I’ve been listening to a lot of Carl Hiaasen as of late on my commutes and long drives (I love Audible). There is a very clear theme in his writing regarding the pillaging, diminishing, thievery and general douchebaggery involved in developing and over-developing Florida. He writes about the destruction of the Everglades without each book being about the destruction of the Everglades. It is really well done stuff.
I was struck today by how this over-development is pretty much the opposite thing happening where I grew up in Northern California. On my home river of the Upper Sacramento you will see abandoned homes and washed out bridge footings. You won’t see new development. There are no condos being built here… heck, there aren’t even any stoplights.
I think this sort of reverse-development is happening in a lot of places as small towns empty and the migration to urban centers increases. While there certainly in development in sometimes sprawling suburbs, the places all those people came from shrink. There have been a couple big development booms connected with the rise of railroad travel and the rise of car travel, but those train stop or road stop towns are either gone or going.
I’m really curious to see how much wilderness is left there in Florida, how much has been bulldozed and paved over. I’m really hoping there is plenty of the wild left. If it is there, I’m hoping to see it.
I’ve certainly seen videos and photos of the beautiful side of Florida, and from a couple thousand miles away, it is easy to assume it is all like that. It is just as easy to read Hiaasen and assume it is all gone.
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