Our Brutal Capitalism

  • No universal healthcare–growing millions of people with no access to healthcare and worse during the pandemic and the high unemployment of those depending on employer-based healthcare.
  • Concentrated wealth and income in the upper 10 to 1 percent of people.
  • Concentration of political power in corporations and high wealth groups.
  • Broken presidential voting favoring small, rural, poor states with undemocratic local voting and the electoral college.
  • Low minimum wages and declining value of median incomes.
  • Racially segregated education, healthcare, employment, housing and public services like clean water, internet access, clean air, equity justice.
  • Socialism (meaning government benefits and subsidies) for big corporations and the wealthy, and the free market competition and harsh capitalism for the workers, poor and underprivileged.
  • Unchecked monopoly power of large, powerful corporations.
  • Exploitation of undocumented immigrants in low-wage dangerous work.
  • “Great wealth flows from great power; great power depends on great wealth. Wealth and power have become one and the same.” (p. 10. Robert B. Reich. The System: Who Rigged It, How We Fix It. 2020)
  • Economic growth now mostly favors the rich.
  • Weakening social safety net of social security, medicare, medicaid, unemployment insurance, SNAP (food stamp) benefits…

Wildlife Along Coral Gables Canal, Doctors Hospital

Try to identify the several herons nesting in the trees and shrubs along the Coral Gables Canal beside the valet parking lot in front of Doctors Hospital. This is just one evidence of abundant wildlife that depend on the green buffer between the parking lot and the canal.

World’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline, report finds ‘speeds of many negative changes … are tracking the worst-case scenarios’ | ThinkProgress

This excellent post pulls together the historically significant report on the decline of the oceans.

A “shocking” report from the International Programme on the State of the Ocean (IPSO) comes from the “first inter-disciplinary international meeting of marine scientists of its kind and was designed to consider the cumulative impact of multiple stressors on the ocean, including warming, acidification, and overfishing.”

via World’s oceans in ‘shocking’ decline, report finds ‘speeds of many negative changes … are tracking the worst-case scenarios’ | ThinkProgress.

State of the Ocean–Another Threat For The Planet

This should be of the greatest of concern to us in South Florida.

A high-level international workshop convened by IPSO met at the University of Oxford earlier this year. It was the first inter-disciplinary international meeting of marine scientists of its kind and was designed to consider the cumulative impact of multiple stressors on the ocean, including warming, acidification, and overfishing.

The 3 day workshop, co-sponsored by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), looked at the latest science across different disciplines.

The 27 participants from 18 organisations in 6 countries produced a grave assessment of current threats — and a stark conclusion about future risks to marine and human life if the current trajectory of damage continues: that the world’s ocean is at high risk of entering a phase of extinction of marine species unprecedented in human history.

via State of the Ocean.org – Solutions: New Report: International Earth System expert workshop on ocean impacts and stresses.

Five Environmental Essentials for South Florida–Tropical Aududon Society

I urge you to read this perfect examination of the five biggest environmental concerns for our community.  Governor Scott is doing great damage to our environment.

http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1102678839080-255/5+environmental+essentials.pdf

Fl Development Management is Dead

Gov. Scott Signs Damaging HB 7207

Without fanfare, on Thursday, June 2 Gov. Scott signed into law the damaging HB 7207. Among other things, this sweeping growth management legislation virtually eliminates any meaningful state checks and balances over local government decisions, decimates citizens’ ability to effectively challenge decisions, and opens Florida’s rural lands for sprawling development. We thank the dedicated citizens who made numerous calls to their Legislators and the Governor to try to halt this attack on Florida’s quality of life.

Here is some recent newspaper coverage on this issue:

St. Petersburg Times — An obituary for Florida Growth Management, June 5, 2011

Sarasota Herald-Tribune — Gov. Rick Scott reverses 25 years of growth management policy, June 3, 2011.

Palm Beach Post — Growth management loses muscle, June 3, 2011.

Florida Current — DCA positions being filled even as department appears headed towards elimination, June 3, 2011.

Visit 1000 Friends at www.1000fof.org, on Facebook, or Twitter (@floridafriends) to find out the latest on growth management in Florida.

More On Gov. Scott Killing Florida’s Growth and Environmental Management

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Future Role of Florida’s Regional Planning Councils?

We now understand that when he signed the budget last week, Gov. Scott line-item vetoed $2.5 million of general revenue in state funding for Florida’s Regional Planning Councils. In return for a portion of this funding, every year the state’s 11 RPCs each enter into contracts with the Department of Community Affairs to provide specified regional planning services.

Effective July 1, the RPCs will no longer receive this funding and will need to determine what services they will provide for their state-mandated functions. It is important to note that this funding is typically a small portion of each RPC’s annual budget.

While HB 7207 made sweeping changes to many aspects of Florida’s growth management system, it left the statutory functions of the RPCs largely intact. How or if RPCs will interact with local governments on the review of comprehensive plans, amendments and Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs) as required by state law is unknown at this time.

On a related issue, the growth management bill HB 7207 was transmitted to the Governor’s Office last week and he has 15 days to sign it into law.

1000 Friends will continue to provide regular updates on the many changes to Florida’s growth management process brought about by the 2011 Legislature and Governor Scott. Please visit www.1000fof.org, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter (@floridafriends) for timely updates.