If you were, say, a sugar baron, and your thriving enterprise enjoyed government price supports while being allowed to dump pollutants into the local water supply, you might think you had the world by the tail—and you’d probably be right.
You’d also have enough stashed in your piggy bank for you and your family to afford to brush your teeth and fill your swimming pool with Perrier, so making life worse for everybody else wouldn’t really be a concern, at least in the short run.
Taking a longer view, it’s hard to reconcile the laissez-faire free market non-regulatory philosophy with creating such a miserable environment that eventually people would have to move away for lack of an affordable resource as basic as potable drinking water. But Gov. Rick Scott isn’t taking the longer view. He truly believes that by eliminating any restrictions whatsoever on businesses benefits everybody. At least, we’d like to think he’s a true believer, because if his appointment of a business-friendly South Florida Water Management District board is just a cynical attempt to help his rich friends make more money, then we wouldn’t want to be anywhere near his bad karma.
The good news about back-pumping phosphorus- and nitrogen-laden water into Lake Okeechobee is that those who worry about rising sea levels polluting our coastal wells with salt water can rest easy; man will have destroyed his drinking water supply long before nature could do the job.