In the words of Bill Cosby, “How long can you tread water?”

Miami may become a Climate Change barometer.

My grandmother once told me a joke. You know what an optimist is? That is someone who falls off a 100 story building, passes a friend at the 50th floor, and yells “don’t worry, I am still fine!”

We could change that to “reality denier” and it would explain the war of climate change.

The Guardian has an interesting story from last friday about the official reaction to climate change in Miami. Interestingly, climate change is very observable in Miami, and yet if you thought that being confronted by facts up close and personal would change the tone of those with their heads in the sand, well, you may not understand the human condition.

Miami is something of a perfect location for watching the climate change war. In a southern state that has seen its share of GOP members, and with a older skewing population it can be more conservative than many similarly sized cities. As a major city it also has a fair amount of big business concern, and the city is largely run by climate denialist voices. On the other hand, unlike many North American cities, it is low lying, resting on a porous rock foundation, and very nearly directly on the ocean. These factors mean that it is almost a climate change political cartoon in real life. Rising sea levels are regularly flooding whole sections of the city, even while conservative voices insist that there is no such thing.

How much is the sea a threat to Miami? Like Norfolk Virginia, many places of business have begun warning customers not to try to come to certain locations during high tides. Sea water has begun to regularly (especially in spring and autumn) rise up through the cannel and sewage systems and flood roads. Parking garages are often empty on the lowest level because people are simply tired of repairing salt water damage to their vehicles. City engineers have pointed out that if the levels rise very much higher that the drainage system they currently use to let heavy rains out into the ocean will instead start letting the ocean into the city.

The city is literally on the verge of collapse.

“The thing about Miami is that when it goes, it will all be gone,” says Stoddard. “I used to work at Cornell University and every morning, when I went to work, I climbed more elevation than exists in the entire state of Florida. Our living-room floor here in south Miami is at an elevation of 10 feet above sea level at present. There are significant parts of south Florida that are less than six feet above sea level and which are now under serious threat of inundation.”

Nor will south Florida have to wait that long for the devastation to come. Long before the seas have risen a further three or four feet, there will be irreversible breakdowns in society, he says. “Another foot of sea-level rise will be enough to bring salt water into our fresh water supplies and our sewage system. Those services will be lost when that happens,” says Stoddard.

“You won’t be able to flush away your sewage and taps will no longer provide homes with fresh water. Then you will find you will no longer be able to get flood insurance for your home. Land and property values will plummet and people will start to leave. Places like South Miami will no longer be able to raise enough taxes to run our neighbourhoods. Where will we find the money to fund police to protect us or fire services to tackle house fires? Will there even be enough water pressure for their fire hoses? It takes us into all sorts of post-apocalyptic scenarios. And that is only with a one-foot sea-level rise. It makes one thing clear though: mayhem is coming.”

But the response from GOP starts like Rubio? Ain’t real, and even if it was, we couldn’t stop it.

Or, as thinkprogress points out,

Rather than trumpeting this reality, Michael Grunwald, TIME’s senior national correspondent — and a Miami resident — has decided to write a piece attacking the Guardian mostly on semantic grounds:
Well, we’re not actually drowning. We do get damp every now and then, but it’s hard to see how some modest sunny-day flooding in my neighborhood at high tide justifies The Guardian headline that’s been generating so much buzz: “Miami, the great world city, is drowning while the powers that be look away.”

Sure, every once in a while we inhale some salt water, but look at the nice sunny day! And it isn’t all the time!

The real question is, can a wealthy major city, in the self styled greatest, wealthiest, and most powerful nation on earth, manage to save itself, or will it simply slowly sink beneath the waves while we watch it happen, swearing that we are just fine the whole way down?

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on July 18, 2014 - 5:02 pm

    Can you tread sewage water? That would be the question for Floridians in power today.

    Bill Cosby is a genius. He is a black man who was able to make Christians in Salt Lake laugh at the Noah story in the sixties. His “Why Is There Air” album was a hoot!

    One of my favorite quotes from the old record album is: “if you put a bullet in the furnace, it reflects on your parents”.

    • #2 by Shane on July 18, 2014 - 7:51 pm

      Sadly, if you drown the coast, it might also reflect on you and your parents.

      • #3 by Larry Bergan on July 18, 2014 - 8:37 pm


        And although the sea is never going to get Salt Lake City, we may see an influx of immigrants from Florida.

        • #4 by Nathan Erkkila on July 19, 2014 - 3:29 am

          There’s something about the mountains that makes me feel like I won’t drown… Unless Salt Lake gets more wet in the coming decades and we see a Lake Bonneville resurrection

          • #5 by Larry Bergan on July 19, 2014 - 7:01 am

            Unless somebody builds a dam in Idaho for no reason, lake Bonneville ain’t comin’ back anytime soon.

  2. #6 by Larry Bergan on July 18, 2014 - 9:03 pm

    Cosby’s album came out in 1965 when I was thirteen. I listen to it now, (thanks to an open internet), and it is funnier then ever:

  3. #7 by clear! on July 19, 2014 - 4:16 pm

    You are aware that sea level has risen 425 ft in the last 13k years? This comprises 80 million cubic kilometers of melted ice.

    Losing lowlands has been a foeregone conclusion since the moment things were built upon them..which is why sensible people never did.

    Last century sea level rose some five inches..we have 200 ft of sea level rise to go if all the ice on earth melts. Prudence would dictate that continuing to develop coastlines as we have is a bad idea.

    An interesting study is the discovery of ancient roads and pathways between the Bahamian islands not far from Florida..for that civilization the sky already fell..yet here we are..adaptation what life does, if it doesn’ dies.

    • #8 by Shane on July 19, 2014 - 8:21 pm

      You are aware that past sea level rise doesn’t threaten us today? I know you like that stat, you have pulled it out before, but it has literally no relevance to today. Also, please notice that not only have we debunked that stat before, right here on this blog, but you have changed the numbers slightly. I guess you are still good at math?

      Since we already have the majority of the population on coasts, prudence would dictate we stop trying to melt the ice caps.

      A study of roads built by a civilization that suffered natural catastrophe is not as interesting as the study of our civilization after it suffers self made catastrophe. But then you don’t care.

      Your normal MO is to tell us it isn’t happening before you claim it is natural and unavoidable. Does that mean step three will be different this time, or will you still try to tell us that the economic cost is too high as your next step?

    • #9 by Shane Smith on July 20, 2014 - 2:30 pm

      In 2009 you told us that in the last 13k years the sea rose 301 feet. Just 5 short years later it is up to 425.

      That is some serious sea change in just 5 years. No wonder Florida has issues.

      Your math still sucks, but your posting history is starting to hurt as well…

      • #10 by Shane Smith on July 20, 2014 - 2:32 pm

        Wait, I just found a post where you claim it is 410.

        • #11 by Shane Smith on July 20, 2014 - 2:36 pm

          And now one that says 365…

          • #12 by Shane Smith on July 20, 2014 - 2:48 pm

            But for real giggles, I just found a post where he says that when the antarctic melts the salt lake valley will become a lake again!

            It is unclear if he fails to understand that the “damn” is no longer there to hold it if it did rain that much, or if he thinks sea levels will raise to the valleys level.

            …and look, a nice even “440 feet in 13k years.”

  4. #13 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 12:26 pm

    Of course it has relevance if you have any awareness of the geologic record which you do not apparently.

    Rising sea levels have always threatened man, the craziness is that man insists on building his constructs on a beach that is temporary. Man has not a clue Shane, so now its a crisis.

    The average sea level rise per century is over 28 inches in the last 13k years. Despite the slowing of the ice melt and warming ocean expansion sea level has been rising every century for as long as there is written history. Is AGW responsible for that? As I said the sea level rose five inches last century,and that measure is in controversy.

    The roads under the Bahamas, the cities under the mud of the Mediterranean, constructs and palaces in 80 ft of water off Okinawa.. All speak of a past with far lower sea levels that were rose and led to their inundation. Florida is next and we don’t have much to do with it, and if we do carbon isn’t the driver. German physicists proved that out assessing Venus, a planet rife with “greenhouse gases”. The upshot after the satellite survey is that Venus is exactly as hot as anticipated based on its distance from the deduction they inferred that the impact of greenhouse gases is marginal. Not worth ruining your economy over. So since they shuttering nuclear power, they are in the process of building some 25 coal fired power plants..they have their adjuncts in profusion solar and wind..they are not producing as expected and they have come to ending their subsidy.

    People far smarter than you or I are making these decisions.

    So you believe in vaccines, they have their place, if you need them, get them, we all did..I see many of them akin to circumsicion..mostly unnecessary.

  5. #14 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 12:27 pm

    I will tell you nothing, the facts of what is happening with the failed carbon tax is self evident.

  6. #15 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 12:28 pm

    Longer version all in moderation, this site has become fairly pathetic..

    • #16 by Shane on July 20, 2014 - 2:08 pm

      Only when you are post honey bear….

      “You are aware that sea level has risen 425 ft in the last 13k years?”

      Just for fun i was digging in the archives. In 2009 you told us the sea level changed 301 in the last 13k years.

      That means that if the above is true, we have seen 124 feet of sea level change since 2009. Surely that nearly 25 feet per year is a sign of something…

      Your arguments haven’t changed in years, and we have already shown them to be wrong. Why should we rehash this with you? You can’t even add.

    • #17 by Shane Smith on July 20, 2014 - 2:49 pm

      There is nothing in this thread in my moderation window from you…

  7. #18 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 12:36 pm

    I have never denied climate training in geology that would be silly..just the AGW theory.

    Sedimentary petrology describes all the climate changes by interpreting the depositional environment..for example where you dwell used to be under 800 ft of water, the drainage point for Lake Bonneville was Sweetzer Summit, then on to the Snake River drainage..Utah then a totally different and AGW not a factor I think we can agree.

  8. #19 by Nathan Erkkila on July 20, 2014 - 3:38 pm

    Shane Smith :

    But for real giggles, I just found a post where he says that when the antarctic melts the salt lake valley will become a lake again!

    It is unclear if he fails to understand that the “damn” is no longer there to hold it if it did rain that much, or if he thinks sea levels will raise to the valleys level.

    …and look, a nice even “440 feet in 13k years.”

    The elevation of the Salt Lake Valley is 4,226. That’s not taking into fact that the valley is surrounded by even higher mountains.

    • #20 by Shane Smith on July 20, 2014 - 4:05 pm

      Well, that would be some sea level change…

      To be fair, that is no crazier than his claim that some 90-300 murders (depending on his lack of clarity over gang related or no) in Chicago is more than the 7,000plus homicides in Honduras, but that is his MO.

  9. #21 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 5:16 pm

    Shootings are shootings,and the Latin American countries have had murder rates ten times our own for years. Its worse now, probably due to American demand for drugs, the no job thing, and limited future for many in this country. Agree it is all bad,and in our own back yard, yet our leadership has the temerity to dictate to the world how they should live.. Or else..that is what is crazy Shane, we are not.

    Despite any skepticism, look up the reality of sea level rise on was a torrent until about 6k years ago, which coincidentally is about when written history began. The stabilization of sea level despite constant rise probably allowed larger complex civilization to engage.

  10. #22 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 5:19 pm

    Yes, three hundred ft.minimum, the revised tally is up to 425 ft. In the beginning of describing that geology I sided conservative.. The 28 inch century average is based on 375 ft. If I remember correctly.. Long time ago.

  11. #23 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 5:26 pm

    Sweetzer Summit is where Lake Bonneville drained out of north of SLC. It is about 5450 ft. It can happen again. Lake Bonneville comprises a hasn’t gone anywhere.

    Super computer modeling you are so fond of describe the Great Basin filling from weather events related to the melt off of the Greenland ice pack. Beneath that ice are the remnants of forests. For real. The Basin experiences mass monsoon in that scenario, filling it.

  12. #24 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 5:27 pm

    Well Shane from comments everyone has this problem at some time..the site is a jalopy.

    • #25 by Shane Smith on July 20, 2014 - 5:51 pm

      Yeah, it is only one of the most used standard blog setups.

      Remember when you claimed a computer expert friend of yours looked at the site and said it was all non-standard even though it is regular old word press? Is that friend as made up as your sea level numbers that Richard and I debunked way back in 2009?

      Or your murder numbers?

      Or, frankly, everything that comes out of your mouth/keyboard?

      Hell remember just a few days ago when you referred to yourself in the third person and congratulated yourself on your great predictions?

      Look, the numbers you keep trying to refer to are rise since the last glacial period, it didn’t end 13,000 not 12,000 years ago, the rise is 120 meters, and not one part of that has even the slightest to do with the current warming. We have been through this.

      Offer an argument we haven’t already debunked or go away. Seriously.

  13. #26 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 5:29 pm

    So the actual depth of Lake Bonneville at peak was 1200 ft. My mistake..800 ft is a size it persisted at for a long time..can see the beaches, at all various levels if you search for them.

  14. #27 by Larry Bergan on July 20, 2014 - 8:08 pm

    I think we can all agree that a lake used to exist here, that you can, easily, see the ancient shore of, on Mt. Olympus and it didn’t have a thing to do with Noah.

    I would have loved to have been in a safe place to watch it drain.

    You talk about spectacular!

  15. #28 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 8:25 pm

    Whatever the set up you have problems, lots of them, and the site is a dog, slow. Just ask Larry.

    If it’s still on the ancient desktop server maybe that is the cause.

    • #29 by Larry Bergan on July 20, 2014 - 8:52 pm

      Sure is a damn problem! I read about the problem of legitimate comments ending up in the spam warehouse and WordPress said if you marked specific comments, “not spam”, enough times, the program would learn not to block them.

      That’s not happening. Maybe WordPress isn’t making any money.

  16. #30 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 8:31 pm

    Just think, if not for the climate change we had nothing to do with,you all would still be under water there in the Provo phase of Lake Bonneville after the dam breaks at Red Rock Pass.

    Suffice it to say we do not entirely understand the complexities of how this happens….there is yet a great deal of speculation.

  17. #31 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 8:35 pm

    Well AGW s dead, nobody is buying it.

    Make of that what you will, if the existence of mankind lies in the lurch, smarter people than you both are making the call, so in that prediction…glenn was right…good times, and fuckin’ funny.

    • #32 by Richard Warnick on July 20, 2014 - 10:21 pm

      Since climate change is already happening, and serious people everywhere are working on the problems associated with it, it’s utter nonsense to say “nobody is buying it.”

  18. #33 by Larry Bergan on July 20, 2014 - 9:07 pm

    I sure wouldn’t want to be the one who moved OneUtah to a different computer environment. Could end up worse, and would be a hell of a lot of work.

  19. #34 by clear! on July 20, 2014 - 9:35 pm

    Something has to happen…the site is a jalopy. Edsel of the internet..

    • #35 by Larry Bergan on July 21, 2014 - 8:28 pm

      We may be the Edsel of the internet, but at least we’re not the 1959 Chevy Impala of the internet.

      My family had one, and it was pink. Ran great; ugly as hell. I’m positive cost was a factor in the purchase.

  20. #36 by clear! on July 21, 2014 - 2:01 pm

    The reality is no one is buying AGW..climate change is real enough to warrant quit building on the beach…the carbon tax though….no chance..gone.

    • #37 by Richard Warnick on July 21, 2014 - 5:23 pm

      Quinnipiac University. June 24-30, 2014. N=1,446 registered voters nationwide. Margin of error ± 2.6.

      “In an effort to reduce global warming, do you think the federal government should limit the release of greenhouse gases from existing power plants, or don’t you think so?”

      Should limit 58%
      Don’t think so 30%
      Unsure 13%

      The reality is that only a minority doubt the science of global warming. I’m not the biggest fan of a carbon tax or cap and trade. Let’s just regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act and shut down any polluters that can’t comply with the rules.

      • #38 by Shane Smith on July 22, 2014 - 9:55 am

        As I pointed out earlier about conservative mental processes, a huge part of the right knows the science is accepted. They just don’t understand the difference between knowledge and belief. Some studies suggest conservatives actually think about the term knowledge the way others think about the term belief.

        Explains the “clinging to god and guns” even if they got up in arms over the comment….

    • #39 by Shane on July 22, 2014 - 12:34 pm

      No chance at all…

      You have a perfect record so far Glenn. You have never made a statement that matches up to reality.

      (Edit: sorry, I forgot the browser I was in didn’t have my name in it, this post is mine and now corrected to show that)

    • #41 by Shane on July 22, 2014 - 9:41 am

      Which follows its hottest May…

      “Hasn’t warmed in 17 years! There were emails! It was warmer once! It was cold last week!”

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