They’re spending millions to raise my street three feet so it doesn’t flood at high tide. Restaurants at whose umbrella-ed sidewalk tables I used to sit last winter are now three feet below-ground. The tables are still there, but now I sit at tire-level, as the cars go by above.
Perhaps instead of a beautiful 900-mile wall that will somehow cost us nothing — Mexico will pay for it — we need to build a serviceable 6,000-mile dike. (I’m ignoring Alaska and the much scarier “second method” of measuring coastline, which for states like Texas and Louisiana is 10 or 20 times as long.)
This article from two summers ago is worth a read if you live anywhere near anywhere. In part:
. . . Nor will south Florida have to wait that long for the devastation to come. Long before the seas have risen a further three or four feet, there will be irreversible breakdowns in society, he says. “Another foot of sea-level rise will be enough to bring salt water into our fresh water supplies and our sewage system. Those services will be lost when that happens,” says Stoddard.
“You won’t be able to flush away your sewage and taps will no longer provide homes with fresh water. Then you will find you will no longer be able to get flood insurance for your home. Land and property values will plummet and people will start to leave. Places like South Miami will no longer be able to raise enough taxes to run our neighbourhoods. Where will we find the money to fund police to protect us or fire services to tackle house fires? Will there even be enough water pressure for their fire hoses? It takes us into all sorts of post-apocalyptic scenarios. And that is only with a one-foot sea-level rise. It makes one thing clear though: mayhem is coming.”
. . . “[I]f you have sea level rises of much more than a foot in the near future, when you raise the canal gates to let the rain water out, you will find sea water rushing in instead,” Kirtman said. . . .
The problem stems from the top, Kirtman said, from the absolute insistence of influential climate change deniers that global warming is not happening. . . . “But global warming is occurring. That is absolutely unequivocal. Since the 1950s, the climate system has warmed. That is an absolute fact. And we are now 95% sure that that warming is due to human activities. If I was 95% sure that my house was on fire, would I get out? Obviously I would. It is straightforward.”
This point is backed by Harold Wanless. “Every day we continue to pump uncontrolled amounts of greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, we strengthen the monster that is going to consume us. We are heating up the atmosphere and then we are heating up the oceans so that they expand and rise. There doesn’t look as if anything is going to stop that. People are starting to plan in Miami but really they just don’t see where it is all going.”
Thus one of the great cities of the world faces obliteration in the coming decades. “It is over for south Florida. It is as simple as that. Nor is it on its own,” Wanless admits.
“The next two or three feet of sea-level rise that we get will do away with just about every barrier island we have across the planet. Then, when rises get to four-to-six feet, all the world’s great river deltas will disappear and with them the great stretches of agricultural land that surrounds them. People still have their heads in the sand about this but it is coming. Miami is just the start. It is worth watching just for that reason alone. It is a major US city and it is going to let itself drown.”
The Republicans vying to lead the world scoff at such warnings. Cruz: “global warming alarmists are the equivalent of flat-Earthers.” Trump: “bull—-.” Christie: adamantly unconcerned (at 38:51). Rubio: “There’s never been a time when the climate’s not changing” — Florida’s junior senator opposes December’s Paris Climate Accord.
And Florida’s Republican governor? He’s simply banned climate change. That should do the trick.
Quote of the Day
In 1800, 75% of [an American's] working man's expenditures went for food alone. By 1850, that had dropped to 50%. Today it is a little more than 11%.~The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 1996
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