The next time someone says something to you about “business leading the way” in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building a sustainable future, email him a copy of the Florida Chamber Foundation’s latest blueprint for transitioning the Sunshine State into a 21st Century leader.
The report, “New Cornerstone Revisited,” was rightfully derided by at least one Florida newspaper for making “recommendations that could have been lifted from almost any generic development report.” Worse still, though, the report gave practically no attention to two major trends: climate change and water scarcity.
The potentially greatest threats to the state’s economic viability received only scant mentions on page 50 of the 60-page report. The document gives a one-sentence nod to Gov. Charlie Crist’s initiative to begin reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and refers to the need for long-term water and energy strategies just as briefly.
OK, the report was designed to update a previous economic study and assess the state’s progress in the three years since the last report came out. But it also set out to “identify priorities for future action by Florida’s public and private leaders” and “identify issues and opportunities that have emerged in importance since 2003.”
In that regard, the “New Cornerstone Revisited” study has as much right to say “mission accomplished” as W did while perched on the deck of the U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln in 2003. Rather than be a Grinch about it, though, I’m asking Santa to bring each member of the foundation a copy of Tufts’ University’s latest study on “Florida and Climate Change,” as well as a virtual tour of the Southeast’s drought conditions. Both are not only far more illuminating that the foundation’s report, but more PC (and eco-friendly) than the stereotypical lump of coal.