Algae, commonly found in health food stores or clustered along the side of pool, might not appear dangerous. But don’t be fooled. South Florida is currently suffering from a massive algae crisis. The nasty sludge turns tourists away, provokes asthma attacks, and kills manatees. It’s such a mess that algae has turned into a campaign issue in the race for the U.S. Senate.
The Daily Show went full-on Miami Vice to get to the bottom of it. Comedians Roy Wood Jr. and Michael Kosta suited up like Crockett and Tubbs, learning along the way that the toxic fumes from algae can cause liver damage and make it hard for beachgoers to breathe.
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As the faux-detectives sip sugary cocktails, Miami Herald environmental reporter Jenny Staletovich tells them that the sugar industry’s farming practices are partly to blame for the algae issues.
“Has anyone ever reached out to the sugar industry and just said, ‘Stop doing that’?” asks Wood Jr.
“Stop doing that, sugar,” Kosta adds.
It’s not just the sugar industry, though. There’s also our old pal climate change: Warmer waters tend to breed larger algae blooms. As if Florida didn’t have enough climate worries already.