Scientist: ‘Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed. It’s Not A Question Of If. It’s A Question Of When.’

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"Scientist: ‘Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed. It’s Not A Question Of If. It’s A Question Of When.’"

Jeff Goodell has a must-read piece in Rolling Stone, “Goodbye, Miami: By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin.”

Goodell has talked to many of the leading experts on Miami including Harold Wanless, chair of University of Miami’s geological sciences, department, source of the headline quote. The reason climate change dooms Miami is a combination of sea level rise, the inevitability of ever more severe storms and storm surges — and its fateful, fatal geology and topology, which puts “more than $416 billion in assets at risk to storm-related flooding and sea-level rise”:

South Florida has two big problems. The first is its remarkably flat topography. Half the area that surrounds Miami is less than five feet above sea level. Its highest natural elevation, a limestone ridge that runs from Palm Beach to just south of the city, averages a scant 12 feet. With just three feet of sea-level rise, more than a third of southern Florida will vanish; at six feet, more than half will be gone; if the seas rise 12 feet, South Florida will be little more than an isolated archipelago surrounded by abandoned buildings and crumbling overpasses. And the waters won’t just come in from the east – because the region is so flat, rising seas will come in nearly as fast from the west too, through the Everglades.

Even worse, South Florida sits above a vast and porous limestone plateau. “Imagine Swiss cheese, and you’ll have a pretty good idea what the rock under southern Florida looks like,” says Glenn Landers, a senior engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This means water moves around easily – it seeps into yards at high tide, bubbles up on golf courses, flows through underground caverns, corrodes building foundations from below. “Conventional sea walls and barriers are not effective here,” says Robert Daoust, an ecologist at ARCADIS, a Dutch firm that specializes in engineering solutions to rising seas.

The latest research “suggests that sea level could rise more than six feet by the end of the century,” as Goodell notes, and “Wanless believes that it could continue rising a foot each decade after that.”

Prudence dictates we plan for the plausible worst case. Coastal studies experts told the NY Times back in 2010, “For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure.”

Unfortunately, sea level rise is already 60% faster than projected. Goodell reports:

“With six feet of sea-level rise, South Florida is toast,” says Tom Gustafson, a former Florida speaker of the House and a climate-change-policy advocate. Even if we cut carbon pollution overnight, it won’t save us. Ohio State glaciologist Jason Box has said he believes we already have 70 feet of sea-level rise baked into the system.

Certainly without sharp cuts in CO2 starting ASAP, Jason Box is correct (see “Manmade Carbon Pollution Has Already Put Us On Track For 69 Feet Of Sea Level Rise”).

So we need a combination of aggressive mitigation combined with massive spending to develop completely new adaptation solutions for Miami to have any serious chance of surviving this century intact.

Sadly, Florida is one of the last places in the country where such action and planning can be expected:

Those solutions are not likely to be forthcoming from the political realm. The statehouse in Tallahassee is a monument to climate-change denial. “You can’t even say the words ‘climate change’ on the House floor without being run out of the building,” says Gustafson. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, positioning himself for a run at the presidency in 2016, is another denier, still trotting out the tired old argument that “no matter how many job-killing­ laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather.” Gov. Rick Scott, a Tea Party Republican, says he’s “not convinced” that global warming is caused by human beings. Since taking office in 2011, Scott has targeted environmental protections of every sort and slashed the budget of the South Florida Water Management District, the agency in charge of managing water supply in the region, as well as restoration of the Everglades. “There is no serious thinking, no serious planning, about any of this going on at the state level,” says Chuck Watson, a disaster-­impact analyst with longtime experience in Florida. “The view is, ‘Well, if it gets real bad, the federal government will bail us out.’ It is beyond denial; it is flat-out delusional.”

Goodell’s whole article is worth reading, not just for the sober view of what South Florida faces but also for the beautiful writing:

When it rains in Miami, it’s spooky. Blue sky vanishes and suddenly water is everywhere, pooling in streets, flooding parking lots, turning intersections into submarine crossings. Even for a nonbeliever like me, it feels biblical, as if God were punishing the good citizens of Miami Beach for spending too much time on the dance floor. At Alton Road and 10th Street, we watched a woman in a Toyota stall at a traffic light as water rose up to the doors. A man waded out to help her, water up to his knees. This flooding has gotten worse with each passing year, happening not only after torrential rainstorms but during high tides, too, when rising sea water backs up through the city’s antiquated drainage system. Wanless, 71, who drives an SUV that is littered with research equipment, notebooks and mud, shook his head with pity. “This is what global warming looks like,” he explained. “If you live in South Florida and you’re not building a boat, you’re not facing reality.”

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161 Responses to Scientist: ‘Miami, As We Know It Today, Is Doomed. It’s Not A Question Of If. It’s A Question Of When.’

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Reducing our emissions will give us time – slow SLR.

    • wili says:

      Apologies if this has already been linked somewhere, but this is a handy interactive article with maps of major US coastal cities and how they will be affected at various levels of sea level rise:

      http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/24/opinion/sunday/what-could-disappear.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

      • Joan Savage says:

        On point!

        The NYT graphic shows that with a 5 ft rise in sea level, the water supply to the west of Miami becomes sea water.

        What’s left of the city becomes a coastal island, one that would have to either conserve rainwater or pump fresh water from afar.

    • Superman1 says:

      PK, This article actually made it to the MSN Homepage that my browser brings up. Note the comments; is there any wonder the House is controlled by the deniers! http://now.msn.com/miami-is-doomed-thanks-to-climate-change-says-writer-jeff-goodell

      • Joe Romm says:

        Surprised you’re suckered by the deniers’ strategy to swarm MSM comments. Guess it’s worth they time and money they are doling out for it.

        • Superman1 says:

          The reality is, you don’t know the motives of the people doing those posts. Half the people in my community talk that way, and I wouldn’t make the accusation they are proxies of the energy companies. These are the half of the electorate that gave the deniers the control of the House; it was no accident!

          • prokaryotes says:

            creating an army of sockpuppets, with sophisticated “persona management” software that allows a small team of only a few people to appear to be many, while keeping the personas from accidentally cross-contaminating each other. http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2011/02/20/207554/denier-bots-live-why-are-online-comments-sections-over-run-by-the-anti-science-pro-pollution-crowd/

          • Joe Romm says:

            So is it half, is it the tiny fraction that provide a majority in the key Congressional races, or is it all Americans you are blaming for this mess?

            Your position is incoherent, inconsistent, and offers no plan of action.

            I understand what many of the people doing these comments are doing. If you think it is just happenstance that they always seem to show up with the first comment majority of comments and recycling long-debunked lies, well, I didn’t thank you for that naïve.

          • Superman1 says:

            “Your position is incoherent, inconsistent, and offers no plan of action.” I probably have the most coherent and consistent postings of anyone here, and they reflect the constraints that have to be met in order to avoid the cliff. Any plans I propose to avoid the cliff would not be salable to the electorate because of their ‘draconian’ nature, and any salable plans, like most I see on this site, will not avoid the cliff.

          • Joe Romm says:

            Saying it doesn’t make it true.

      • prokaryotes says:

        What could we learn if we analyse these orchestrated comments?

        Bot net? Sockpuppets? IP’s tied to oil companies or their think tanks? Everything from proxies?

        • Superman1 says:

          All the blogs orchestrate their message, through selective posting of articles and (usually) comments; only the conductors are different. I try to relate a blog’s comments to the climate views of the people I know, to see whether the blog is reflecting reality in any way.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            I believe that you are correct. Most MSM blogs are run by unrepentant Rightists, that being the type tolerated and preferred by the plutocrats who own the MSM. They select ‘Comments’ for their ideological correctness. I’ve been ‘disappeared’ countless times by the Government owned, but thoroughly Rightwing, ABC, and those with opinions like mine also disappear one by one, while pet Rightwingers, including the crudest, Dunning-Krugerite, denialists, prosper. It is hardly even disguised in any way. Of course, if they ever bothered to note the pathetic protests, they would, true to form, simply deny it.

  2. Jeff Huggins says:

    Now …?

    Now that we understand that Miami (not to mention other places too) will likely be a disaster within 100 years unless we address climate change, will folks agree that it would behoove us to determine in concrete terms where Hillary Clinton (and any other would-be Democratic nominees for president) stands with respect to climate change? That is, before she becomes the Democratic nominee by sheer momentum or default?

    Yes, I know, I’ve asked this question before — in different ways and with different supporting logic — but I haven’t gotten any real and thoughtful responses from the hosts, who are the ones who have the platform (and the connections, through CAP leadership) to actually begin to make progress on this notion. So I ask again.

    (Aside from that, I can’t wait ’til Tuesday.)

    Cheers and Be Well,

    Jeff

    • Teresa Welby says:

      We had a great environmental advocate, but the strongest greenies among us decided he was not cool enough so they did their best to shred him and they were successful. That was 13 years ago. Their choice of candidates was Nader, a guy most people would never trust in the white house. I don’t think there is a lot of appetite for making a stand on global climate change one of the main issues to judge a candidate because there is a sense that you can not trust the candidates who are supported by the people who most vocal about that issue.
      I am very concerned with Global Climate change. I prefer to continue to follow Gore and whatever he is doing on the issue. I would hope that anyone elected would tap his resources and knowledge while in office.
      In 2008, “progressives” gave us Obama. How did that work out? He turned out to be much less progressive than Clinton, but some of us knew that because we were paying attention, not jumping on band wagons.
      Clinton is an excellent choice. We don’t need another inexperienced person without much of a record to judge him/her by. I have no doubt Clinton will appoint someone who is excellent on the issue of Global Climate change and will expect that person to actually get something done. That is the kind of person Clinton is and always has been. Get to know her.

      • MinorityMandate says:

        Long live Ralph (Bush is no different from Gore) Nader. A definition of the perfect being the enemy of the good.

      • Chris says:

        Clinton’s tenure as the Secretary of State gave us multiple fast-tracked industry backed pro-Keystone XL Pipeline reports. You complain about Obama while almost all of Obama’s financial people have ties to the same idiots Bill Clinton had in his Whitehouse. The Clinton family is useless.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        What sort of people wouldn’t trust Nader? He is a man of sterling integrity and character, without a blemish on his public record, and how many people in public life in the USA can say that?

    • nnoxks says:

      Uh, the article is looking at more like 20 years than 100 years. But sure.

  3. catman306 says:

    If the property insurers refuse to re insure a property after they’ve paid a flood insurance claim, the price of flood prone real estate will fall to its true value: very low except as a place to park RVs, pitch camping tents, or to build inexpensive self insured cottages.

    That’s was its value before flood insurance, isn’t it?

    That will bring an end to this insane development in flood prone areas.

    • Jack Burton says:

      catman306, You have nailed the ONE thing that will even get Republicans attention. That is climate related weather disasters and SLR that will cause insurance to become unaffordable.
      Certain areas are already under the gun as private insurance companies seek to escape extreme weather event loses. This will increase in seriousness until well connected rich Republicans and the Fundamentalist Religion Republican lose their insurance policies or rate go too high to be paid, then their property becomes worthless. If your property can’t be insured, who will buy it? Market forces will be the first REAL climate signal to pound deniers on the head! They understand money, and climate change is about to become a major factor in property markets, it already has in many areas.

      • Omega Centauri says:

        The problem is, if climate change is admitted to be real, then the market will have to “correct” all those prices. That would of course be a financial disaster of major proportions. So we try to pretend it isn’t happening, and extend the good times as long as possible. This is similar to the capital-at-risk if we decide to leave it in the ground. So much apparent wealth would vanish in short order, that it would precipitate a financial crash.

        • Sasparilla says:

          Good point Omega. Begs the question, how do you kill these industries but do it in such a way that their market values go down slowly enough to not trigger a market crash.

          Would seem you’d want to only go after one industry at a time or with a rising price of carbon (as it weeds the worst out as it rises)…either way it seems we’ve waited way too long for a gradual diminishing of value (although coal stocks in general have been sliding for a while) – we’ll probably have to eat a market crash as the prices are adjusted as its realized much of the in the ground reserves have to stay there and become worthless.

          • catman306 says:

            We could nationalize the fossil fuel industries. Their employees could be retrained to work in renewable energy. The stocks of fossil fuel companies could be directly converted to stocks of renewable energy companies: solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, and the companies that build energy buffers like batteries.

            Not likely to happen, but here is a way to keep the economy going, if not quite growing.

          • the ?hil says:

            Tell me again what’s wrong with a huge market crash? Serve the rich right. With a side of mashed potatoes!

          • Omega Centauri says:

            The market value is based upon perceived future value over time. Traders try to anticipate changes. So as soon as it becomes credible that stuff must be left in the ground -or hotels abandoned to the sea before their time, then market prices will fall. The only way to make it gradual is to have the perceived probability gradually increase with time (or the time frame of abandonment gradually move forward. At least for the real estate situation, net present value severely discounts the future, so the difference between 50years left and 100 years left is actually very small.

          • Sasparilla says:

            to answer “the ?hil” question about what’s wrong with a market crash.

            You have to ask yourself, in the crash of 2008 who was really hurt in all that. The really wealthy? No, not really. It was the middle class (who had their retirement 401k’s etc decimated) along with jobs decimated along with the lower class being hit with the job losses.

            The truly wealthy have some money in the market (where it could get hurt), but most of it is locked away in investments that are “safe”, don’t give huge returns but don’t have much risk. The other downside is that it makes the government afraid to do anything since the imperative is to get the jobs back at nearly all costs. JMHO…

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            How many reasons for another market crash do you need? Unrepayable debt in the trillions. Unprecedented inequality. Median wages stagnant or falling. Fracking a gigantic bubble cum scam. Competitive currency devaluations. Tsunamis of capital created by central banks washing in and out of economies. Insurance losses skyrocketing. Publics everywhere revolting against forced immiseration, while the parasites party on. All in the context of ecological collapse proceeding with frightening speed, and resource depletion crises, particularly in food production. And it is not going to turn around, miraculously. No ‘Invisible Hand’.

      • Sasparilla says:

        Currently Florida (firmly in denier political hands) funds its own property insurance for citizens as the market forces started leaving before (Florida govt stepped up to prevent the market forces from taking effect).

        As the article mentions though, one large hurricane and insurance program will become insolvent and bankrupt the state (expecting a Federal bailout no doubt).

        • Fla Catman says:

          Right after Hurricane Charley in 2004, State Farm Ins. pulled out of the homeowners market. Several other companies followed. The ones that stayed in the game raised their premiums, threatening to put the burden on the state if the premium increases were not approved. So….fewer companies with stretched resources facing increased natural disasters….. HMMMMMM!

      • SqueakyRat says:

        Trouble is, flood insurance is currently kept cheap by government guarantees and subsidies. Basically anyone can get it, no matter how flood-prone your house is.

    • As it becomes obvious that shore property is literally going to be wiped out, its value will plunge–along with the value of everything connected to it. Just one city like Miami having just 10% of its physical geography underwater will collapse property values in the entire area very rapidly.

      That lost investment will cascade throughout the regional economy, compounded by unemployment and the lost capacity of those assets. (They did have a function, like housing, or tourism, or car repair.)

      Well, there’ll be jobs moving everyone inland, right? Wrong. It’ll be like any war-torn country. There’ll be economic and social chaos. The economic losses will be almost instantaneous–way faster than the ability to build new facilities and replace the physical and social infrastructure to offset that loss.

      There is no “adapting” to this scenario, played out in every coastal megacity in the world. There is only prevention. Every year we wait to eliminate GHGs increases the probability that the sea level rise cannot be limited. If Greenland and Antarctica go, it’s all over.

      Of course, long before that, we will have seen the jet stream get very erratic as the ice cap disappears, and ruin mass agriculture, compounding (actually, triggering) a permanent and ever-worsening economic collapse.

      Obama announces his climate plan Tuesday. I’m glad that some kind of attention may finally be paid. But from the previews, I’m expecting tweaks around the edges, not the big changes need to go to the heart of the problem.

    • Laurie Mann says:

      Goddell’s description of what happens in heavy rains in Miami reminds me a lot of what happens in New Orleans during heavy rain. I spent a few days in New Orleans as a hurricane skirted the coast and it was eye-opening.

      About the only people to take a realistic view of what will happen in south Florida is the insurance companies – insurance premiums for property have increased roughly fivefold over the last 10 years or so.

    • Lore says:

      You’re talking about economic and societal panic. Miami will be just a local poster child of the chaos that ensues. This will ripple across the planet. No one will be left untouched. Markets and even governments will crumble once the jig is up.

      It’s also pretty clear that nothing will be done here in the US to mitigate, or even plan for a response in time to matter much. Where will the millions of costal refugees go? To the depleated and sun baked Southwest, or maybe the hollowed out heartland?

      • John McCormick says:

        Lore, you get the final argument and now the prosecution can rest.

        Mumbai, Karachi, Singapore, London,Charleston, greater Manhattan all will experience cms of SLR simultaneously. Just looking at these cities alone as SLR creeps onto their main avenues and infrastructures, their individual and collective responses will bring an end to their government’s capabilities to cope and the bow of the ship will go under. There can be no response because there will not be the money to afford it…not here in the US…not anywhere.

      • Mark E says:

        US refugees who arrive in the NE thinking there is water there will end up brushing their teeth with the residue of hydrofracking chemicals. Ah, karma

    • rollin says:

      “All properties within the City of Miami Beach are located within the Special “Flood Hazard Area”. Some areas flood with a high tide and west wind. There is a 26% chance of being flooded over the life of a thirty (30) year mortgage. ”

      From http://web.miamibeachfl.gov/building/kiosk7/scroll.aspx?id=38768

      I think that will soon rise to 100 percent chance and beyond.

      • Leif says:

        The rich have tons of $$$ and invest in the highest ROI. Stop profits from the pollution of the commons and the money should start to flow into the only other promising avenue of investment. The Green Awakening Economy. Socially enabled capitalism is a failed paradigm.

  4. Doug Bostrom says:

    This article makes crystal-clear the deadly collision between denial and the dire need to plan for dealing with the mess we’ve created.

    Contrast with London, England. Leaving aside differences in available engineering responses, London largely doesn’t face the stubborn intransigence of legislators actively trying to thwart expert public servants from doing their duty.

    We’re making the wrong kind of history here in the United States. A few short years from now we’ll be used as a case-history of feckless governance.

  5. fj says:

    With such obvious immediate dangers it is not encouraging that local denier politicians remain in office.

  6. rollin says:

    The direction of events will soon become very evident, then drastic decisions will have to be made. Does Miami have a plan in place for flooding from the sea?

  7. Timothy Hughbanks says:

    As I read Goodell’s article a feeling of hopelessness regarding the future of Miami was creeping into my mind, but then I read the message from one of the Broward/Miami-Dade county commisioners: ‘God destroyed the Earth with water the first time, and he promised he wouldn’t do it again. So all of you who are pushing fears about sea-level rise, go back and read the Bible.’ Whew! – I feel much better now.

    • Michele Allen says:

      I don’t think God said anything about not destroying Miami with flood waters.

    • dreeves says:

      Wow, I feel better too. Just a little Exodus will do you huh? ;-)

    • Bernard Terway says:

      ROFLMAO. But, unfortunately, that is a response you would get from the radical, religious, Rong.

    • dinah says:

      thats what it says,but when did Florida become the earth..

    • NEtreehugger says:

      This requires an assumption that flooding is not a result of human actions (AGW) but is totally under the control of God since it is not stated as “God will save humans from the effects of their actions”. Disconnection from reality…
      Also interesting how predominantly conservative/ Republican states with “natural disasters” assume that the federal government should bail them out even as they block any actions that would minimize the long-term disastrous impacts.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      No-that was a sinner, mocking Our Lord’s Words with sinister sarcasm.

    • Mark E says:

      He’s confused, obviously.

      The first time, God sent the water.

      When it comes this time, it won’t be God’s choice but ours.

  8. Jeff Huggins says:

    Fascinating Dilemma

    Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie all face a “fascinating” dilemma, don’t they, given the immense and obvious risks of climate change to Florida and New Jersey.

    (I put the word ‘fascinating’ in quote-marks to possibly gain Rachel Maddow’s attention: she seems to like fascinating political dilemmas as they relate to climate change.)

    Two and three years from now, will Rubio, Bush, and Christie be telling their home-state constituents that climate change doesn’t exist, that it’s not much of a threat, or that the bother of dealing with it outweighs the risks of not dealing with it? Now that would be interesting!

    The Repubs are going to have to find a nominee from a mile-high state (but climate change will cause problems there too) or else change their tune pretty soon. Should be interesting. (That said, never discount the power of ideology to get someone to close his eyes to reality even as the water begins to surround his feet.)

    Cheers,

    Jeff

    • Doug Bostrom says:

      It’s too easy to overdo the language here, but legislators and other elected officials who don’t happen to have the expertise to understand their challenges can inadvertently become the equivalent of enemies, sowing seeds of destruction through obstruction. Inaction can be a time bomb, surely looks to be in this case.

      I think history will not look kindly on people trying to shape policy while acting outside their sphere of understanding.

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        ‘Capitalist democracy’ where the rich have the first and last say on who becomes a politician and how successful they become, has a rather crappy record lately of producing leaders and technocrats of distinction. Quite the opposite, in fact.

    • Colorado Bob says:

      JH -
      May I add New Orleans is sinkin’ and I don’t want to swim :
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zd-x9H6lfMs

    • Bill Greene says:

      “Two and three years from now, will Rubio, Bush, and Christie be telling their home-state constituents that climate change doesn’t exist, that it’s not much of a threat…..”
      I’d borrow big money on that one to bet that they would!

    • SqueakyRat says:

      2 or 3 years won’t lead to enough of difference. In fact, that’s the main problem. By the time we see enough of a difference in sea levels to get public attention, it’ll be way too late.

  9. Mike Roddy says:

    All of the deep South is in trouble, but especially Florida and Texas, and in our lifetimes, too. Its people will emigrate within to places with cooler climates by around 2040, if not sooner.

    That’s when it will get really scary, because they have guns, and know how to use them. “Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo” will have a whole new meaning, since she will be accompanied by her parents and uncles. The people of Seattle, Madison, and San Francisco will not welcome them. Heirs of people like Mitch McConnell and James Inhofe may still be in charge of Congress, working for the oil companies, but their wishes- including pushing us out of the way to make room for their people- will not be heeded in northern and west coast states.

    We can expect effective Balkanization, and a return to the kind of State sovereignty that existed before 1788.

    We could have stopped all of this, through rapid decarbonization. Maybe we still can.

    • Doug Bostrom says:

      “The people of Seattle…will not welcome them.”

      We’ll stick flowers in their gun barrels, issue them their bicycles and direct them to their pea patches. :-)

      The tough ones will succumb to depressing June weather and be easy enough to deal with, by rationing their coffee as part of a positive reward scheme.

      • nnoxks says:

        Hmmm. Speak for yourself Doug. Seriously, what will happen when millions of climate refugees begin pouring into the Pacific Northwest? You going to give all of them flowers? How about jobs, housing, food, electricity, and all the infrastructure that goes along with that? I guess we’ll see.

    • Dennis Tomlinson says:

      Mike, I worry about how welcomming Canadians will be to my grandkids and their kids, and theirs…

      I read the RS article a couple days ago and my take away was that enough SLR is in the cards to innundate Miami, the Glades, and pretty much all of S.Fla. The cost of saving Miami might be more than we can, or are willing to bear. We’ll spend $B’s and $B’s to save NYC, NO, and the like. But Miami and some other cities may be sacrificed (looking at you Galveston).

    • That’s a very plausible scenario, Mike. The South could not destroy the Union in 1861. But its resistance to climate action may succeed where outright revolution failed. They could well fan out across the landscape with their guns and their rigid, moralistic, hierarchical antebellum attitudes, set up new enclaves, and look for people to blame. The Federal government will have way too much on its hands with the concurrent social and economic chaos to do much about it.

      That sort of diaspora happened after the Civil War, too, to flee Reconstruction, with lots of Southerners going to Oklahoma and the Rockies, which helps explain why those states, too, exhibit states-rights-itis and anti-federal attitudes. This, despite the fact that almost no state west of the Mississippi would exist if the territory hadn’t been first annexed and administered by the Federal government. The states could very well devolve into separate sovereignties, or confederate into smaller countries.

      Then the populations that now embrace climate denial, and historically embraced slavery and Jim Crow and a “way of life” in general (cf. Paula Deen) that put white, heterosexual males at the top of the social pyramid, can re-institute their “freedom” to dominate the lesser classes, as God of the Old Testament intended. None of that pesky government intrusion or human rights nonsense to worry about then.

  10. BobbyL says:

    I don’t know about this. About half of The Netherlands is below sea level and they are doing okay. Maybe Miami will look something like Amsterdam. From what I have read the politicians in south Florida have been very aggressive about trying to get help with the problem of sea water infiltrating their aquifers as sea level rises because of the porosity of limestone. There are some engineering solutions available although whether they will be sufficient remains to be seen. I think the author’s statement there won’t be action and planning is wrong. It is already occurring. South Florida is a Democratic stronghold and the politicians are responding to the threat.

    • Sasparilla says:

      As the article points out, the other cities don’t rest on the swiss cheese like limestone base that the entire southern Florida area rests on. Even if you build walls etc., the water will come through from below because it flows freely there (its currently prevented from doing that by higher levels of fresh water, everglades etc. above seal level, but those are goners once the ocean rises enough) and that’ll be it for southern Florida.

      • Omega Centauri says:

        The only tech solution I can imagine, is re-engineering the buildings so that what is currently the ground floor can cope with being underwater. Effectively the first floor is converted into pilings, for a building surrounded by water. I suspect this would be extremely difficult and expensive.

      • Colorado Bob says:

        As the article points out the ‘head’ of fresh water was 1.5 feet , when the whole complex web was built, they are now at 9 inches.

      • BobbyL says:

        You’re right. I missed that. It looks like Miami will not be the next Amsterdam. More like the next Atlantis.

      • Fla Catman says:

        Right now Central Flawridduh is sucking the freshwater lifeblood out of our limestone aquifers. Bottled water companies are one small part of the theft but overbuilding, golf courses and many other water hungry endeavors are sapping the freshwater, allowing salt water incursion into the Lower Fla. areas. All of the Keys depend on ONE single water line from Miami in the same manner that Miami depends on a thousand pipelines from northern Fla.

    • Big difference, BobbyL. The Netherlands were largely reclaimed–in other words, deliberately built outwards, and over centuries in a time of climate stability.

      Florida is pure reactive defense that has to happen in a couple of decades. And even then they don’t know what the target is. Protect against three feet? Six? Ten? Twenty?

      Not to mention the rest of the country unraveling. Florida will be isolated economically, and unlikely to be self-sufficient agriculturally, due to its shrunken size, reduced soil quality, erratic weather, and large, restive, and perhaps highly Balkanized population.

    • Tracytwocrows says:

      As someone who used to work for SFWMD in conjunction with Local Engineering Offices,I can tell you first hand,those who want to stay in South Florida had better literally build a boat&invest in snorkels,because the Powers that be gagged&hogtied us YEARS ago from doing ANYTHING even remotely useful to stem the Tide.

      It’s NO joke that every year,flooding even in minor issues gets worse&worse,The canals Over flow on regular occasion taking out all within it’s range,Massive fish kills&gators in places they’ve NEVER been before since humans found AC.And we’re NOT just talking Properties&Home Values here,but Billions in Agricultural lands,one of THE biggest Polluters down here responsible for much of the Chaos outside CO2 Emissions from elsewhere(they put out enough of their own)

      Those of us who had a conscience& relied on good,hard science were fired from our jobs for”Insubordiantion” for even daring to bring this up,and our jobs”privatized to the Private sector”,supposedly to save taxpayers money,but in reality it was so those who have benefited from the grift that is Florida Politics for so long,could continue shoveling their pockets full before they GTFO at last chance&left everyone else to knowingly drown.

      They know FULL well what they are doing&merely hide behind Religion to do it.They of course don’t actually believe it,but enough yahoos do to keep em in business just long enough to bend us all over&heave ho..”How High’s The water mama?15 feet&risin’”…

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      When Florida goes so will The Netherlands, and Bangladesh, the Nile Delta etc. They will be overwhelmed, particularly when storm surges hit.

  11. Colorado Bob says:

    Well there’s the high water, here’s some hell to go with it :
    Satellite images and NASA data show vast forest fires blanketing Singapore with record pollution

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/06/21/satellite-images-and-nasa-data-show-vast-forest-fires-blanketing-singapore-with-record-pollution/

    • wili says:

      Good catch.

      Don’t forget the massive fires in CO, and in NM, and in AK…and the massive flooding in Calgary, and in France, and in Germany, and in India…

      What a sh!t storm!

      • Omega Centauri says:

        Something tells me: We ain’t seen nuthin yet!

        • wili says:

          Indeed.

          Even all of these nearly simultaneous disasters, catastrophes, calamities… throughout the globe are not more than a tiny taste of the general conflagration that will soon be falling around our and our childrens’ heads.

          Not a peep about these larger implications in the MSM, though.

          • Mike Roddy says:

            MSM is not reformable, and would only respond to pressure via well organized advertiser boycotts. It would be hard to choose where to start, since both TV and newspapers are so pathetic on the subject, but this is going to have to happen. Otherwise, it’ll be like the German villagers who were shocked when the Allied tanks arrived. Their newspapers and radio had told them they were winning.

            I floated this idea as a systematic program, and got nowhere, but maybe it’s just me. If someone else pulls it off, that’s fine.

          • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

            The Australian MSM ignores most weather disasters, filling its pages instead with exhortations to mine and burn more coal and gas, dredge the Great Barrier Reef, destroy renewable energy (wind because it causes mysterious diseases unknown to science, and solar because it is allegedly too expensive). The Right, as expected, is not retreating one centimetre and never, ever, will. In the end it comes down to their total disinterest in what happens to humanity after they are dead. In fact even a cataclysm like anthropogenic climate destabilisation is but a symptom of the real disease-the total domination of global human society by the Right, and the inevitable destruction, chaos and moral insanity that flows from that existential disaster.

        • John McCormick says:

          Omega, courtesy of the Buffalo Springfield,

          There’s something happening here
          What it is ain’t exactly clear
          There’s a man with a gun over there
          Telling me I got to beware
          I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
          Everybody look what’s going down

          I am also remembering the tragedy and the victims at Kent State and remember how the powerful will attack its citizens here in the US of A.

        • Superman1 says:

          Omega, Given that we have decades of ‘climate warming commitment’ built into the system, it can only go in one direction. These are the GOOD OLD DAYS, to which we will look back fondly even in a decade!

    • SqueakyRat says:

      For the sake the WaPo’s geographical literacy, I was glad to see they didn’t actually locate the vast forest fires in Singapore.

  12. We'll see what happens says:

    The article says “by century’s end” Miami will be claimed bey the sea. Does this take into account the above mentioned 60% faster than projected rise of the oceans? If it doesn’t then what is the timing on the need to abandon Miami?

    Anyone know?

    • Jenn says:

      I’d put my property on the market now to get the best price…

    • colinc says:

      Today! Right freaking now!

    • Lore says:

      Centuries end is just a milestone to base a projected result. Effects will be felt much sooner and a reaction to the inevitable within an even shorter period of time.

      • Mark E says:

        On the flip side, whatever the rate of change at century’s end, it will blow right past that calendar date and whoever’s around will be talking about how much worse it will be another 50 years out.

    • Mike Roddy says:

      A two foot rise before 2050 is possible, maybe even likely. WAIS could go by then, which will mean more, and Greenland has been acting weird lately, too. As a good CP poster pointed out above, it’s not necessary for Miami to be inundated, due to its swiss cheese geology. Salt water intrusion will ruin water supplies and infrastructure.

      I recommend Peter Ward’s The Flooded Earth on this subject.

      The US will be punished for our absurd religious/oil propaganda approach, and move to the second tier of world economies. Fortunes built by geek lunatics like Jobs and Zuckerman won’t save us. There’s no sense having better communication of the foundation is full of lies and ignorance.

      • Superman1 says:

        My reading of the climate models (adjusted for real-world effects), and the projections for continued intensive fossil fuel use made by all the major governmental, inter-governmental, and industrial organizations, leads me to conclude we will go extinct as a species somewhere between end of century and perhaps two generations before!

  13. Zetetic says:

    Just to let any one that was interested know, (I apologize in advance if it was already announced on another thread already) But the Rolling Stones had an article about “The 10 Dumbest Things Ever Said About Global Warming”.
    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-10-dumbest-things-ever-said-about-global-warming-20130619
    The article even had a visit in the comments by someone who appears to possibly be Joe Bastardi. You can find his posts, still denying the science, below the posts of many other on both sides of the issue in the comments.

  14. Colorado Bob says:

    I’ve noticed lately that the tack of the deniers is that we are all in some new religion ………….
    “Religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural systems, and world views that relate humanity to the supernatural, and to spirituality.”

    Watson recalls attending a meeting on natural-hazard-response planning in South Florida, funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state: “I mentioned sea-level rise, and I was treated to a 15-minute lecture on Genesis by one of the commissioners. He said, ‘God destroyed the Earth with water the first time, and he promised he wouldn’t do it again. So all of you who are pushing fears about sea-level rise, go back and read the Bible.’”

    I suppose the thermal expansion of the oceans is pretty supernatural.

    • Martin V says:

      Reading about a Sunday school lecture by a commissioner makes me wonder what I would have done in such a situation. Raise a stink? Demand to stop his proselytizing nonsense? Walk out? Ask the chair person to intervene?

      The thing is: It’s worth going through a scenario in your mind and thinking it through so than when you’re in such a situation that calls out not to be complacent you’ll act in a manner you won’t regret – but ACT, rather than just sit there, fuming.

    • Raul M. says:

      Maybe several points to consider. Hazardous duty pay for commissioners. Came to do a meeting with a schedule of issues, only to find an issue that could benifit a variable number of properties at a great monetary expense to the general property payer. Such a situation could be a parameter for the need for hazardous duty pay. Maybe knowing that the money would be there for personal issues could free the commissioner to consider the issue. Maybe wishful thinking.

  15. prokaryotes says:

    Climate and Sea Level: An Emerging Hockey Stick http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yHrVOnLKjuQ&list=PLE57D4414FAA446C0&index=8

    Notice science is advancing rapidly and this video is from Jan 2012

  16. prokaryotes says:

    Future sea level rise primarily depends on our future greenhouse gas emissions. Depending on the emissions scenario (B1, A2, A1FI) our semi-empirical estimates (central estimates published 2009) range between ca. 1.0 and 1.4 meters for the period 1990-2100. This is significantly more than corresponding estimates of the 2007 IPCC report (“AR4″) based on process-based models. The red line shows tide gauge data (Church & White 2006). Graph taken from Vermeer & Rahmstorf 2009. Data download here. http://www.pik-potsdam.de/sealevel/index.html

  17. Theodore says:

    It seems to me that there could soon be a collapse in the price of all coastal land much like a bank run before the FDIC. Everybody will be trying to sell, not because of water, but because of the fear that other people will want to sell. Everybody will be trying to beat the price collapse before the others sell and cause a price collapse.

    • Sasparilla says:

      This seems very plausible. If it weren’t for the Florida State “Citizens Property Insurance Corporation” (as large insurers left the state previously) we’d probably already be moving down this path some.

      Once they have a big storm hit Florida and the insurance program bankrupts the state that may be enough to start things.

      • Rabid Doomsayer says:

        Realistically the time to move is now. Time to embed yourself in a new community before the barricades go up. Time to move while infrastructure is still working. And yes time to sell while the property is worth something.

        An uninsurable property will be a hard sell. When people realize the next hurricane will leave them without land to rebuild on and the state insurance fund is broke (will happen)the property will be worth nada

        • It will be abandoned outright after Theodore’s reverse land rush kicks in. There will be no “hard to sell.” South Florida will be populated by those too poor to move. It’ll look like a cross between Bangladesh and Somalia–everybody fighting the sea for a subsistence living, and moving like nomads as the sea inexorably encroaches.

      • Colorado Bob says:

        The same thing is happening, (IE costs) in Colorado with fire , and more homes being built in the woods .

        In Colorado, wildfires may drive up costs of living in paradise

        As Colorado wildfires set damage records, officials consider making building codes tougher and shifting fire costs to people who live in forests.
        http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-colorado-fires-20130622,0,4924525.story

  18. Sasparilla says:

    Great overview Joe to an excellent article.

    One noticeable thing about the article is the tone – this isn’t an argument that climate change is or isn’t happening…it assumes it is (which is correct) and starts talking about the disastrous consequences as we loose Southern Florida in this century.

    We need more articles like this. I spent some of my younger years in Miami, its sad we’ve already squandered the chance to save it – and our leadership doesn’t even acknowledge it (yeah Barack tell me how we’ll get to 17% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020…so absurd).

  19. Matthew Mikula says:

    Uhh…this probably won’t get approved, but I just wanted to say…suck it Lebron :)You’re going to wish you stayed in Cleveland when you 100 years old…

  20. Snowsim says:

    Maybe Florida can make a last stand with tourism dollars. There must be a huge number of people eager to visit Miami and other places destined to be underwater within a lifetime.

    • Superman1 says:

      Brilliant; they can build a glass dome over Miami, and it will be like visiting an aquarium. Another example of making lemonade when someone hands you a lemon!

  21. MarkF says:

    It’ll be a great site for scuba diving sometime in the near future.

  22. Ken says:

    Well if Miami is under water in 100 years, then I suspect I will move. The Republican Party will find a way to deal with the changing climate. I’m sure there is some kind of a “Business” tax cut they can push through to make the water receed back to the 1990 levels. that’s the one thing many of us don’t understand and that is that tax cuts to businesses fix all problems.

  23. claygooding says:

    This really makes repairing New Orleans and the Jersey coast a waste of billions of dollars that could have been spent evacuating the coastlines to higher ground,,which is whar we will eventually do foe all cities on the coasts.

  24. Colorado Bob says:

    Hell for the high water -

    The weather has prevented fire crews from making progress on the blaze, which grew overnight to 108 square miles, up from 100 on Saturday. The speed with which the fire has spread is exceptional: It was just below 50 square miles Friday evening.

    http://denver.cbslocal.com/2013/06/23/crews-work-to-save-south-fork-as-wildfire-grows/

  25. Christian says:

    Don’t worry, Republicans will blame Democrats for their evil magic they’ve done upon their perfect little world they live in ;). Maybe instead of doing nothing maybe we should curb our massive output of emissions and that might help put a band-aid on the bursting dam.

  26. Michael Sweet says:

    One of the first problems that Miami will have is that flooding rains will happen more often. As the article points out, most of Miami is only 5 or 6 feet above sea level. A one foot rise in sea level will cause rain to drain much slower. This increases flooding from heavy rain. Miami’s main well fields for fresh water are located at 3 feet above sea level. A small increase in sea level will salt the aquifer. It is not necessary to submerge Miami to make it uninhabitable.

  27. Robert says:

    So one day Orlando will have a coastline

    • Lore says:

      You mean the island of Orlando? Disney World needs to bring back their 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarine ride.

  28. Joan Savage says:

    Miami’s lure depends a good bit on lush (irrigated) vegetation, freshwater swimming pools, balmy winters, and sparkling clean surfaces.

    From the Goodell article I take it that the Miami we know today could end awkwardly with decline in fresh water supply, even if it were spared a major hurricane, and long before sea level rise or uncomfortable winter heat became the norm.

    This is the way the world ends
    Not with a bang but a whimper.
    – TS Eliot

  29. Ominous Clouds Overhead says:

    Well, it gives a whole new meaning to underwater real estate (I know, I know).

    IMO, most of MIami’s not worth saving because of its vulnerability to hurricanes, among other reasons.

  30. fj says:

    A bad hurricane year like this one is supposed to be could easily mean the end of business as usual when escalating devastation socks the reality home that we have to get serious.

    This could easily be the one when the political reality syncs to the scientific one.

    Remember how Christie folded after Sandy.

  31. prokaryotes says:

    This article is now available on YT, together with a visualization of the projected SLR.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xij-BbPv1WE

  32. fj says:

    The climate denial house of cards is propped up by fossil fuel enforcement, which when the devastation reaches a certain level it will be unenforceable like jwalking in NYC and the house will come tumbling down.

    • fj says:

      From this report and others about all over the country it seems we are real close right now.

      Can you Obama saying after the next big one, “Well, let’s wait some more and see what happens next . . .”

    • fj says:

      He is doing that now and the outrage is escalating.

    • fj says:

      In local and national politics climate change must take highest priority.

      • fj says:

        The message must be that climate change changes everything.

      • fj says:

        Talk about climate change first.

        The message must be to everyone running for office that they must tell you first what will they are going to do about climate change and how that will effect everything else they plan to do.

      • fj says:

        Talk about going net zero.

        And when politicians do talk about climate change they must talk about how emissions can be greatly reduced to net zero.

    • fj says:

      John Kerry: Climate change is screaming at us for action – http://t.co/cgbhkzMXxb — Sustainable Earth (@susearth)

  33. Dave World says:

    A hundred years ago folks thought that Florida was uninhabitable. Then marketing changed all that. Now, marketing has gotten people to believe that human caused global warming is a myth, thereby creating the conditions that will restore the public’s original opinion of Florida. The sea level is rising much faster than was predicted even 10 years ago, and this is not even taking into account how quickly that rate will increase still further if the catastrophe of arctic methane release reaches the tipping point. That is only about five years away. We don’t have long to reverse the buildup of CO2. If a breakthrough is not reached in the next couple of years, it is game over. My plan for a social solution to this dilemma is called Ekson Exhilaration. It is on my web page at: http://www.daveworld.biz/ekson-exhilaration.html

  34. Brooks Bridges says:

    I visited relatives to two days and looked through various financial/investment magazines lying around and a Stanford Review.

    Not one mention of effects of climate change, possible fossil fuel peaks or possible carbon taxes – nada.

    It’s fantasy land out there and it feels surreal.

  35. Bill says:

    “You can’t even say the words ‘climate change’ on the House floor without being run out of the building,” Well, with that sort of mentality, there is not much to be done. As they say, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.’ Even if the water is over his head!

  36. Woymingcurmudgeon says:

    So far, nobody has yet mentioned the Burmese pythons moving northward as well as refugees as the Everglades become overrun by the sea. (Sorry ’bout that, but my tongue in stuck in my cheek!)

  37. Joel Castellanos says:

    How about Cuba? I was born there and I remember me and my mom watching the rain falling in horizontal position during a hurricane while joking about it as a kid. Miami is there to stay. We might have to rebuild it? Maybe but the same thing happened in Lousiane (yeah in French) during Katrina. We humans can adopt and survive no matter what mother nature has in store for us. In the meantime give me my Cuba libre ( rum and coke) in South Beach anytime !!!!!

    • John McCormick says:

      Joel, put down the bottle and read a book or a science journal article, or the many CP threads herein. You won’t survive 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 degree Centigrade increase. Wake up, man.

    • Doug Bostrom says:

      The difference between Cuba and Florida is that Cuba is confronting this problem directly, not wishing it away. I’m not going to bother providing links; Google “Cuba sea level rise” if you’re curious to know what useful governance can look like. We -ought- to be able to do better than Cuba.

  38. Joel Castellanos says:

    Adapt*

  39. Guest says:

    Climate Change and Sea Level Rise – time for a strategic retreat from the beach?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgH1sD1b7f0&feature=player_embedded

  40. Raul M. says:

    Caught between a property line and a wet place. The wet place is the high tide line, a variable. The other property lines are set. Weather et al makes the high tide line variable. Understanding of such and response to such?

    • Mark E says:

      I’ve read court cases from the old timber days, when they built dams to float logs. Eventually, courts fixed an elevation for “water line” on various lakes. The result, is that in some places, former waterfront property now has state-owned beach between it and the water, and in other places private parcels are completely submerged. But at least everyone knows where the lines are fixed.

      I suspect you’re looking at state legislation or court action to do something similar

      • Raul M. says:

        Don’t know what the state would do with changing property lines at ocean side. My guess the law is a fixed amount from high tide to give public access, If the fixed amount moves with the high tide line then the high tide pushes the access to make the change to number of feet of property line. If access is limited between sea wall and high tide another parameter comes into play???

  41. Janet says:

    …and people laughed at Al Gore…

    • Brianna Amore says:

      These deniers remind one of the last time humanity was warned of an impending Biblical-scale flood event, one that geologists can prove actually happened.

  42. John McCormick says:

    From Ross Gelbspan’s depressing dose of reality:

    Beyond the Point of No Return; It’s too late to stop climate change — so what do we do now?

    at:http://www.heatisonline.org/contentserver/objecthandlers/index.cfm?ID=7203&method=full

    it is a slow moving link but worth the read.

    “From a more personal viewpoint, an acknowledgement of the reality of escalating climate change plays havoc with one’s sense of future. It is almost as though a lone ocean voyager were suddenly to lose sight of the North Star. It deprives one of an inner sense of navigation. To live without at least an open-ended sense of future (even if it’s not an optimistic one) is to open one’s self to a morass of conflicting impulses — from the anticipated thrill of a reckless plunge into hedonism to a profoundly demoralizing sense of hopelessness and a feeling that a lifelong guiding sense of purpose has suddenly evaporated.”

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      That old ‘sense of purpose’ is gone. No doubt about it. So we either create a new one, and fighting to defeat the Right who have caused this calamity, then, if we win, and humanity survives, starting out on the generations’ work of repairing the planet’s biospheres to health seems, to me, positively exhilarating. Far better than the ‘Consume, be silent, procreate the next generation of proles, then die’ ethos of ‘capitalist democracy’.

  43. Greatgrandma Kat says:

    Saw last night on the news an interview with the owner of a shipping company that works the Great Lakes, apparently the water levels are dropping at an alarming rate and they are losing money from having to lighten the loads they can ship.It was explained by a hydrolical/geoloigist that the light snow fall and higher water temps are causing a situation where there is more water evaporating than is being replaced and as the global mean temps continue to rise it will get worse. He’s response was that the Army Corp of Engineers is not doing a good enough job of dredging and they (those in the shipping business) are hoping it is just a natural shift and will return to normal soon. Denial at it’s most basic.

  44. Bob Williams says:

    Gov. Scott and his successors better show real concern for the exploding problem of PYTHONS in south Florida. With the advent of the flooding of the state’s extremities,
    there will be marauding constrictors slithering around the central Florida THEME PARKS!

  45. Gordon says:

    Portland, Oregon, 50′ above sea level, could be flooded during rain storms by a 5′ SLR. River levels back up for many miles inland as the sea rises, and Portland already came within inches of a serious downtown flood due to heavy rains a dozen years or so ago. Even heavier rains can be anticipated. The airport is a few feet above the Columbia, and Sauvie Island, a major source of fresh produce for Portland, would likely go under when the river rises.

  46. lecoor says:

    If the deniers, especially elected ones, are so confident, then they should have no problem confirming their reassurance in writing that this will not happen.
    As and when (not if) this happens, the list is a solid marker for those who ignored this piece and hundreds of other work. These deniers should then be called out for such ignorance, accidental or deliberate.

  47. Trevor says:

    if you want to see what can happen when water rises in a major city:
    http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/flood-map/index.html

    fortunately for Calgary, this is temporary. Miami’s rising water problem is permanent!

  48. DAWK says:

    free energy might save the day; all high desert areas by the sea,around the earth,could have pumping stations which would pump-continualy, large volumes of sea water inland,for salt removal/brakish water for plants which thrive on such brakish water.
    the vast desert areas might bloom-big-time,many deserts could make inland lakes of brackish water,good enough for aquaculture.
    if more plant life via pumped sea water is growing,then more carbon can be absorbed.

  49. Danny Adams says:

    “The view is, ‘Well, if it gets real bad, the federal government will bail us out.’

    So in other words they hate the federal government but expect them to bail Florida out? And that the feds should bail them out for something Florida spent years saying would never happened? Have I just about got it?

  50. Luther E. Franklin says:

    True…and you can kiss New Orleans, Louisiana “Good Bye” as well.

    • Christopher Yaun says:

      New Orleans and everything south of Interstate Highway 10 are equally vulnerable. By 2100 the south coast of Louisiana will be I10!

  51. LarryC says:

    There’s a vast difference between denying climate change and being skeptical about how much we should do to avoid it. The design life of a typical public works project is about 50 years. Everything in Miami will have to be completely rebuilt at least once in the next 100 years. There will be plenty of time to adjust to rising water levels as long as they start planning right now. Given the increase in emissions in the developing world, there is nothing the USA can do to stop, or even slow, global warming. It’s time to start planning for the inevitable.

  52. Bill D. says:

    We won’t see much action to combat climate change until Washington DC is directly affected. Terrible to say but the best thing that could happen to spur national action appears to be the sight of DC submerged under a few feet of water. Otherwise, the people running this nation couldn’t care less about what happens in Miami or New Orleans.

  53. Terabumba Bollagumga says:

    The future of the country is not in Florida, but in South Carolina.

  54. Christopher Yaun says:

    Did anyone mention that Turkey Point nuclear power station is 24 miles south of Miami and equally vulnerable to SLR.