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For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Governor goes green in a big way
By A TIMES EDITORIAL
Published July 12, 2007
There is only one response worthy of the scope and drama of Gov. Charlie Crist's announcement Tuesday on how Florida will react to the global warming crisis that could soon visit our shores. Wow!
Crist went well beyond the feel-good environmental cliches of the past. Instead, he laid out a specific plan of attack: an aggressive reduction in the amount of greenhouse gases spewing out of state power plants, a much greater reliance on electricity from renewable sources, markedly improved energy efficiency in new construction imposed by an updated building code.
If Florida can accomplish what Crist has laid out, it would catapult the state into a leadership role among those ready to do something about global warming. His actions mock the political paralysis on the subject in Washington.
"I think that as a state, beautiful as Florida is, we need to be a leader controlling climate change and protecting our natural resources," Crist said in announcing a series of executive orders he intends to sign Friday.
Most ambitious is a meaningful reduction of carbon emissions from power plants. Using a cap-and-trade system, the state would set three milestones for shrinking emissions. In 10 years, greenhouse gases would have to be reduced to 2000 levels; by 2025, the reductions couldn't exceed 1990 levels; and by mid century, emissions could be no more than a fifth of 1990 levels. Utilities that couldn't meet such restrictions would have to buy credits from those that could.
Crist would also set an ambitious goal for generating electricity from renewable energy. He would ask the Public Service Commission to write new rules requiring utilities to produce at least 20 percent of their electricity from sources other than fossil fuel, particularly solar and wind. That's a stronger position than the U.S. Senate took on renewable energy, mainly because of objections from Republicans, Crist's own party.
Meanwhile, Crist will be joined by another action-oriented Republican on the environment, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California, at a two-day conference on climate change beginning today in Miami. Perhaps this marks the beginning of a sea change in attitudes by the party, the state and the nation over global warming. Let's hope so.
Crist will face significant challenges ahead. He'll have to get the powerful utilities to cooperate, the Republican-led Legislature to back him and the so-far friendly Florida populace to accept the higher cost of a sustainable environment. The easy path for Crist would have been to fall back on the sure-thing environmental topics of the past, such as offshore drilling and Everglades restoration. Instead, he has added to those still-important issues and put his credibility on the line with a specific plan of attack against global warming.