It was around 1950 that the Wanderer appeared in the streets of many Florida towns, crying out a grim vision of the state’s future. Afterward, no one could say exactly what she looked like, but all agreed that her hair resembled Spanish moss. She demanded attention:
O Floridians, beware of drilling wells not for drinking water but to irrigate grass! Do not water your Bahia, St. Augustine, and Centipede with the tears of dying springs!
O Floridians, I see a time when your phosphate ore will be uprooted from the ground and used to grow ornamental grasses and unnecessary Midwestern corn!
O Floridians, you will grow immense quantities of sugarcane in the Everglades but no one will be able to say why that is a good idea!
O Floridians, your politicians will sing hymns about how valuable Florida water resources are but continue to give it away! For free! To all!
O Floridians, you will build one of the nation’s best park systems and put in charge people who think that it will be even better with logging, cattle grazing, and hunting!
O Floridians, woe unto the lowest state if a political party denies the science of climate change and the sea level rise, ocean acidification, and other evils to come! I am talking about you Floridians! Yes, you!
Heed me, O Floridians!
Not so much then but maybe the Wanderer’s message is received better today.