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.