Segment: More environmental awareness than in previous decades

Source: Interview with Jack Kaufman: journalist, member of the Florida Defenders of the Environment and UF Zoology professor.  Kaufman joined the Florida Defenders of the Environment in 1970 with Marjorie Carr

Link to Audio: SPC935_2

Length of Segment: 00:01:47

Interviewer: “And have your feelings changed about what you can expect from government, since those early days?”

Jack: “Yes, the political climate, the governments have certainly changed from those days. The State of Florida…there’s no comparison now between the environmental awareness and concern over the state government now and the situation back in the 1960’s.”

Interviewer: “What do you think that a scientist, like yourself, has to contribute to those efforts?”

Jack: “Two things, really, the main thing is getting it out, getting at the truth, getting at the facts. When projects of this sort, the Cross Florida Barge Canal, are being sold to the public by the agencies that expect to make money from them, the agencies that are going to construct them. It’s been our experience that they don’t pay a lot of attention to the truth often. They say what they need to say, what’s expedient to say in order to sell the project in order to get it approved and get support for it. And, I think the scientific community has an obligation to get at the real facts and once they dig out the facts, then present those facts as effectively as possible, either in writings or in testimony, in public hearings, or whatever. And, so that’s really what FDE was formed to do, was to get at the facts and then present them to the public and to the people in government that are making the decisions. So, at least when the decisions are made, everybody will know what the facts are and then if a bad decision is made, at least the people will know the basis it was made on. But, hopefully, and it’s turned out that way, if you get enough facts out and present them well enough, you can actually turn the government around.”