Author

Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman

Craig Pittman is a native Floridian. In 30 years at the Tampa Bay Times, he won numerous state and national awards for his environmental reporting. He is the author of six books, including the New York Times bestseller Oh, Florida! How America's Weirdest State Influences the Rest of the Country, which won a gold medal from the Florida Book Awards. His latest, published in 2021, is The State You're In: Florida Men, Florida Women, and Other Wildlife. In 2020 the Florida Heritage Book Festival named him a Florida Literary Legend. Craig is co-host of the "Welcome to Florida" podcast. He lives in St. Petersburg with his wife and children.

COMMENTARY

Turning Florida’s rural lands into urban sprawl is a tragedy worthy of Shakespeare

By: - September 8, 2022

Florida is home to a lot of imperiled species that are badly in need of protection. That includes the panther, of course, and the Key deer, the manatee, the gopher tortoise, and a whole lot more. To this very long list I’d add one more: our remaining rural residents. These are the folks who live […]

COMMENTARY

One way DeSantis can attack Charlie Crist on his stellar Florida environmental record

By: - September 1, 2022

To: Robert Watkins, Tampa Dear Mr. Watkins, Hi! I see that you’re the chairman of “Friends of Ron DeSantis” political action committee. I figured that means you’re the person who can advise the governor about how his reelection campaign is in peril. I have a warning, but I also have a suggestion for him on […]

COMMENTARY

Developers back out of Florida panther protection proposal

By: - August 25, 2022

August is usually the worst month to be in Florida. We’re wilting from the heat and humidity and watching the National Weather Service bulletins because it’s peak hurricane season. Fortunately, there’s one event this month that highlights what a wonderful place this is. I am referring, of course, to the Wausau Possum Festival in the […]

COMMENTARY

Touting more offshore drilling while vowing to protect Florida beaches is just silly

By: - August 18, 2022

When I was growing up in Pensacola, my parents took verrrrry different approaches to elections. My dad, a land surveyor, would attend political rallies, slap backs, and laugh at jokes, all to make contacts for his small business. I would beg him to take me along — not because I liked the rallies but because […]

COMMENTARY

If Florida Gov. DeSantis wants to oust officials, here’s a list

By: - August 11, 2022

You probably heard all the hoopla last week about Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis removing — excuse me, “suspending” with extreme prejudice — the outspoken Democratic prosecutor in Hillsborough County, Andrew Warren. He’s not quite fired but he’s on the verge. Usually when officeholders in Florida get pink-slipped by the governor, it’s because they’ve been charged […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s python hunt promotes politician, fails to eliminate invading reptiles

By: - August 4, 2022

My kids frequently drag me to the theaters to see the latest superhero movie. As a result, I have discovered a fondness for what the comic book people call “origin stories.” You know, like how an illegal alien using a phony name became Superman. Or how Batman is just a rich orphan with anger issues […]

COMMENTARY

Florida’s next House Speaker is a fossil fuel fool who fears fixing the climate

By: - July 28, 2022

The 12-step people always say that the first step is admitting you have a problem, so here goes: Hi, I’m Craig, and I’m a civics nerd. As a kid, I fell under the magical spell of the Watergate hearings. Ever since, I’ve been fascinated by government stuff. The “I’m Just A Bill” song is my […]

COMMENTARY

Florida can’t move forward on pollution because of places like ‘Dead Shark Acres’

By: - July 21, 2022

Shark Week, aka “the Week the Discovery Channel Tries to Scare the Bejeezus Out of Its Viewers,” starts next week. Meanwhile the National Geographic Channel, trying to get a jump on the competition, has already launched “SharkFest,” calling it (brace yourself) “Must-Sea TV.” All these shark shows mean a lot to us here in Florida […]

COMMENTARY

Screwy plan for a new Florida city outrages its rural neighbors

By: - July 14, 2022

When anyone asks me the weirdest place in our very weird state of Florida, I always say it’s Pasco County. In addition to the usual mix of sketchy politicians and scummy developers, Pasco has the most sinkholes in the state. It’s got more nudist resorts than the rest of the country. The Klan once adopted […]

COMMENTARY

U.S. Supreme Court screw-up shackles the EPA on climate change

By: - July 7, 2022

The main thing I remember about that day at the U.S. Supreme Court was how cold it felt. A couple of inches of snow had fallen that January morning in 1984, but the real chill was in the court’s marble halls. This was back when newspapers had money to spend. The Pensacola News Journal paid […]

COMMENTARY

Florida water agency caught trying to get rid of important parkland

By: - June 30, 2022

Have you ever misplaced something important? People do this all the time in Florida. They lose track of their money, their pants, their basic dignity — sometimes all in one night. Four years ago, I was supposed to drive a vanload of smelly Boy Scouts — including my own pair — back home from a […]

COMMENTARY

Call Florida’s governor ‘Developer-Santis’ because he bows to builders’ every wish

By: - June 23, 2022

Nicknames can tell you so much about politicians. “Walkin’ Lawton” Chiles earned his for hiking the whole state while campaigning for the U.S. Senate. Bob Graham was dubbed “Governor Jell-O” for his wishy-washy ways when he first took office, but he sh-sh-shimmied out of that one. An angry mob dubbed then-Gov. Rick Scott. “Red Tide […]