Friday, April 5, 2019

Counterattack on STOP THE BURN: Big Sugar loses its cool

In February, Sierra Club partnered with local Stop the Burn activists to send a mailer out to residents in Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay.


The message was a short summary of our campaign goals:

  • Impacted residents want the industry to be better neighbors by keeping the smoke, soot, and ash off of residents’ property and out of their lungs. 
  • The leaves (trash) that now go up in smoke should instead be utilized to create jobs close to the sugar fields like they do in Louisiana (biochar), Australia (mulch), and Brazil (bio-fuels, and electricity).   
  • Using the trash, instead of wasting it, can also provide new sources of revenue for sugar growers.  

Well, the sugar industry responded by sending a variety of postcards, and even a TV commercial, to residents in Western Palm Beach, Hendry, and Glades counties under the banner of “S.A.F.E. Communities.”  They really went off!  Their line is that pre-harvest burning is “safe, regulated, and necessary” but we beg to differ (click here for lots of reasons why).

The industry has resorted to making false claims that our grassroots environmental justice campaign is instead a conspiracy to put the industry out of business. Their fear mongering defies both common sense and established science and proves that something is wrong.

Click here to see all of the postcards we’ve gathered so far -- pasted below are a couple of examples.



They really got it wrong.  Actually, where green harvesting is practiced the trash is managed on the field as mulch (definitely not left in mounds) or carted away from the field to be used to produce a variety of sustainable products.

The thing is, the “S.A.F.E. Communities” postcards seem to have backfired -- here is just one of the many comments posted on their Facebook page by outraged residents:


And even better, the Stop the Burn Campaign is growing stronger than ever.

Do you think it’s time to stop the burn too?  Want to join the campaign? Click here to get started.

We think the riches extracted from the soil should be used to improve the local economy.  Don't you?

Want more information?  Contact: patrick.ferguson@sierraclub.org