Beware of exaggerations.
That was one of the messages delivered during a talk and question-and-answer session at the November meeting of the Collier County chapter of the Democratic Environmental Caucus of Florida.
The guest speaker was Alan Keller. He’s a board member of the Audubon of Western Everglades and Audubon Florida, and the author of more than 50 published papers and book chapters on population and reproductive health and family planning services. He is continuing a wide-ranging career including serving as:
–Director of research and planning for the Mexican Foundation for Population Studies.
–Ford Foundation consultant on population programs and family planning and reproductive health service delivery.
–World Health organization advisor to the Mexican government.
–Senior advisor for the United Nationals Population Fund. And more.
Keller holds a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Chicago and is now a resident of Naples.
But back to exaggerations. Environmentalists are all-too-familiar with distortions of reality from one side of the spectrum–climate change deniers who simply ignore the science and the irrefutable evidence that our planet’s climate is being harmed by man-made greenhouse gases.
But at the other end of that spectrum is exaggeration from well-meaning people who care about the environment. Keller warned that “simplistic solutions by environmental groups are as harmful as climate-change denial.”
In other words, let the science speak for itself.
Ideally, the environment is an issue that should have bipartisan support. As caucus leader David Holden noted, Republican U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney, who represents coastal Collier County, had one of the worst environmental records in Congress. Now he has one of the best.
But public policy, particularly under the Trump Administration, dangerously lags reality–witness Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accords.
“To change public policy, we have to change policy-makers,” Holden noted.
Holden has announced he is running to fill Rooney’s seat. He will face Cindy Banyai of Fort Myers in the Democratic primary election.
Both candidates have joined Florida Democratic Party officials in condemning the withdrawal from the Paris agreement.
Juan Penalosa, executive director of the Florida Democratic Party, said, “This is unacceptable behavior for the leader of the wealthiest country in the world. We already know that Trump doesn’t trust science (or facts or reason…), but this is a huge blow to the global environmental movement.”
Holden agreed: “The Florida Democratic Party is exactly right, fighting for a clean, healthy environment for all Americans and policy based on science, not spite.”
Banyai noted: “As the largest economy in the world, the United States has an obligation to be a leader on global issues. I am dismayed that the United States is walking away from its global leadership role on climate change and the Paris Agreement. Without a strong commitment from the United States to take measures to protect our environment, all areas of the world, including Southwest Florida, are more vulnerable to climate change catastrophes.”