Rose Begins Leaflet Campaigns June 1942
Tom H. Hastings
Field Report from the Dick Cheney Hunting Instruction Manual
Weekend Edition
May 27, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
Silencing America as It Prepares for War
Rob Urie
By the Numbers: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are Fringe Candidates
Paul Street
Feel the Hate
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
Basic Income Gathers Steam Across Europe
Andrew Levine
Hillary’s Gun Gambit
Jeffrey St. Clair
Hand Jobs: Heidegger, Hitler and Trump
S. Brian Willson
Remembering All the Deaths From All of Our Wars
Dave Lindorff
With Clinton’s Nixonian Email Scandal Deepening, Sanders Must Demand Answers
Pete Dolack
Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!
Gunnar Westberg
Close Calls: We Were Much Closer to Nuclear Annihilation Than We Ever Knew
Peter Lee
To Hell and Back: Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Karl Grossman
Long Island as a Nuclear Park
Binoy Kampmark
Sweden’s Assange Problem: The District Court Ruling
Robert Fisk
Why the US Dropped Its Demand That Assad Must Go
Martha Rosenberg – Ronnie Cummins
Bayer and Monsanto: a Marriage Made in Hell
Brian Cloughley
Pivoting to War
Stavros Mavroudeas
Blatant Hypocrisy: the Latest Late-Night Bailout of Greece
Arun Gupta
A War of All Against All
Dan Kovalik
NPR, Yemen & the Downplaying of U.S. War Crimes
Randy Blazak
Thugs, Bullies, and Donald J. Trump: The Perils of Wounded Masculinity
Murray Dobbin
Are We Witnessing the Beginning of the End of Globalization?
Daniel Falcone
Urban Injustice: How Ghettos Happen, an Interview with David Hilfiker
Gloria Jimenez
In Honduras, USAID Was in Bed with Berta Cáceres’ Accused Killers
Kent Paterson
The Old Braceros Fight On
Lawrence Reichard
The Seemingly Endless Indignities of Air Travel: Report from the Losing Side of Class Warfare
Peter Berllios
Bernie and Utopia
Stan Cox – Paul Cox
Indonesia’s Unnatural Mud Disaster Turns Ten
Linda Pentz Gunter
Obama in Hiroshima: Time to Say “Sorry” and “Ban the Bomb”
George Souvlis
How the West Came to Rule: an Interview with Alexander Anievas
Julian Vigo
The Government and Your i-Phone: the Latest Threat to Privacy
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail