E.G. Vallianatos' complaints about the heavy influence that large corporations wield over the U.S. government and environmental policy will not be news to anyone who follows the debates over genetically modified crops or the ingredients in popular cosmetics. What is surprising and depressing in "Poison Spring," however, is when that influence began, especially over the regulation of pesticides.
The Florida Legislature is moving forward on a plan to entice private insurance companies to sell flood policies in the state that is the most vulnerable to storm surge. It is not clear, though, that many private insurers will want to assume the risks of flooding and join two companies already writing certain flood policies in the state.
Curiously, while Patrick Allitt puts the work of environmentalists into the context of their skeptics, he does not evaluate that skepticism as evenly. There is a difference between scientific uncertainty and political skepticism, which Allitt does not acknowledge.
Somewhere, a cheerful yet firm commercial is probably still airing to remind tourists that Florida and its beaches are oil-free. Meanwhile, James Grippando has written a fun legal thriller that offers a breezy tour of the policies that shape life in South Florida and its Caribbean neighbors.