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Florida Will Try To Kill You / CD Davidson-Hiers and Jeff VanderMeer

Fl mangrove clw

When we talk about "developing" Florida, we have this inarticulate relationship with the environment. Some cities are born of nothing in this state, some cities have been built up on sand. You drive down the coast and you see these massive condo buildings just waiting to be torn apart. And that kind of development is never going to succeed in Florida if the measure of success is that it will be here through a hurricane. but when we think about development, if we can think about actually paying attention to where we live and working with it, then yeah, I think that development could be completely sustainable. But we have to let nature come back as part of that, and not be disgusted by mangrove swamps, which actually smell very strongly, but are our natural barrier to storm surge for one example. Or be frightened of swamps with their millions of mosquitos and alligators, they absorb salt waters, they clean our waters for us. Things like that, the way that we interact with the land around us can be a sustainable form of development.

CD Davidson-Hiers and Jeff Vandermeer speak with Chuck about their article "Is Florida Becoming a Failed State?" published October 11th, 2022 by The Nation.…a-hurricane-ian/

CD Davidson-Hiers is a native Floridian who grew up on a 40-acre horse farm in North Florida. Her work has appeared in the Bitter Southerner, Flamingo Magazine, and USA Today. She works for the nonprofit Education Writers Association while also overseeing the Florida Student News Watch, an organization to mentor new journalists. Her work covering the US Covid-19 vaccine rollout received recognition from NPR, The Washington Post, Soledad O’Brien, and other national news outlets.

Jeff VanderMeer’s award-winning novel Annihilation is set in the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge. His environmental advocacy has included helping save cypress swamp in North Florida and sponsoring research into the endangered frosted flatwood salamander. A 35-year resident of Florida, he has previously written about the state for, among others, Current Affairs and The Los Angeles Times.

Image: Mangrove Forest, Epeterson1222, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons



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