So it's a little water. Big deal. Tides happen.

So there’s this “Florida” place that’s gradually being swallowed by the ocean, what with rising sea levels. But Gov. Rick Scott is quite sure that isn’t really happening, because he is pretty much the mayor of Amity Island in Jaws.* If nobody in Florida government says “climate change” or “global warming,” the problem will just go away. Actually, what problem? There is no shark sea level rise problem. Plenty of land still above water, please come to Florida and build some more condos, won’t you?

But come on, there’s no way the state government can actually enforce that silly policy, because as the state has made quite clear, there is no official written policy banning employees from saying “climate change.” It’s just that they need to be very careful in how they communicate, as a state employee learned when he was suspended without pay for using the phrase in minutes of an environmental meeting where You-Know-What was discussed. A press release by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility says Barton Bibler, a Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) employee, was reprimanded for taking detailed notes on a February 27 meeting discussing rising sea levels and That One Topic, and then including the Bad Words in his notes:

He was directed to remove any hot button issues, especially explicit references to climate change, and then was given a letter of reprimand for supposedly misrepresenting that the “official meeting agenda included climate change.”

In addition, Bibler was suspended for two days without pay and required to get his head examined by a doctor to prove that he was sane enough to return to work. Yes, really.

[H]e received a “Medical Release Form” requiring that his doctor supply the DEP with an evaluation of unspecified “medical condition and behavior” issues before being allowed to return to work.

After all, wouldn’t want a dangerously unstable person running loose at the Department of Environmental Protection, spouting off about crazy conspiracies that only 97% of climate scientists think are real.

Mind you, it’s not that Bibler violated any official ban on saying You-Know-What. As we have established, there’s no written policy banning that phrase. Rather, it’s that he was insubordinate and dishonest, according to his official reprimand:

I asked you to provide a summary of the meeting. You first provided a takeaway summary of the meeting, but had provided that summary in a document that used the agenda header from Ann Lazar, the meeting moderator, which gave the appearance that this was Ann’s official meeting agenda that included climate change. This was not part of the original agenda developed by Ann, and resulted in a complaint of misrepresentation.

Look, if That Thing was discussed but it wasn’t on the agenda, then by golly, you’d better not make it look like anyone at DEP planned to talk about That Thing. Are you trying to get us all fired?

Worse, after being asked to submit a revised set of notes, Bibler sent back an email with an attachment that apparently consisted of “the words Keystone XL Pipeline with a red circle and a cross through it,” which we’ll admit was probably a bit on the passive-aggressive side. Shame on you, Barton Bibler! It’s people like you what cause unrest.

Bibler was also admonished to “comply with directives as assigned,” as well as to never again “insert any personal agenda or political advocacy into the work you perform,” because using state workers to advance a political agenda is Gov. Rick Scott’s job, not some snotty DEP punk’s.

PEER called for the DEP’s Inspector General to investigate the incident, including whether the punishment of Bibler was excessive and whether his supervisor’s order to modify the summary of the meeting was a violation of “Florida law forbidding alteration of official records.” The Florida director of PEER, Jerry Phillips, said, “If anyone needs mental health screening it is Governor Rick Scott and other officials telling state workers to pretend that climate change and sea-level rise do not exist.”

So there you go — get too insistent about the existence of climate change, and your employer may consider you deranged. Now, where’s Robert Shaw to run his fingers down the chalkboard and offer to take this CO2 problem off our hands?

*Comparison borrowed shamelessly from NPR’s On the Media.

[AddictingInfo / WTSP / Image by “siralbertus,” Flickr]

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  • You can’t spell DERP without DEP

  • NorthStarSpanx

    Don’t worry folks, Hy-Brasil will be fine.

    • Barley_Brains

      All truths have been revealed in the Python Canon. Amen.

      • Blank Ron

        Amen. Crack tube.

  • cousin itt

    Dude got Rick rolled.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    Do it to Julia!

    • Steverino247

      I’d do it to Julia (Suzanna Hamilton). She was hot.

  • memzilla

    It’s not “climate change,” it’s “atmospheric re-employment.”

    • memzilla

      The speaker is Bryan Koon, head of Florida’s DEP; the questioner is Florida State Senator Jeff Clemens [D-Of Course].

      • glasspusher

        It’s all well and good, until their houses become house boats.

  • Lizzietish81

    Funny how these are the same assholes who claim their freedom of speech is being violated every time someone points out they’re racist homophobic misogynistic assholes.

  • Lizzietish81

    Ok computer people, is there a way we can send an email bomb or spam saying “Climate Change” to Governor Scott?

    • sw19womble

      What about an app that automatically changes his name to “Mr Climate Change” in any webpage you look at?

      • Tallmutha

        How about in any webpage he looks at?

        • sw19womble

          Sounds like a job for one of them anonymous hacker chaps and chappesses…. :)

          • glasspusher

            OK, I’ll hack his computer, but only if I get to wear chaps.

      • JustPixelz

        Mr Climate Hussein Change has a nice ring.

    • Lizzietish81

      Alternatively we could flood his office with snail mail, but that would be a waste of trees. And you know this fucker doesn’t recycle.

    • glasspusher

      We don’t call them “computer people” anymore- the preferred nomenclature is “robots”

      • Ikimizi

        Ahem. That’s “your plastic pal who’s fun to be with”.

        • glasspusher

          My bad

    • wingr47

      Shoot, invest 50 cents and send Him a letter. That would be a trip. 100,000 letters and post cards, all saying, “DUMBASS”

  • cousin itt


  • SnarkOff

    In other news, Bibler went home and proceeded to say “Candyman” three times in front of a mirror. Mayhem ensued.

    • sw19womble

      It’s five times for Candyman. You’re thinking of Beetlejuice – but if an exorcism is needed, try calling Justin Harris ;)

      • Lizzietish81

        Dean Winchester Dean Winchester Dean Winchester!

        eta: Alternatively you could call his angelic boyfriend Castiel who is actually more efficient.

        • janecita

          I might have to try that myself.

      • Usedtobeyellerdawg

        So why is the Candyman so much specialer than Beetlejuice or Bloody Mary? Three times was good enough for them!

    • JustPixelz

      The GO-Pee’ers think if they say “I’m not a scientist” three billion times, climate change will go away.

  • Oblios_Cap

    Apparently, cost of living allowances or raises for state employees are also on the banned words list here in Flor-i-duh.

    • glasspusher

      about the same here in California

      • wingr47

        just saw where this is the hottest March in CA history. 90’s in March, drought, dayum and Y’all allow frackers to pollute what little fresh water there is. Another nice place to visit,,,,,a short visit.

  • Tallmutha

    “Aren’t you ashamed? You know, Barton, what worries me is how your mother is going to take this. I don’t have to tell her? Your mother and I are old friends. You know that.”

    • mailman27


  • GargoyleGuy

    The esteemed Gov. Scott should follow the lead of North Carolina, another state threatened by sea level rise. Gov. Scott should just ask his legislature to pass a law banning sea level rise, or at least banning the ability to measure any sea level rise, just as the wise legislatures did in North Carolina. If by law the sea is not allowed to rise in NC, and if it does, you are not allowed to measure it, then there is no problem!
    “If your science gives you a result you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved,” Steven Colbert.

    • Msgr_Moment

      What a bunch of silly cnuts

    • cleos_mom

      And they laughed at King Canute!

    • pbeeg

      A number of years ago I coined the term ‘wingcnuts’ for them. It didn’t catch on, but is still applicable.

  • Viva La Tabula Raza

    And if the whole population of Florida clicks their heels together three times and says “There’s no place like home,” they will all be magically transported back to the 1950s, when minorities knew their place, gays were invisible, women ironed the bedsheets and had the sandwiches made on time, and hi-test gasoline was 19 cents a gallon.

    • Lizzietish81

      And lead lined everything!

      • wingr47

        even the cheap gas…heeheehee

  • Viva La Tabula Raza

    “We’re gonna need a bigger boatload of lies!”

  • JustPixelz

    There is obviously also a policy against calling Rick Scott a “lying fucking asshole”.

  • JustPixelz

    Florida does not want to hear the literal word of the Bible(r).

  • Olav_Pompatus

    Hmmm … It’s not like I was actually hoping for Florida to be swallowed up by the sea, but now I’m thinking that it wouldn’t be completely a bad thing.

    • eggsacklywright

      Victory, one sinkhole at a time.

  • LarryHoudini

    In this case, denying the problem could actually help solve a whole lot.
    Goodbye, Florida!!!

  • JustPixelz

    According to internal documents from Gov. Rick Scott, when rising sea levels reduce Florida’s size they are going to deploy penis enlargement pills to “add 3-5 inches to the state”.

  • Msgr_Moment

    Hey, let’s think this through before this whole alledged “G.C.C.” thingy happens. Which state gets the short straw and has to repatriate Florida Man? (no, not the Wonkette contributor)

    • anniegetyerfun

      Yeah, the idea of millions of Floridians moving to the rest of the US isn’t exactly reassuring.

      • Blank Ron

        On the plus side, no more Quebecois snowbirds trundling their ludicrously oversized RVs down I-75…

    • janecita

      What about Guam and American Samoa? They get the right to vote and full representation in return.

      • Beaumarchais?

        There’s plenty of lebensraum on Vanuatu.

        What, too soon?

      • wingr47

        according to one R they float and putting too many GIs there may make them tip over.

    • jmk

      He will migrate to his alternate spiritual home, South Carolina.

      • Land Shark

        And if he wants to move away from the coast, I’m sure Oklahoma and Iowa would welcome him with open arms and castration tools!

  • Me not sure

    Florida sits on type of topography composed of porous limestone called Karst topography. As sea levels rise there’s a very good chance that much of Florida’s aquafer will become infused with salt water and be too salty to drink. Drown thirsty, suckers!

  • anniegetyerfun

    And I thought my old employer was an asshole. I mean, he was, but he never sent me anywhere for medical evaluation, so there’s that.

    • nightmoth

      Yeah, there’s that!
      Bibler can has big fat lawsuit, please?

  • PirateCafe

    Why hasn’t anyone asked if he was required to go to one of Scott’s clinics for that evaluation?


  • Msgr_Moment

    If the city of say Key West were to change its name to “Climate Change”, it could probably escape state taxes, because the government would not be able to say its name.

  • MrBlobfish

    Good luck, Florida. We’re gonna miss ya.

    • Whale Chowder

      Well, “miss” is such a strong word…

      • Beaumarchais?

        How about “redraw the maps to omit”?

  • txb23

    “It’s people like you what cause unrest.” Thank you for the obscure Monty Python quote, from one of my favorite sketches.

    • jmk

      Seconded! Funny thing is that the next line from the sketch echoes in my head every time I hear about anything Gov. Scott of Slytherin supports or proposes.

  • nightmoth

    This is one of the most truly Orwellian stories to emerge from the last few years of insane teaparty doublespeak. Excuse me, but I feel a hissy fit coming on. “Off with their heads! Off with their heads! With votes, of course!”

    • janecita

      How about a big rusty guillotine instead? Votes keep on getting these bastards elected.

      • Tallmutha

        If we merely express the wish that people vote to send these fuckers to the guillotine, would we be in violation of the Rules for Radicals?

        • janecita

          I think that Saul Alinsky would have been first on line to oil the guillotine.

        • grumblestiltskin

          That Rusty Guillotine runs a fine campaign. He’s the REE-form candidate. People likes that reform.

  • janecita

    I, for one, won’t miss Florida at all. Hopefully, on the way down Fl can grab on to TX and they can both sink together.

  • Msgr_Moment

    Every time someone says “Climate Change”, Rick Scott’s portrait on the Gadsden flag loses one of its scales.

    • matthewgreenbaum


  • cleos_mom

    Florida’s boosters are stuck in a deep hole that they dug for themselves, along with others who still believe that infinite expansion on a finite planet is do-able. If they admit to what’s happening, what companies are going to invest in a state that will be mostly underwater by mid-century, and how many people are going to buy that hurricane-bait condo or that dream home on 1/16th of an acre? And if they don’t admit to what’s happening — it’s going to happen anyway.

  • eggsacklywright

    I’d like to send Ricky one of those urinal cakes we like. Used, of course.

  • Spurning Beer

    I suspect that Governor Scott’s long neck is a sign of his ostrich ancestry.

  • Monsieur_Grumpe

    The manatees will be happy.

    • SuspectedDemocrat

      And Dr Zoidberg will finally be able to afford that Miami condo he’s always wanted.

    • eggsacklywright

      Since Mr. CR_eature has left us high and dry, so to speak, I nominate Mr. Blobfish to take over matters aquatic.

      • Monsieur_Grumpe

        I second that.

  • Anarchy Pony

    Are we sure that barton bibler is not a marvel comics character?

  • onedrewthree

    We have always been at war with East Asia. We have never seen the sky. Weather is god doing his nightly beauty routine. Thunder is god fighting with Mrs. god.

  • Spotts1701

    Even if (big “if’) the guy was a bit of a dick about responding to his boss’ request, the solution is just to tell him not to be a dick. Not downcheck him for duty and send him off to have his head examined.

  • Mehmeisterjr

    Remind me again why I voted for Rick Scott twice. Oh, that’s right, I didn’t. But the world’s largest indoor/outdoor collection of senile fuckwits, babbling baggers and congenital nincompoops did.

    • wingr47

      Well…….Jeb plowed the field for him.

  • CrashGordon1

    Why do you liberals admonish Rick Scott so. He is merely displaying expert forward thinking. Imagine how popular Miami is going to be in a few years. Americans will no longer have to travel all the way to Italy to see a sinking, canal laced city. They can stay right here in the good ole US of A and spend their vacation dollars locally as God intended. Take that, Venice!!!

    • Biel_ze_Bubba

      “Americans will no longer have to travel all the way to Italy to see a sinking, canal laced city.”
      Actually, the competition will have vanished.

  • Nuke90210

    Oh look, it’s drink o’clock.

  • Cris Cassity

    This Florida state worker must be the same guy that has been warning everyone that saturated fats and dairy products will kill them for

  • Mavenmaven

    They love our Freedomz but not that of speech

  • AlanInSF

    Good — the sooner that state sinks into the ocean, the better.

  • Callyson
    • Anarchy Pony

      That vid is getting lots of play lately, what with the florida report by Florida Correspondent.

  • tegrat

    As a fellow Barton, let me just say “You GO, boyfriend!”

  • Poly_Ester

    Tallahassee is 230 ft above sea level, so this is a local problem the liberals in South Florida are going to have solve on their own with no mention of “climate change.”

    • JAWs

      Sea level change has a liberal bias!

    • wingr47

      I thought the whole state was only 7′ above sea level.

  • ibwilliamsi

    “Climate change is a hot button issue”. Someone needs to explain irony to these folks.

    • CriticalDragon1177

      The irony is that people like Rick Scott are going to be at least party responsible for the people of Florida having their lives ruined.

      • docterry6973

        No, they’ll blame the liberals and get away with it.

    • JAWs

      “Someone needs to explain irony to these folks.”

      That’s were you take nekkid pics of unconscious, unconsenting women, right?

  • Antonin Dvorak

    It is not that the Scott administration is anti-science, they are just pro-small business boat owners.

    • CriticalDragon1177

      Well the boat owners will be one of the few people who benefit from the extra ocean there will be in fifty years.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Time is not on the side of these functionaries in Florida and North Carolina and Oklahoma and TedCruzLand. It’s important to keep a public running tally of the names of those irresponsibly impeding action to mitigate the causes and effects of a changing climate. When the tide turns (literally), it’ll be clear who’s been standing in the doorways and blocking up the halls.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Doktor Zoom,

    Gov. Rick Scott is so “pro science” he won’t let anyone in his administration speak the truth about climate change.

  • Ashley P

    Yay this is my state! I live through this everyday! Aren’t you all jealous of me!? *maniacal laughter that turns into howls of madness*

    • nice_marmot

      Don’t worry, pretty soon you’ll be able to just climb aboard your pet alligator and sail all the way to Atlanta.

      • Ashley P

        Well…. that doesn’t sound so bad. I shall name him Ollie

  • VirginiaLady

    Ah, the sweet sound of a lawsuit in the morning makes my Irish coffee so much smoother.

  • malsperanza

    “There is no Climate Change” joins the roster of Great Completely Wrong Denials in Fiction:

    There is no spoon. ~The Matrix
    There is no owl. ~ Archimedes the Owl, The Once and Future King
    There are no second acts in American lives. ~ The Last Tycoon
    There’s no place like home. ~Dorothy Gale, The Wizard of Oz

  • ViveLaRes

    Bart Bibler’s sister is a dear friend of mine. There is no exaggeration in the telling of the story of his persecution by Lord Voldemort. The Biblers are intelligent, caring, kind people who have been devastated by the way Bart has been treated for doing his job – trying to protect what few natural resources Florida has left after being plundered by real estate developers, the KBs, and many others.

    • wingr47

      Go to the Fed labor board. Ya have to go to the state LB first and appeal up. Go to the Supreme Court if Ya have to. This crap is straight outta “1984” and is called Govspeak. Govt approved words in Govt approved conversations. Be careful, the speech police are all plain clothes volunteers. OH I doubt many Pols have read the book. Heard of it and have an opinion of it but never read it.

  • DahBoner

    There’s nothing wrong with Florida Republicans that a refreshing Biblical Tsunami couldn’t cure…

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