CRESPOGRAM REPORT
BARRED FROM NUMEROUS GOVERNMENTAL COMPUTER NETWORKS FOR TELLING THE TRUTH

THE CALAMITY OF WHAT SEA-LEVEL RISE WILL DO TO MIAMI IS WORSE THAN A PHOTOSHOPPED IMAGE

THIS IMAGE, MEANT TO REPRESENT WHAT MIAMI WILL LOOK LIKE IN 2030 IS NOT ONLY MISLEADING, BUT THE REALITY OF WHAT’S COMING WILL HAPPEN WELL BEFORE SEA-LEVEL FLOODING FINALLY PUTS AN END TO MIAMI’S TRAFFIC PROBLEMS

JANUARY 18, 2016

Last Monday night, the City of Miami’s Sea Level Rise Committee met for the 5th time since they were created in February of 2015, and among the items they discussed was the submission of their first annual report. 


The draft of that report is below.


Like many other folks - excluding the Governor and most, if not all of the Republican presidential candidates - I think that sea level rise is an issue that offers no real long term solutions for those of us who live in South Florida other than packing up and leaving South Florida sooner or later.


I respect the willingness of folks to serve on committee’s like the City’s sea-level rise committee, but I’m not sure that a city committee, especially in a city with leaders who to date have not demonstrated much in the way of leadership when it’s comes to reigning in the unchecked development that has contributed to so many of the problems we now face is a way to deal with this problem. The city after all lacks the authority, money and manpower to really tackle the serious issues that will eventually make Miami uninhabitable.


Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t think that well intentioned folks in Miami don’t need to seriously think or do anything they can to figure out some short-term solutions, nor do I think that Miami will become uninhabitable within all of our lifetimes, but I do suspect that it will definitely reach a stage of no return before the young folks in their teens and twenties become old enough to collect social security - providing social security survives it’s own potential demise.


The photo that I posted above represents the view of a fellow named Erik Botsford, who photoshopped an image created by the luxury creative and branding agency Visualhouse, showing how he envisioned Miami being underwater by the year 2030.  The original photo on the other hand  was created by Visualhouse to support their vision of how glamorous the skyline of Miami would look in 2030.


I can’t pass up this opportunity to ask as an aside is that have any of you paid attention recently to how Miami has become swamped by a growing collection of glib-talking folks who are somehow making a living by touting Miami as some exotic, glamourous, glittering locale that caters exclusively to the rich and famous?


Miami has always been a city with an air of glamour and glitter but the efforts today seem purposely intended to ignore as never before the reality that the real Miami, the one that comprises 4/5th of the land and population - the city that is outside the zone that is bordered by Miami Avenue as its western boundary - is one of the poorest cities in the country with a level of income inequality that rivals some third world countries.


Although we are woefully lacking in the quantity and quality of groups concerned with improving civic governance, we seem to be overwhelmed by several dozen monthly magazines, an equal or larger number of websites and countless numbers of slick and glib hustlers who work hard at pretending that that Miami doesn’t exist while touting a fictional version of Miami as one of the luxurious, glittering Xanadu’s of the world.


How in the fuck did we become a society where there seems to be an urgent need for luxury creative and branding agencies?  Is it any wonder that there is real anger across this country as a result of the country’s middle class evaporating, the educational system is failing to educate whole generations of children, the country’s infrastructure is falling apart, the political culture has become a toxic swamp pit exemplified by the trolls, morons and willfully conniving schemers who would ask us to make them the next president of our country while on the streets of Miami and many other cities both large and small, children continue to be shot down with AK 47‘s like clay pigeons in a shooting gallery?


Sorry, but once in a while the irony of reality versus bullshit tends to make me go off into mini-rants and now that I got that one out of my system, I have to say that I don’t believe that the watery threat portrayed in the image above will occur in 2030, which is after all, only 14 years away.


What I do believe is that by the time the water actually rises to the level that Botsford projects in his image, Miami will have long past become a largely uninhabitable city.


Based on observations by folks a lot smarter and experienced than me, these folks are predicting that the current sea level - which has already risen to the lower end of dangerous levels - probably only has to rise about another 6 to 8 to 10 inches to create the kinds of insurmountable problems that will force tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people to pack up and move to higher ground.


In the December 21st edition of the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert, a Pulitzer Prize winning writer wrote an article entitled The Siege Of Miami.


The article should be mandatory reading for every single elected official in the state - starting with the moron that is our Governor - with a test to follow to insure that he and some of the other morons that hold elected office didn’t treat this task like they treat most of the other serious responsibilities that they are expected to be knowledgable about as part of their jobs.


I suspect that some will quibble over just what were the most important parts of the alarming story that Kolbert wrote about the future of Miami and South Florida, but to me the most compelling, and alarming paragraph was this one:


        “When the system was designed (the flood control system

        operated by the South Florida Water Management District)—       

        redesigned, really—in the nineteen-fifties, the water level in

        the canals could be maintained at least a foot and a half higher

        than the level of high tide. Thanks to this difference in elevation,

        water flowed off the land toward the sea. At the same time, there

        was enough freshwater pushing out to prevent saltwater from

        pressing in. Owing in part to sea-level rise, the gap has since

        been cut by about eight inches, and the region faces the

        discomfiting prospect that, during storms, it will be inundated

        not just along the coasts but also inland, by rainwater that has

        nowhere to go. Researchers at Florida Atlantic University have

        found that with just six more inches of sea-level rise the district

        will lose almost half its flood-control capacity. Meanwhile, what’s

        known as the saltwater front is advancing. One city—Hallandale

        Beach, just north of Miami—has already had to close most of its

        drinking wells, because the water is too salty. Many other cities

        are worried that they will have to do the same.”


The two most alarming sentences in the above paragraph, sentences that should be strung on 50 foot banners across the front of the State Capitol in Tallahassee and across the front of every City Hall in South Florida and made part of every real estate sales contract are,


“[With] six more inches of sea level rise the district will lose almost half of it’s flood control capacity.”


“One city - Hallandale Beach, just north of Miami - has already had to close most of its drinking wells, because the water is too salty.  Many other cities are worried that they will have to do the same.”


If the sea-level were to rise even just 1/2 inch a year we would reach the 6 inches that would lead to the 50% loss of flood control in 12 years, or 2028. There are those who are projecting that as global warming continues we’ll see more than a 1/2 inch a year rise, so maybe the worst projections might have us reach the 6 inches in 8-10 years.


The closure of drinking wells - the fresh water aquifers that are virtually below all of South Florida - are an even worse calamity, because as more fresh water becomes contaminated by the seepage of salt water into these aquifers the increasing demands on the remaining water supplies will lead to the kinds of water shortages resulting in rationing and restrictions will be the straw that begins the mass migration of people from South Florida to higher ground.


Contrary to the wishful thinking of Miami Beach Mayor Phillip Levine that, “Thirty or forty years from now we’re going to have innovate solutions to fight back against sea level rise that we cannot imagine today,” the odds are that by the time those thirty or forty years come around the possibility of Miami and Miami Beach being “saved” by innovate solutions will have long been drowned by the water rising from underground for the lack of flood control.


And all of this doesn’t even include the problems associated with a major hurricane hitting Miami with a 20 foot storm surge, and the aftermath of the flooding that will create.


I wish I could offer solutions or even encouraging words from those who have based their careers on studying this problem, but I can’t. World-wide sea-level rising is on par with earthquakes, tornados and hurricanes in that they are all phenomena of nature - albeit in this case one that appears to being prompted by man-made activities - not subject to a claim of “innovate solutions” that some part-time politician on Miami Beach would ask people to buy into.


Based on the calculations of all the experts who have been studying these problems for a long time now I figure we got maybe 10 more years before the impact of sea-level rise makes everyone really start panicking. That’s not a lot of time for governments nor citizens to come up with solutions, especially when we see the politicians continuing to approve the kind of unchecked development of high-rise condos that can only add to to the problems that sea-level rise is destined to create.


Since disasters are often cited as golden opportunities for some, I’m thinking that going into the canoe selling business might be a good thing.


What do you think?


It’s Miami, Bitches!


HERE IS THE DRAFT OF THE SEA LEVEL COMMITTEE’S FIRST ANNUAL REPORT

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