I heard about the Florida Everglades return on the radio the other morning while getting the kids ready for school. I had no idea that the exact opposite was happening on my doorstep. The Economist – Kenya plants sugar cane; America uproots it.
LAST week Charlie Crist, the governor of Florida, announced the purchase of almost 300 square miles of land in the middle of the Everglades from a sugar producer. Rather than building on it, Florida will allow the land to revert into its natural state.
On the other side of the world, the government of Kenya said it plans to do exactly the opposite: 80 square miles of the Tana river delta will be dug up by a private company that will grow sugarcane to be turned into biofuel. The Tana delta, which lies 120 miles north of the coastal city of Mombasa and drains Kenya’s longest river, is a mix of savannah, mangrove swamps, forest and beaches. Like the Everglades, this wetland area has unique wildlife; it sustains lions, hippos, reptiles, primates, rare sharks and 345 bird species, as well as thousands of farmers and fishermen. It provides the only dry-season grazing for hundreds of miles around. . .
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