I keep meaning to link to this story, because, holy shit, this is happening right now in Miami:
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.”
Climate change is at our doorstep. Hell, it’s not at our doorstep; it’s in our fucking house. It’s soaking into the carpet and ruining the furniture. Not in 100 years, not in 50, not in 10. The waters have risen, and they’re not going back.
Hence the construction work at Alton Road, where $400m is now being spent in an attempt to halt these devastating floods – by improving Miami Beach’s stricken system of drains and sewers. In total, around $1.5bn is to be invested in projects aimed at holding back the rising waters. Few scientists believe the works will have a long-term effect.
This is some great reporting, by the way: the article discusses the variety of scientific reasons why Miami (as opposed to the other hundreds of cities built on coastlines) in particular is vulnerable.
So, you’d think that this would warrant some kind of emergency response from the people in charge of the city, wouldn’t you?
But what really surprises visitors and observers is the city’s response, or to be more accurate, its almost total lack of reaction. The local population is steadily increasing; land prices continue to surge; and building is progressing at a generous pace. During my visit last month, signs of construction – new shopping malls, cranes towering over new condominiums and scaffolding enclosing freshly built apartment blocks – could be seen across the city, its backers apparently oblivious of scientists’ warnings that the foundations of their buildings may be awash very soon.
Fuck. Well, what about the people representing the people of that state of Florida, then?
Most of Florida’s senior politicians – in particular,Senator Marco Rubio, former governor Jeb Bush and current governor Rick Scott, all Republican climate-change deniers – have refused to act or respond to warnings of people like Wanless or Harlem or to give media interviews to explain their stance, though Rubio, a Republican party star and a possible 2016 presidential contender, has made his views clear in speeches. “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy,” he said recently.
You know what will destroy your economy, Senator Fucknuts? A MAJOR CITY FALLING INTO THE FUCKING OCEAN.
The response is downright criminal. These representatives (except Senator Bill Nelson, who “is holding field hearings where scientists can tell people what the data means.”) are perpetrating a criminal act against their people. I can understand it from representatives from the midwest or mountains, who are not in immediate danger;* but your city is flooding, and it’s only getting worse.
May want to do something about that.
* You are absolved from not caring about climate change, you are not absolved from denying it exists.