11:47:38 pm on
Tuesday 23 Oct 2018

Rick Scott Slimed Us
AJ Robinson

One of my favourite movies is the original Ghostbusters. I loved the scene where the team fights their first ghost, the one later known as Slimer, and Bill Murray faces off against him. They stand at opposite ends of a hallway; the ghost screams and charges Murray, who screams.


Drat, he was slimed.

The camera cuts away. When it returns, Murray is lying on the ground covered in goop. It’s then that he delivers that memorable line, “He slimed me.”

We here in Florida are dealing with a similar issue. A green slime is choking our rivers and polluting our lakes. The flow of that goop has brought red tide to a huge portion of the Gulf of Mexico.

Red tide (above) occurs when plants, which live in water, grow out of control, resulting in water born toxins that kill fish and render shellfish poisonous. Although scientists prefer Harmful Algal Bloom to red tide, the effects as tumultuous. These toxins also make the air difficult to breathe.

This is not the first time our state has faced such an environmental crisis. My wife, Jo Ann, has told me of the hardships she saw years ago working as a respiratory therapist in a Port Charlotte, Florida, hospital. The fumes, the toxic chemicals given off by the red tide, caused all manner of physical distress in countless people, herself included.

Jo Ann ended up having an asthma attack. Thus, we’ve been down this road before. We know what causes it, we know what to do about it and still we don’t act.


Here’s why.

To do so would require taking action against the major agricultural concerns in Florida. All of these are big corporations with deep pockets, lots of politicians in their pockets and a true friend in the governor’s mansion, in the person of Rick Scott. Now he wants to be a senator and one of his chief attack advertisements blames Senator Bill Nelson for the environmental troubles in Florida.

Wow, talk about the classic line of the pot calling the kettle black. This is an old ploy. It was by the Nazis, in Germany, in the 1930s, to great effect.

Accuse your opponent of what you are guilty of, yourself. For his entire time as governor, Rick Scott has not done anything, at all, regarding the pollution caused by the agri-businesses. Scott has actively damaged the environment.

As a civil engineer, I work to build a variety of projects across central Florida. Each project had to comply with the various rules, regulations and laws that govern how those projects effect the environment. We’re supposed to be good stewards of the land, care for it and see to it that it is in better shape when we hand it off to the next generation.

One of the agencies we deal with is the Water Management District (WMD); there are several. Each WMD watches over a different part of the state. Scott has cut the budget of these agencies, cut their staff and eliminated many of the rules that prevent the ecological disaster he now blames on Nelson.

What worries me more than anything else is one simple thing. Scott might pull it off. Unfortunately, the media is great for spewing this nonsense, his supporters have deep pockets and the Democrats seem unable or unwilling to fight back, with any resolve.

I tried to convincing voters that Scott was doing harm, but no more. This is the last time I will speak of the matter until after the election. Many people are hoping for a Blue Wave or even a Blue Tsunami, but I’ve heard these hopes before and I’m not convinced that it’s going to happen.


Hope I’m wrong.

I hope and pray for the Blue Wave, but I’m not sure and barely hopeful. No, when I see the slime, see the death on our beaches and hear no one calling out Scott and the republicans, I truly lose hope. I hope I’m wrong in November.

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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