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Bill Day’s latest: Rick Scott, ‘climate change’ and the stroke of a pen

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Sometimes circumstances can improve even the best work of art.

Such is the case with Bill Day’s latest editorial cartoon, where Gov. Rick Scott wishes for “something green” to disprove what shall not be named – “climate change.”

He gets it: a bag of corporate money. But that’s not all.

According to the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, the governor refused to have the phrase “climate change” or “global warming” to be officially associated with the Sunshine State.

Therefore, in 2011, shortly after taking office as leader of a state vulnerable to the long-term effects of climate change, Scott took his most substantive action on the issue to date.

He banned the words “climate change” in state communications and publications.

Of course, the prohibition was not in writing. However, attorney Christopher Byrd says that during his time in the General Counsel office at the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), they were warned not to use “climate change,” “global warming” or “sustainability.”

Byrd said the notice came during a 2011 DEP staff meeting shortly after Scott appointed Herschel Vinyard as director.

“That message was communicated to me and my colleagues by our superiors,” Byrd, who served in the DEP from 2008 to 2013, told the investigative center.

Among the other prohibited terms were “sea-level rise,” Byrd added. “Nuisance flooding” was encouraged. His account was supported by several other former DEP employees, as well as a variety of consultants, volunteers and records.

Where some see this episode as an example of Orwellian doublespeak, Day saw it as providence – and an opportunity.

Taking an editorial lambasting Scott for his “I am not a scientist” attitude on climate change (an imminent threat to Florida through increased flooding in low-lying areas) and with the stroke of a pen –  Day took it to a whole new level.

The result: an even sharper commentary on the latest scandal swirling around Scott, as well on as his “ark” of hope, and corporate cash grab.

BILL DAY ARK

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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