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This is the future liberals want. (Image courtesy Mitchell Joachim, Terreform ONE)

Here’s a little compare and contrast exercise for you! Take a look at Florida Governor Rick Scott — no, not a direct look, you’ll go blind! — and at New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, and try to figure out who is bigger on caring about the environment? Obviously, it oughta be the Florida guy, because for one thing, New York is 99 percent concrete and asphalt, with one percent Central Park (where they murder presidents in Shakespeare plays). Florida, on the other hand, is just reeking with nature, as Rick Scott proudly reminded us after he and the Very Existence of Mar-a-Lago convinced Ryan Zinke to promise no oil drilling off the Florida coast:

See! He’s gonna protect Florida’s pristine coastline, the Everglades, the state parks, and Florida’s environment like a BOSS. Or like a tool of Big Agribusiness, as Carl Hiaasen likes to remind us. Scott may tweet the right words, but last year, for instance, Scott blocked efforts to reduce the acreage of sugar plantations south of Lake Okeechobee that play hell on the environment:

Nightmare algae blooms, vile and job-killing, are destined to be one of Scott’s legacies. Next June, when the St. Lucie estuary again turns puke-green and the oyster beds die, the light-footed governor will be nowhere in the vicinity.

Neither will the tourists.

The blooms are caused by billions of gallons of fresh water that are pumped from Lake O during the rainy season. Loaded with phosphorus and other pollutants from surrounding areas, the lake discharges are mainlined toward both Florida coasts, bringing ruin to saltwater habitats.

Mr. Scott, Friend of the Environment, is also the hero who in 2015 banned state employees from even uttering the words “climate change,” because there’s clearly no such thing. Oh, how we laughed when several state senate Democrats tormented Scott’s head of emergency management by saying “climate change” right to his face and phrasing questions to try to get him to say the forbidden words.

But how about de Blasio and his concrete jungle, huh? Like he has any “environment” to even protect, apart from pigeons and rats the size of pizzas! Turns out, though, the New York mayor and other city officials are using the power of the purse to push green investments: Over the next five years, the city’s pension fund — a huge pool of $189 billion — will divest itself of all fossil fuel stocks, shifting about $5 billion away from investments in oil companies.

And the investments are just for starters. De Blasio also announced the city will sue five oil companies — BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell — in federal court to collect damages for climate-related harm to the city, and to help pay for infrastructure needed to deal with future environmental conditions — like maybe building boat docks to serve as the future entrances to most skyscrapers, once every street is Canal Street.

[W]e’re bringing the fight against climate change straight to the fossil fuel companies that knew about its effects and intentionally misled the public to protect their profits. As climate change continues to worsen, it’s up to the fossil fuel companies whose greed put us in this position to shoulder the cost of making New York safer and more resilient.

The lawsuit argues that New York has already experienced flooding and erosion from climate change, and that it’s only right to shift the economic burden of dealing with climate change “back on to the companies that have done nearly all they could to create this existential threat.”

The suit cites well-known evidence that companies like Exxon Mobil were aware of the global impact of burning fossil fuels as far back as the 1970s, but instead of taking steps to mitigate the impact of greenhouse gas emissions or reduce their output, instead poured money into fake science that downplayed or denied the reality of climate change.

De Blasio’s office has called climate change “perhaps the toughest challenge New York City will face in the coming decades,” pointing to the massive damage caused by superstorm Sandy in 2012 and the costs of protecting areas like lower Manhattan and the vicinity of JFK International from flooding.

After Donald Trump gave the finger to the Paris Climate Agreement last June, de Blasio signed an executive order committing the city to accelerate its own efforts to meet the Paris goals; by October, the mayor’s office had released a plan to “put the city on a path to deep de-carbonization” and cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 80 percent by 2050. Among other goals, NYC has committed to requiring new buildings to be highly energy efficient, to use its purchasing power to get all its electricity from renewables once sufficient supply is available, to include rooftop solar electricity arrays on new municipal buildings, and to increase bicycle commuting and bike lanes.

Your move, Bat Boy. Try saying “climate change” — it’ll help you figure out why Miami’s streets keep flooding.

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[William Jordan on Twitter / Tampa Bay Times / Guardian / City of New York / Image courtesy Mitchell Joachim, Terreform ONE]

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  • canes_pugnaces

    If he’d fix the damn subways he’d get a lot more credit, I’ll tell you that.

    • goCatgo

      Needz more elevators.

    • PubOption

      How well will the tunnels take boats (or submarines).

    • goonemeritus

      That would be a pretty heavy lift, even if Mussolini were mayor.

    • OneYieldRegular

      I’m old enough to remember the subways prior to the ’80’s; by that measure the subways are fixed (the best part was standing in the front car and peering through the graffiti-covered window to seek the hordes of rats scattering from the on-coming train).

  • Ling Ling

    Toxic Avenger: He isnt the hero Florida wants, but he is what they need!

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

    This is the future liberals want.
    Where are the abortion booths?

  • Skwerl the Taco Hunter
    • Mentally Stable Ron

      Yeah, okay, they were mostly death traps (even the best ones) but damn, they’d be something to see in the skies again…

  • Bright Bart

    what are those pelican robots? want!
    I KNOW there’s oil beneath Mar A Lago. Lets start drilling!

    • (((fka_donnie_d))), SOB

      Burger grease

    • Bright Bart

      maybe they water the plants.

    • ChumpsForTrump

      Somebody should tell these guys that there’s oil on the sun..

  • kaydenpat

    Isn’t it wonderful to live in a country where government officials openly favor states which voted for their President over states which didn’t? Nice, huh? Not authoritarian at all.

  • JustPixelz (((Ω)))

    I look back twenty years with disgust at how little we — as humans and as Americans — have done about a problem that was recognized in the 1950s. I can almost hear the next generation (if there are any survivors) shouting “fuck you” to us across the chasm of time.

    • OneYieldRegular

      The next generation is already shouting “fuck you” to us. Try listening to a Kate Tempest track.

      • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

        It just dawned on me reading this.. you know how millenials are BIIIGG on the Eff-Yews to us boomers? Shouldn’t we maybe then expect *their* grandkids (again, assuming ‘man is still alive’ yada yada) to be yelling at them for not stopping the wholesale douchebaggery being foisted on the country now – ??

        • yyyaz

          Same as it ever was
          Same as it ever was
          Same as it ever was
          — D. Byrne

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      I was just sitting here thinking about what could have been, had Reagan not (illegally and cruelly) conspired with a foreign enemy of the US to hold our hostages longer and thus run against Jimmy Carter on that issue, as Carter was then and always has been a man of sense and wisdom. Instead of a shitty actor who was somehow an even worse president sitting back and ripping the solar panels off the roof of the WH, we could have spent the last 38 years taking the lead in fighting this global catastrophe.

  • cmd resistor

    OT, but here are names that WH tossed out who will be attending the “prison reform” thingy today.
    Attorney General Jeff Sessions
    Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin
    Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback of Kansas
    Matt Schlapp, Chairman of the American Conservative Union
    Paula White, senior pastor of New Destiny Christian Center
    Mark Holden, Koch Industries

    • Skwerl the Taco Hunter

      Too many people are being released from them.

    • Jonny On Maui

      Prison reform? This administration? What, the ROI is too low?

      • TJ Barke

        See, you say that like it’s a joke…

        • Jonny On Maui

          That’s what you get for paying attention.

      • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

        Probably. All that having to feed them and provide blankets in winter really cuts into the profit margin.

    • Beowoof14

      Damn it sounds like the Potterville City Council.

      • cmd resistor

        I also read that Sessions is not expected to play a big role because he’s really not into reform. Then I saw this list. Like, right.

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      They want to be sure the places are spiffed up a bit before their sentences start.

      • Little Lulu Ω

        Yes. That list would make a decent prison rowing team.

        • Good_Gawd_Yall

          Bevin and Sessions would have to wrassle for the coxswain’s seat, though; they’re both runty little evil twerps.

    • Mentally Stable Ron

      Well, we know where the next new for-profit prisons will be built.
      Kentucky and Kansas drivers, check your taillights NOW.

      • cmd resistor

        Oh, found out also Too from The Hill that Jared was there and:
        “Trump’s spiritual adviser, Paula White, was also expected to be there, along with former bank robber Shon Hopwood, who is now an associate professor at Georgetown University Law Center and a member of Families Against Mandatory Minimums’ Board of Directors.”

        • Mentally Stable Ron

          Is that snark? I can’t tell any more.

          • cmd resistor

            The quotes part came from the Hill article about the thing. I know, I can’t any more, either. Like the “shithole countries.” Really? I have to go check stuff too much.

  • Jonny On Maui

    How many lawyers will spend their entire careers working on this lawsuit? Remember to include both sides…

    • goCatgo

      A gazillion.

    • Sheepshagger

      Jarndyce v Jarndyce, part 954, enter counsel into the record Mr. Bailiff.

    • OutOfOrbit

      i was told no pop quizzes

      • goCatgo

        It doesn’t count on your grade. Its for your own use to see if you are caught up on your reading. For your education. And future. So your spouse and children won’t think you are a loooozer.
        PSA : Taco Bell will be interviewing for the graveyard shift on the Commons Quad from 3 – 5 pm today.

    • doktorzoom

      And yet the tobacco lawsuit won, and is still funding health programs. (In blue states — in red states it’s a slush fund for any goddamn thing the Rs want to blow money on )

      • goCatgo

        Needz moar tax cuts for the rich.

  • Me not sure

    Carl Hiassen is in fact a national treasure.

    • MynameisBlarney

      As is Tim Dorsey.

    • doktorzoom

      Sharp readers will remember that the sugar companies’ sliming of the state — which Rick Scott is still abetting — was a plot point in Strip Tease. (No, haven’t seen the movie; I heard it sucked?)

      • Little Lulu Ω

        The book is awesome. All his books are.

      • MizzMazz

        It’s stupid funny. Like Showgirls.

        • doktorzoom

          That’s such a shame, since the novel is smart-funny

      • Me not sure

        It sucked, but Demi Moore looked very well put together in it. Drove through sugar country a couple of years ago. It is pretty bleak.

  • Ali | A Grumpy Cat

    I mean, these companies should have SOME kind of SOMETHING for lying to the public and being corrupt motherfuckers, but is this lawsuit actually going to do anything other than cost the government money?

  • George
  • WIDTAP

    Of course, Florida tourism is dependent on their coasts. Which coast was Orlando on again?

  • Bigly smart jesterpunk

    Florida was exempted because of Mar-a-Lago. Trump doesnt want oil rigs outside of his golf course.

    • georgiaburning

      So, move them inside

      • Bigly smart jesterpunk

        That would put a whole new meaning to the “water hazard”.

  • SKruetheratbassedarDs

    Mayor Bill, how ’bout inviting Peter Garrett back to Exxon HQ for another cross-street visit?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StK4OvUkRtw

  • (((Sedagive)))

    On a personal note: I’ve had a business in Lower Manhattan for the last quarter century. During Sandy the three-feet-of-flooding stopped one avenue away from my place. Cars were floating in the neighboring street. I was one city block away from losing everything. Others, of course, did lose everything, including their lives.

    Bill De Blasio may have issues, but he’s goddamn right to pursue those oil-soaked planet-killers back to the gaping jaws of Hell from whence they were spawned.

    Noo Yawk, fuck yeah!

    • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

      If you haven’t read it, might I recommend “New York 2140” by Kim Stanley Robinson? Altho the climate change-induced sea level rise given in the book is extreme (50 ft as opposed to 3-15 that’s likely), he gives a relatively hopeful look at how the city might continue to function after such a catastrophe.

    • It’s a wonderful town!

    • Zyxomma

      Are you hiring, (((Sedagive)))?

      • (((Sedagive)))

        Hopefully not : )

  • Good_Gawd_Yall

    IANAL, but isn’t there something not just sinister, but maybe a weeeeeeeeeee lil’ bit illegal about punishing states where Democrats are in power? If there isn’t, can we please fix that next time we’re in charge, TYVM?

    • Courser_Resistance

      Well they don’t bother using their ‘quiet’ voices anymore. it’s the Demoncrats who are evil heathens leading all the youngs away with our free love and pot.

  • Beowoof14

    Rick a thieving criminal who should be in jail for the health care money he stole vs. A mayor trying to protect his city from the ravages of climate change Rick denies. Hmmm, I guess I am going de Blasio on this one. And pretty much going with Bill on everything and with Scott, nothing, never, nope.

    • He’s rich and white, he’s never going to jail. As much as he absolutely deserves to be there.

  • President in Exile Firefly

    Hey, California, nice coastline ya got here. Be a real shame if something bad happened to it.

    • Courser_Resistance

      I’m hoping CA can keep the issue in litigation until it can be fixed on a federal level again.

  • OneYieldRegular

    Good for Bill de Blasio, good for New York, good for all of us. He and Anne Hildalgo (mayor of Paris) ought to form some sort of international mayorial government to tackle these issues.

    • (((Sedagive)))

      Ohhh – I like that idea!

    • Good_Gawd_Yall

      I don’t see why they couldn’t. Many municipalities have “sister cities” and while I know that’s more a tourism than a governing thing, you could hardly call foul on a group of people working together to save the planet.
      Oh, wait.
      Republicans.
      Sorry, lost track of where I was there for a minute.

    • Ugg, I wish Toronto could elect a decent mayor. I mean, the new guy is better than Rob Ford, but that’s like saying a light tap to the testicles is better than a kick to the testicles..

      • Rooster Cogburn105

        Say what you want about Rob, he had a certain, “je ne sais quai” about him.

        also, only obese crackhead in high office on Western Hemisphere, an achievement in its own right

  • goCatgo

    I think we need to use all of our State’s Rights for CA, NY, and others to do what we want on this and many other issues. At least for a while, until we kick these crooks out of office.

    • Courser_Resistance

      CO isn’t slowing down either. Pretty much everyone who owns a single family home has a solar array on top and Denver just passed an ordinance that all buildings over 25,000 sq ft have a portion of the roof be a ‘green roof’ or a combination of ‘green’ and solar. ‘Green’ means vegetative plantings on the roof. Yes, older building will also have to comply, but have a long time to do it. Like, when they have to replace the old one.

      • handyhippie65

        putting a green roof on an older structure will be problematic. they were not engineered for the extra weight of the substrate the plants grow in, as well as snow load. prolly be cheaper to tear down, and rebuild.

  • If NYC and de Blasio are so green, why are electric bicycles banned in that city?

    • h4rr4r

      Because it is a vehicle that is not plated and not registered nor inspected.
      It lacks the equipment required for road legal vehicle in the state of NY.

      https://www.citylab.com/equity/2016/02/the-murky-legality-of-e-bikes/426969/

      • That’s not an answer. They are massive in all civilised parts of the globe. They’re green, they take up far less space than cars, they get people fit.

        • h4rr4r

          So the correct legal answer is not an answer?
          Put the bong down and go to the DMV website.
          https://dmv.ny.gov/registration/motorized-devices-cannot-be-registered-new-york

          I don’t see how they get anyone fit, they pedal for you. A regular bike is legal and will get you fit.

          • handyhippie65

            power assist is supposed to be only for uphill, not full time. that’s why a lot of them don’t work if you don’t pedal.

          • h4rr4r

            So the only part strenuous enough to actually get your heart rate up?

        • Mostly because Albany (state govt) hasn’t updated their vehicle codes to recognize them as bicycles, therefore they are required to be registered because they are “engine powered”, but there is no mechanism to do so.

          NYC cracks down on them because pedestrians complain that they go too fast and are too quiet to be heard coming so are dangerous. That claims is questionable, but it persists because there is a lot of anti-bike sentiment in NYC because: 1) the city has appropriated traffic lanes and parking space for bicyclists; 2) the street lights are not synced for bicycle traffic which leads to a disregard of the rules of the road by a portion of cyclists, generating complaints and 3) the police have bigger fish to fry than giving out tickets to those bicyclists who legitimately put themselves and the public at risk.

          I hope that helps.

    • The reason is because because Albany (state govt) hasn’t updated their vehicle codes to recognize them as bicycles, therefore they are required to be registered because they are “engine powered”, yet there is no mechanism to do so.

      NYC cracks down on them because pedestrians complain that they go too fast and are too quiet to be heard coming, which makes them dangerous. That claim is questionable, but it persists because there is a lot of anti-bike sentiment in NYC due to the fact that: 1) the city has appropriated traffic lanes and parking space for bicyclists; 2) the street lights are not synced for bicycle traffic which leads to cyclists crossing against lights and a general disregard of the rules of the road by a portion of cyclists, generating complaints and 3) the police have bigger fish to fry than giving out tickets to those bicyclists who legitimately put themselves and the public at risk.

      I hope that helps.

  • Like Really Smart Radio

    Is Rick Scott the Rick Fuckwads we’ve heard so much about?

  • Red Bird

    Of course you have to protect the real estate investments of the wealthy New Yorkers in Florida. The only reason they go there is to be near warm water during the winter. He knows perfectly well that they won’t suffer from the rising water levels.

  • Mentally Stable Ron

    Mayor de Blasio’s plan is the sort of thing we used to talk about in elementary school, spawn of the Sixties that we were. Better late than never.
    Good job, sir. Coastal elites FTW!

  • LeighBowery’sLuxuryComedy

    Also. As a *snicker* LIBERAL, can I say that hell yes, that looks very much like the future I want! – ?

    • Mentally Stable Ron

      Some of us thought we’d have it by now.

  • Maybe he could impose particularly stringent environmental standards on any building whose name starts with the letters TRU…

    • javadavis

      Covered if they stringent the standards for buildings with more than a certain percentage of gold plated crap.

      • javadavis

        Wow – just re-read this. Grammar, I not got a good grasp on communicationing that night.

  • ken_kukec

    “… Central Park (where they murder presidents in Shakespeare plays)”

    Can we execute some innocent Harlem youth for that crime?

  • amrak63

    This reminds me that New York was once Nieuw Amsterdam.

    Maybe the mayor should contact the Dutch for advice on how the original Amsterdam deals with keeping the sea out, when one is below sea level?

    • Mavenmaven

      “put your own finger in the dyke”

      • Last Hussar

        Obligatory ‘she slapped me’ joke.

      • amrak63

        If you mean this kind, I don’t think they want any men helping out.

        https://i.imgur.com/9cbVdYJ.jpg

    • TakingAmes

      New Orleans already works with the Dutch on water management. They’ve won awards and stuff.

    • Zyxomma

      After Sandy, I contacted Bloomberg’s office, and recommended that they contact engineers from Amsterdam.

  • House0fTheBlueLights

    Wait, do you mean that the Florida exemption might be because Mar-a-Emolyments is in Florida? That can’t be right.

    • handyhippie65

      the hell you say! that couldn’t be it.

  • Ruhe

    ♪I want to be a part of it…Fully Automated Luxury Gay Space Communism!♪

    • Raan

      Gay space communism is the best space communism.

      • Rooster Cogburn105

        careful with the lube in zero-G

  • Lefty Wright

    North Carolina has almost as much fragile shoreline and sensitive estuaries. Our actual seacoast is only about 310 but the sounds behind the barrier islands have 3,000 square miles of open shallow water ranging from seawater to brackish. These areas are essential spawning areas for sealife and river fisheries, not to mention migratory birds.

    The sounds and estuaries have over 9,000 miles of shoreline and hundreds of square miles of marshland. In fact, the area encompassing the sounds of NC is much larger than the current (intentionally undrained) Everglades region. We even have alligators. While not up there with Florida, our coastal region brings billions of dollars to NC every year. So Zinke, how about crossing us off your list also.

  • Mr. Blobfish

    How does exempting Florida not open up the Feds to lawsuits by the rest of the East Coast?

    • Red Richmond

      Ohhh, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t, also too the same kind of law suits by the West coast as well. But you have to remember about these sorts of things, two important things: they are very greedy, and very, very stupid.

    • Rachel Book Harlot

      You and your logical questions. A true patriot would just accept things, no questions asked.

    • Rooster Cogburn105

      Coastal states are full of liberal unpersons, so no lawsuits

  • there’s a smell of lawsuits in the air.

  • Zyxomma

    All of the blue coastal states are taking whatever steps are necessary to comply with the Paris Accord. We have to hope our country (and our states) will outlast the current abominations in the WH and Congress, and must live and work accordingly.

  • javadavis
  • Lily412

    Rick Scott may have irreparably fucked the Florida ecosystem already. I wish that tool would get voted out already.

  • Truly Madly Derply

    In addition to holding “No fake news! No fake news! You’re the fake news!” Hoekstra’s feet to the fire, the Netherlands is also very good at Earth-friendly infrastructure:
    https://www.facebook.com/worldeconomicforum/videos/10155017431976479/

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