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Liberals aren’t the only environmentalists in Florida, you know | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Wednesday’s letters to the editor.
 
An aerial photo shows blue-green algae enveloping an area along the St. Lucie River in Stuart a few years ago. Polluted water flows out of Lake Okeechobee into estuaries on both coasts after heavy rains, spurring algae growth.
An aerial photo shows blue-green algae enveloping an area along the St. Lucie River in Stuart a few years ago. Polluted water flows out of Lake Okeechobee into estuaries on both coasts after heavy rains, spurring algae growth.
Published July 19, 2023

Conservatives can be environmentalists

Conservatives approach climate change problem with our common sense | Column, July 15

Luke Strominger’s article on his involvement with the American Conservation Coalition was refreshing. I’m an environmentalist, an unapologetic tree hugger who has been concerned about climate change for decades. I’ve never understood why the environmental movement need always be considered a liberal cause. In my way of thinking, the health and well-being of the planet transcend political alignment. Conservation is in keeping with many conservative principles, as the root of the words indicate.

His organization’s emphasis on “common sense” solutions to climate change is welcome. Too often, the perception of panic allows suboptimal programs to grab our attention, leaving better solutions for another day. Nuclear power is one of those commonsense solutions that is only recently getting the attention it deserves. Unfortunately, given the long lead time for nuclear plants, and given Florida’s experience with mismanagement of nuclear plants, it’s impossible to see anything happening soon. Strominger will need to keep nuclear power on his agenda, but more importantly, he’ll need to focus on solutions with more immediate payback, such as the buildout of clean energy solutions and the elimination of fossil fuel electric generation. That’s common sense at work.

Jon Crawfurd, Gulfport

Up and coming

Conservatives approach climate change problem with our common sense | Column, July 15

So glad to see that young conservatives are searching for answers to climate change. Too bad that the conservatives in actual power haven’t caught on yet. Showing snowballs as proof that it is not happening. Saying for eight-plus years that “I am not a scientist.” These young people better closely look at who they are voting for. If they really care, they should be voting for politicians who share their belief that climate change is a real thing.

Carlos J. DeCisneros, Tampa

Won’t be going away

Gov. DeSantis’ laws will outlast him in higher education | Editorial, July 14

This editorial hit the nail on the head in articulating how the anti-woke laws enacted by the Florida governor and his minions in the Legislature will be doing damage to our higher learning institutions for a long, long time. Just look at how former Gov. Jeb Bush’s policies to privatize public education have hurt our public schools through the years: too-low teacher salaries, teacher shortages, failing infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, etc. Voters need to start electing people who care about education in Florida.

David Burg, Tampa

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We’ll be back

I thought the Republican Party would abandon Trump. I was wrong | Column, July 18

Yes, “Trump Americans” (be they Republicans or independents, but no RINOs or Democrats) who have been attacked for their values and traditions and have been mocked as bigoted, backward or too religious have not gone away. As both our Lord and the Terminator have said, “I’ll be back!”

Dale Kimball, Wesley Chapel

Surprising and costly

DeSantis says no to energy funds | July 12

Thanks, Ron DeSantis. My water heater requires replacement and because it is one of the bigger energy consumers in our home, I decided to replace it with a more energy-efficient model that qualified for both a tax credit and a rebate on the purchase cost and installation of the new unit. I have been waiting on the state of Florida for guidance on how to apply for the rebate portion of this new program only to read in the news that our governor has quietly vetoed accepting the federal money that had been set aside to fund these and other energy improvements that would have cumulatively saved millions of dollars for Florida taxpayers in their utility bills. A Florida government official who wasn’t authorized to speak on the record about the governor’s action characterized his decision as “surprising.” I agree. Anytime a government leader turns down the ability to return taxpayer money back in a way that reduces their cost of living is both surprising and a poor display of leadership.

Rory Frazee, Wimauma

Make it a man’s duty

1st over-the-counter birth control pill gets FDA’s OK | July 14

Modern medicine needs to come up with a sterilization pill for men. Women have been taking care of preventing pregnancy for too long.

Brenda Miller, Plant City

They had their shot

Florida’s Wildlife Corridor got a huge boost in the new budget | Column, July 12

When I read Traci Dean’s guest column regarding Florida’s environmental record, I was certain I was reading a paid advertisement for our governor. I don’t know her, but I wonder how long she has been in Florida. Does she remember bonfires on the beach as a teenager? What about free and open access to beaches that weren’t being rearranged every five years to satisfy wealthy condominium owners?

Recently, there was another weak-kneed attempt to sell conservatives as having the real answers to climate change. I guess since conservative values and their stubborn denial and inaction caused this mess, perhaps the conservative movement can offer us insight on how to mitigate damage directly resulting from their insistence that profits matter more than anything.

Traci Dean failed to mention the bleaching of the reefs around Key West and the toxic algae that is now part of Florida’s “charm.” I believe that “Big Sugar” really does still own Tallahassee and that Ron DeSantis is no different, in fact is arguably worse, than his Republican predecessors going back to Bob Martinez. Republicans/conservatives have had their shot and they have brought us to the brink of climactic catastrophe.

David Costello, Bushnell