Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Fake Billboard for a Fake Claim

“SAFE Communities” is at it again, making false claims that insult the intelligence.  This time it is with a photo-shopped picture of a fake anti-Sierra Club billboard.  “SAFE” is using social media to distribute the clearly photo-shopped graphic superimposed on a billboard.  Not only does the billboard not exist, but the billboard used for this trick actually is found far away from the Glades, near St. Augustine, Florida.

Photo-shopped billboard photo shared by “SAFE Communities” on social media. 
If you look closely, you can see how the photo does not fit well (look at left side of billboard).  Another giveaway is the fact that this company's billboards no longer carry the CBS logo!

Actual billboard near St. Augustine (credit: Google, StreetView, November 2018)
While the fake billboard is a laughing matter, the current economic situation in the Glades certainly is not. Statistics show that the Glades have some of the highest poverty and unemployment rates in Florida: Take a look here.

The real question is how many jobs could the industry create if they stopped burning and switched to green harvesting?  Where green harvesting is practiced elsewhere we know the trash is utilized to create commercial mulch (in Australia), biochar (in Louisiana), and biofuels and electricity (in Brazil).

One example of the green harvesting job creation potential in Florida comes straight from an economic impact study for a proposed Brazilian-style biofuels plant in nearby Highlands County. The study projects the plant would create 60 full-time high-paying green jobs and nearly 700 indirect and induced jobs.  Check it out here. In addition to creating new jobs, the proposed plant would provide a new revenue stream for local sugar growers by utilizing sugarcane trash rather than sending it up in smoke.

The sugar industry has now resorted to spreading their fake narrative on a fake billboard.  What will they come up with next?

It is time the sugar industry stopped investing in promoting fake conspiracy theories about the Sierra Club and start investing in the health, welfare, and economic future of Glades residents. It is time to switch to green harvesting!

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