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Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:39 PM

 

Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away

Low-lying south Florida, at the front line of climate change in the US, will be swallowed as sea levels rise. Astonishingly, the population is growing, house prices are rising and building goes on. The problem is the city is run by climate change deniers

A drive through the sticky Florida heat into Alton Road in Miami Beach can be an unexpectedly awkward business. Most of the boulevard, which runs north through the heart of the resort's most opulent palm-fringed real estate, has been reduced to a single lane that is hemmed in by bollards, road-closed signs, diggers, trucks, workmen, stacks of giant concrete cylinders and mounds of grey, foul-smelling earth.

It is an unedifying experience but an illuminating one for this once glamorous thoroughfare, a few blocks from Miami Beach's art deco waterfront and its white beaches, has taken on an unexpected role. It now lies on the front line of America's battle against climate change and the rise in sea levels that it has triggered.

"Climate change is no longer viewed as a future threat round here," says atmosphere expert Professor Ben Kirtman, of the University of Miami. "It is something that we are having to deal with today."

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.
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/11/miami-drowning-climate-change-deniers-sea-levels-rising

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Reply Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away (Original post)
Katashi_itto Mar 2015 OP
BillZBubb Mar 2015 #1
Katashi_itto Mar 2015 #7
Blue_Tires Mar 2015 #23
Agnosticsherbet Mar 2015 #2
a kennedy Mar 2015 #11
Scurrilous Mar 2015 #3
csziggy Mar 2015 #15
dissentient Mar 2015 #4
HockeyMom Mar 2015 #5
steve2470 Mar 2015 #6
Sienna86 Mar 2015 #8
City Lights Mar 2015 #9
Ghost in the Machine Mar 2015 #10
DeSwiss Mar 2015 #12
RandiFan1290 Mar 2015 #13
Gman Mar 2015 #14
drm604 Mar 2015 #16
tclambert Mar 2015 #17
OldRedneck Mar 2015 #18
GreatGazoo Mar 2015 #19
genxlib Mar 2015 #20
progressoid Mar 2015 #22
genxlib Mar 2015 #24
kwassa Mar 2015 #21

Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:42 PM

1. Florida keeps electing climate change deniers.

Not much is going to change there except the water level.

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:56 PM

7. Darwin at work.

 

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Response to BillZBubb (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 9, 2015, 09:16 AM

23. +1

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:42 PM

2. Florida banned state workers from using term 'climate change'

So the state government doesn't give a flying fuck how deep Miami is submerged.

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Response to Agnosticsherbet (Reply #2)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:16 PM

11. I about threw up when I read this.....

WTF????? Not talking about it is going to not make it happen? WTF.??

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:43 PM

3. On the bright side...

..my home (on the western fringe of NW Miami Dade) may someday be seafront property.

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Response to Scurrilous (Reply #3)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:30 PM

15. If humans keep ignoring the facts, my land might be seafront property

And it's 200 feet above current sea level in North Florida! I certainly won't live that long, but it could happen someday.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:44 PM

4. Flori-duh is a lost cause

 

Maybe when or if they start sinking into the ocean will they realize there is a problem. Maybe.

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Response to dissentient (Reply #4)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:50 PM

5. Build a MEGA MALL

to surpass the Mall of America, including a SKI SLOPE in Florida???? Can you say out of their minds????

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 05:52 PM

6. country's largest mall may be built near Miami soon, thread in Florida group nt

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 06:35 PM

8. For such a location to be the home of so may climate change deniers...

What will it take for those living in free-willed ignorance to wake up?

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 06:36 PM

9. Unfortunately, Miami will reap what it has sown.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 06:51 PM

10. I'm a Miami native, and I can remember back in the early 70's being able to dig 6 inches into the...

ground and hitting water. I also remember in the 80's, while installing cable tv, in some places it took 3 hours or more to pound an 8 foot ground rod into the ground because or the coral rock that was the bedrock of the area...

Peace,

Ghost

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:18 PM

12. Not to worry....

 

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection has issued directives to all employees that they must refrain from using the term ''Climate Change'' in official state correspondence.

- This should put an end to the water problems, forthwith.

K&R

[center][/center]

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:21 PM

13. Why Taxpayers Will Bail Out the Rich When the Next Storm Hits

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/why-taxpayers-will-bail-out-rich-when-next-storm-hits-n25901

GULF SHORES, Ala. As homeowners around the nation protest skyrocketing premiums for federal flood insurance, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has quietly moved the lines on its flood maps to benefit hundreds of oceanfront condo buildings and million-dollar homes, according to an analysis of federal records by NBC News.

The changes shift the financial burden for the next destructive hurricane, tsunami or tropical storm onto the neighbors of these wealthy beach-dwellers and ultimately onto all American taxpayers.

In more than 500 instances from the Gulf of Alaska to Bar Harbor, Maine, FEMA has remapped waterfront properties from the highest-risk flood zone, saving the owners as much as 97 percent on the premiums they pay into the financially strained National Flood Insurance Program.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:30 PM

14. Just like during Katrina

They will ask why would anyone live there.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:31 PM

16. And it will be the federal government, and taxpayers all over the country,

who will end up paying for disaster relief because of the willful ignorance of Florida's politicians.

I wonder how much of the denial is being funded by people and organizations who own beachfront property and want to unload it while they can.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:38 PM

17. But Sen. Snowball just disproved climate change a few days ago.

Senator Snowball Inhofe of Oklahoma demonstrated scientifically that all climate change was a hoax by making a snowball in Washington, D. C. This proved undeniably that the weather was cold that day in Washington. And, of course, one day's weather in Washington, D. C. corresponds exactly with long term climate across the entire globe. He must know his stuff because he is the Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Just like that he has saved us all from the diabolical schemes of the science industrial complex, led by Al Gore, and their attempts to destroy the fossil fuel industry and wreck America's economy.

Makes one proud to be an American, doesn't it?




(Oh, all right, what the hell . . . )

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 07:46 PM

18. I'm confused

 

So -- as a result of global climate change, Miami is flooding.

However, I read in another DU article that Rick Scott, Floriduh governor, has banned the use of the phrase "climate change" by state employees.

I'm confused.

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Response to OldRedneck (Reply #18)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 08:08 PM

19. Likely the State of Florida is trying to avoid the lawsuits that hit Chicago

Apparently the State of Florida doesn't want anyone using "climate change" etc in email, or other communications that would be subpoenaed in a lawsuit like this one:

Now a major insurance company is suing Chicago-area municipal governments saying they knew of the risks posed by climate change and should have been better prepared. The class-action lawsuits raise the question of who is liable for the costs of global warming.

Filed by Farmers Insurance Co. on behalf of itself, other insurance companies and customers whose property was damaged by the surge of storm water and sewage overflow, the lawsuits allege the governments of Chicago-area municipalities knew their drainage systems were inadequate and failed to take reasonable action to prevent flooding of insured properties.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2014/05/19/climate-change-get-ready-or-get-sued/

So if/when such a suit is file against them, their defense will be: "Not liable due to Act of God / Force Majeure. We did not or could not foresee these accidental and unusual events so we are not liable for our inaction."

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 09:47 PM

20. I'm conflicted on this article

This article is about 6 months old and I remember when it came out.

On one hand, it is always encouraging to see the media sound the alarm.

On the other hand, this article is a little over the top. I happen to be an engineer working directly on projects of this nature for Miami Beach so I am very familiar with the problems.

The issue I have with this article is that it is a little over dramatized. But this is exactly the problem. The issue is deadly serious but not really dramatic. It is a slow motion disaster but it doesn't really have the dramatic visuals that will sell newspapers.

I actually give the City of Miami Beach a lot of credit for being one of the first to attack the problem head on. They are currently designing the City to withstand 2' of sea level rise. But they are in denial about what happens beyond two feet.

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Response to genxlib (Reply #20)

Mon Mar 9, 2015, 09:13 AM

22. Are there any articles out there about Miami's plans?

Thanks.

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Response to progressoid (Reply #22)

Mon Mar 9, 2015, 09:38 PM

24. Depends on how deep you want to go (pardon the pun)

It's actually Miami Beach which is a different municipality than City of Miami or even Miami-Dade County.

The County and other regional organizations have done a ton of committees, studies and reports but none of them are actually taking concrete action except for Miami Beach

If you want the broad strokes, this Huffpo piece isn't bad. |http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/10/03/miami-beach-king-tide_n_5925950.html ]

If you want to go deeper, this 3.5 minute youtube video by the city is very informative.

And this one isn't bad http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/miami-beach/article2541332.html#/tabPane=tabs-b0710947-1-1

If you are interested in the technical side. In a nut shell, they are designing all new drainage systems as if the water were already 2' higher than current. Based on the current elevations, that basically eliminates all options for gravity drainage such as outfalls, wells or exfiltration trenches. Everything gets pumped. It is expensive but is fairly straightforward for areas adjacent to the Bay. It gets more complicatd the farther you go towards the interior of the island.

The more complicated part is that they are trying to raise the roads, which is massively complicated in an existing situation. Imagine trying to raise the roads several feet when you have historic Art Deco Buildings with floor elevations at the old street level. In the residential neighborhoods, there are multi-million dollar homes that are barely above current high tide and will end up being below the level of road when it is raised.

I give them credit for taking on this task but it is a huge uphill battle. the challenge is that making any long term preparations instills short term pain in the way of costs and inconvenience that makes it a tough sell.

They have budgeted around $500 million over the course of the next five years and they are already coming to the conclusion that it won't get them nearly as far as they wanted to go.

In the end, it is an impossible battle so it remains to see how long they can hold out.

Feel free to ask any other questions.

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Response to Katashi_itto (Original post)

Sun Mar 8, 2015, 10:07 PM

21. Miami Beach looked like this back in 1977 ....

The first time I visited.

Beach erosion had reduced the beach to almost nothing. It got replenished. Back then all the Art Deco buildings that are now so trendy were old folks homes, and the pensioners would sit out front in chairs and watch traffic go by.

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