Climate Change and South Florida
Florida is perhaps one of the epicenters of climate change denial and at the same time one of it’s first victims. Republican governor Rick Scott and Senator and presidential candidate Marco Rubio lead the denial of man made climate change while the Miami area becomes one of it’s first victims. Elizabeth Kolbert of the Atlantic Magazine gives us the latest rundown. Southern Florida is more vulnerable than many other areas because of geology – it is built on porous limestone. The wingnut sociopath governor of Florida has ordered state employees not to discuss climate change as Miami becomes part of the sea bed.
As the ice age ended and the planet warmed, the world’s coastlines assumed their present configuration. There’s a good deal of evidence—much of it now submerged—that this process did not take place slowly and steadily but, rather, in fits and starts. Beginning around 12,500 B.C., during an event known as meltwater pulse 1A, sea levels rose by roughly fifty feet in three or four centuries, a rate of more than a foot per decade. Meltwater pulse 1A, along with pulses 1B, 1C, and 1D, was, most probably, the result of ice-sheet collapse. One after another, the enormous glaciers disintegrated and dumped their contents into the oceans. It’s been speculated—though the evidence is sketchy—that a sudden flooding of the Black Sea toward the end of meltwater pulse 1C, around seventy-five hundred years ago, inspired the deluge story in Genesis.
The very expensive condos in Miami may soon only be accessible by boat. It is unlikely that any mitigation is possible although the Miami area is spending billions of dollars trying. So how long before we see a mass migration out of Southern Florida? Not as long as we might think.
Many of the world’s largest cities sit along a coast, and all of them are, to one degree or another, threatened by rising seas. Entire countries are endangered—the Maldives, for instance, and the Marshall Islands. Globally, it’s estimated that a hundred million people live within three feet of mean high tide and another hundred million or so live within six feet of it. Hundreds of millions more live in areas likely to be affected by increasingly destructive storm surges.
The Paris climate talks are said to be a breakthrough, they are not. Until people are willing to change their lifestyles, which are dependent on the concentrated energy of fossil fuels nothing will change. As long as the major energy producers own politicians nothing will change. There will be mass migration from Southern Florida because of rising sea levels as well as mass migration from the desert south west because of drought. Just pay attention to which direction the U Hauls are going.
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