Walking with the Alligators

Walking with the Alligators
A Florida Alligator

February 15, 2014

Powerless Panther

The beautiful Florida Panther
Picture credit: SFWMD

A California water Company was just given permission by the St. John’s Water board to double their daily take of our water this week, even though we are in the third year, of a four-year drought, here in Lake County and Central Florida.
In the three recent drought  years,  our water  levels have been nearly a foot short of normal.
Florida’s aquifers are at alarming levels and being drained all over the state,  God help us if these droughts do continue, for we shall not be able drink the sand.
As our lakes continue to dry up, wildlife is continuously coming into residential neighborhoods hunting for food and water, which  frequently results in their deaths.
It is terrifying  to think of what will happen after this bottling company begins taking twice as much water from our aquifers than they already do and they are assured that they will be able to do so for the next 20 years.
This same Water Board,  is the one who tells us that we can only water our lawns once a week during the dry season!
Did I mention sinkholes?
Guess where many of them are happening in Florida?
That is correct, near the water bottling companies.
Now we have learned that Southwest Florida is about to become the next Texas, as multiple oil companies are about to be given a green light to drill for oil in the last Habitat in the state for the Critically Endangered Florida Panther.
Florida, in my humble opinion, has now become much like other environmentally unfriendly states and is being controlled by special interest money groups with very deep pockets,  who care nothing for the people, places, or animals here.
In Florida, as elsewhere,  the bottom line is now, “ show them the money.”
What is unbelievable, or is it, that this newest assault on wildlife, the Panther in particular,  appears to come with the blessing of the Florida DEP.
How can this be?
The very definition of their  name is  Environmental Protection, right?
How does allowing companies, yes that is plural, to drill for oil in lands so precious to this much beleaguered animal, protect our environment?
Oil drilling in Collier County will be the Panther’s  death warrant.
Of course there is great opposition to this from many sides, those who want to protect the Panther, and those who just want to stop the raping of the few remaining  pristine Florida wild lands.
This is an area that will quickly fall apart if this is allowed to go forward.
Do I believe that it will be  stopped , absolutely not, too much money is at stake here, with out-of-state drilling companies salivating and chomping at the bit to get in and get to drilling.
They have already raped and drilled their own states dry,  so Florida is virgin land.
So, you ask, what do these two Issues have in common?
They are both highly unpopular with the people, but are getting pushed through because of you guessed it, money, kick backs, what ever name you wish to call it.
It is all the same to those of us who live here, we no longer appear to have any say in these things, because the control has been taken away from us.
When it comes to politics, and getting things approved here,  the wealth is pretty equally spread around, checks get written, money always wins.
In my life I have rarely seen so much greed, corruption and dishonesty and it reaches into every corner, every level of the state, from the top to the bottom.
Very few even bother to try to hide their dishonest, deceitful deeds.
They seem to feel, believe,  that nothing will happen to them and they are right.
Corruption in politics in Florida, as with many other states I am sure, is rampant and examples of it are in our news daily.
Florida is up for sale to the highest bidder, animals, water and all living things be damned, just get out of their way and don’t interfere.
Why did we allow this to happen, why are we and the Panther powerless?
You may learn more about both Issues  here:
Interest growing in Collier County oil
St. Johns foolishly approves more water withdrawals from Niagara bottling
Niagara Bottling gets OK to pump
Oil Companies Are Planning to Drill in Florida Panther Habitat
Concern over possibility of drilling in SW Fla.

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