Economy

Leave Miami Before the Flood

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The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released a flood map for Miami. It showed vast areas that could be underwater in 10 years, at least temporarily. Miami Beach was the place most likely to suffer torrential flooding, but the flood plains extended all the way to Hialeah, which is well inland from the Atlantic Ocean.
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The FEMA map is already old. A new study indicates that the melting of the Greenland ice sheet could raise sea levels around the world by almost a foot. The increase will occur between now and 2100. To be clear, that means the process already has begun and will be spread over seven and a half decades. That seems like a long time, but consider that someone born in Miami now and staying there for their lifetime will face the brunt of this catastrophe.

Climate change largely appears to be happening faster than was expected just a few years ago. This is because the level of air pollution, which international treaties were supposed to slow, has not slowed at all. Based on geopolitical problems, particularly in Europe, the need for fossil fuels is rising and not falling. In other words, what happens in Germany will affect Miami.


People in Miami and other parts of the Atlantic seaboard either believe the flood science is not true or that they will not have to worry about it in their lifetimes. Better to let their children and children’s children bother with the catastrophe. These generations will suffer billions of dollars in property damage and eventually will have to migrate inland. While the problem may be worse in places like India, that does not lessen the challenge of the flooding of parts of the American coastline.

It seems just a joke that hundreds of thousands of people in the Miami area will not be able to live where they do now. The joke is on them, though, and soon they will not be laughing.

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