To regulate or not to regulate? We're as divided as ever over environmental policy:
Bottom Line: There are generally two reasons people live here and stay here. Lifestyle and taxes. A huge part of the South Florida lifestyle is being able to enjoy all our tropical weather has to offer. That generally goes hand-in-hand with increased consideration for environmental considerations. Those considerations have only increased in recent years with the added concern about discharges from Lake Okeechobee, whatever is to come of the Everglades Restoration project and the resumption of development with the real-estate recovery. The question always is and has been about what the best path forward is however. We remain fairly undecided locally and nationally as the case may be.
First, something most of us can agree on. The benefits of renewable energy. Pew Research found 83% of Americans believe that increasing renewable energy should be a priority. Now on where we're divided. What we should do to get there...
54% believe that the government should further regulate to encourage the use of renewables compared to 38% who say that the government should yield to private/market based adaptation. This is where I personally become frustrated with my fellow well intentioned friends. As you may know, I'm an environmentalist in the non-political sense. Rather than rant and rave in the streets with signs, I actually spend time in nature enjoying it and cleaning it up along the way. I also am a huge believer that we way under-utilize solar in South Florida. That being said the last thing in the world we need is the government figuring out how to force it into adaptation. Have we learned nothing? What happens when the government, especially through regulations, attempts to "help"? It costs all of us (or at least us tax paying types) more money.
What's odd is that on a separate question of the same survey participants 49% of people said we could actually cut back on existing regulations and improve air and water quality simultaneously (compared to 47% who said the opposite). So we seem to generally understand that existing environmental regs aren't ideal and yet we want new ones on renewable energy? Who would you rather influence the future of solar technology - Elon Musk or Chuck Shumer? So let's stop the madness and realize that the odds of any future energy regs being better than the current ones is borderline insane. It's kinda like the argument Socialists make. They argue that it just hasn't worked because it hasn't been done right. Whether it's Socialism or government regulated consumer behavior...it's time to stop looking towards the government for answers and start looking towards the best and brightest companies and technologies instead.