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Posted by on Jul 12, 2014 in At TMV, Environment | 4 comments

Good Bye Miami

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One of the bastions of climate change denial is Miami, Florida.  Ironically it may be one of it’s first victims.  Not everyone in the area is in denial, the South Miami mayor recently referred to Senator Marco Rubio as an idiot.

Experts say that sea-level rise could easily reach six to ten feet by the end of the century, which would be enough to put most of Miami underwater, The Guardian reported Friday. Rubio is among those Florida politicians, including Gov. Rick Scott (R), who’ve refused to address the warnings of those experts.

“Rubio is an idiot,” South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard said, as quoted by The Guardian. “He says he is not a scientist so he doesn’t have a view about climate change and sea-level rise and so won’t do anything about it.”

Just how bad is it in the Miami area?  The Guardian’s Robin MiKie  explainans:

Every year, with the coming of high spring and autumn tides, the sea surges up the Florida coast and hits the west side of Miami Beach, which lies on a long, thin island that runs north and south across the water from the city of Miami. The problem is particularly severe in autumn when winds often reach hurricane levels. Tidal surges are turned into walls of seawater that batter Miami Beach’s west coast and sweep into the resort’s storm drains, reversing the flow of water that normally comes down from the streets above. Instead seawater floods up into the gutters of Alton Road, the first main thoroughfare on the western side of Miami Beach, and pours into the street. Then the water surges across the rest of the island.

The effect is calamitous. Shops and houses are inundated; city life is paralysed; cars are ruined by the corrosive seawater that immerses them. During one recent high spring tide, laundromat owner Eliseo Toussaint watched as slimy green saltwater bubbled up from the gutters. It rapidly filled the street and then blocked his front door. “This never used to happen,” Toussaint told reporters. “I’ve owned this place eight years and now it’s all the time.”

Today, shop owners keep plastic bags and rubber bands handy to wrap around their feet when they have to get to their cars through rising waters, while householders have found that ground-floor spaces in garages are no longer safe to keep their cars. Only those on higher floors can hope to protect their cars from surging sea waters that corrode and rot the innards of their vehicles.

The reality is the lower Florida peninsula may once again become part of the sea in the not too distant future.   As I discussed here Miami is not alone, the valley of the sun/Phoenix, AZ will probably be another early victim.

I don’t think there is really anything we can do to stop global change now,  we would have had to start decades ago.  All we can really do now is to try to prevent it from getting worse and realize there are some areas like south Florida and Phoenix that simply need to be written off and try to mitigate the impacts where we can.

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  • heinrich_metz

    If you do the math, it is pretty apparent that man is having a major impact on the environment. If you add all the gas that is used in the world, plus all the coal, plus all the natural gas, plus all the oil that is burned it is easy to see that there is a lot of carbon going into the atmosphere. Carbon doesn’t disappear after it is burned. The changes are creeping up on us slowly. If you throw a frog in boiling water, it will try to get out, but if you put him in cold water and slowly increase the temperature the frog will stay in the water until it is cooked.

  • @heinrich_metz:

    If you throw a frog in boiling water, it will try to get out, but if you put him in cold water and slowly increase the temperature the frog will stay in the water until it is cooked.

    A great analogy.


    Some people think that it’s only in the far future that climate change will affect them, anyone they know or any state or nation. They are horrendously wrong but no facts will convince them otherwise.

  • Bob Munck

    The parboiled frog is a vivid image, but in fact frogs jump out of the pot with a fair degree of alacrity. I think Jon Stewart actually tried it on-air. Or maybe it was Mr. Wizard.

    It’s interesting to note that Miami is doomed because the water is getting too high and Phoenix is doomed because the water is getting too low. For Phoenix, Lake Mead and the Colorado are close to the point where it will no longer be possible to pump their water over the mountains between them and the city. I am utterly gobsmacked by the fact that tens of millions of people all over the Southwest are still watering their lawns and golf courses.

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