Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Algal Mess

Florida, Algae, pollution, responsibility

Florida’s inland waters are clogging up with algae. You can now see the “algae bloom” from space.

What’s the big deal? Well, it stinks. “The blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, contain toxins that are highly dangerous to humans,” explains Harry Sayer at the Orlando Weekly. “Ingestion may cause nausea, vomiting, and liver failure.” No wonder, then, that the State of Florida is in alarm mode, preparing to spend millions of dollars to fight it.

The problem is: fighting water plants is not easy.

Easy or no, it’s a crisis. Animals are “in distress, some are dying,” says a resident of a beach town to which the algal mess has spread. Tourism? Gone. Who wants to smell that mass of green gunk? Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency. Understandable.

Over at ClimateProgress, Samantha Page has found something else to attack:  “Climate Denier Marco Rubio Tries To Tackle Toxic Florida Algae, Is Baffled By Cause.” Now, Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) is not a “climate denier” — a term of art that should make everyone, including environmentalists, cringe. He doesn’t deny the existence of climates. Or climate change. Page quotes him as being skeptical of the effectiveness of proposals to turn the direction of climate change around, back to its previous conditions, to which we have comfortably adapted.

Well, that’s his job.

Still, it is almost certain that increased CO2 in the atmosphere has aided algae growth here and elsewhere. It’s nature’s response. Algae converts the gas to biomass and oxygen.

But Page is also right: the state should look into industrial and agribiz pollution, too, as causes. That is, after all, a basic function of law and government.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

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Florida, Algae, pollution, responsibility


By: CS Admin


  1. The cause is no mystery.

    First, it’s not “Florida’s waterways” that are clogged with algae. It’s Lake Okeechobee, the St. Lucie River (which the Corps of Engineers releases water into from Lake Okeechobee when its level gets high), and the immediate areas that the St. Lucie flows into.

    What feeds the algal blooms in Lake OkeeChobee? Runoff from the surrounding sugar cultivation. The sugar industry is very good at cultivating politicians like Marco Rubio (both when he was a state legislator and now that he’s a US Senator) to keep itself subsidized and protected (including from any responsibility or liability for the damages it does to the environment.

  2. Lynn Atherton Bloxham says:

    Is not it strange when one digs deep enough, almost always it is “cronyism” as the culprit.

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