"The unavoidable truth is that sea levels are rising and Miami is on its way to becoming an American Atlantis."
It's a prediction we've heard before. As recently as April, we saw GIFs depicting the effect of rising sea levels on South Beach. But this one comes from Rolling Stone writer Jeff Goodell, and many of the experts quoted in his eight-page story titled "Goodbye, Miami," who believe it'll happen sooner than you think. Say, by about 2030.
Goodell envisions the Miami of 2030 in a state of hurricane emergency worse than post-Katrina New Orleans. Eight hundred Miamians will have been swept out to sea and killed; flood waters will hover at waist level from Star Island to Fort Lauderdale Beach; underground wiring will rust out and fail, leaving electric power unable to be restored for months.
And all because Florida can't get its shit together and have an honest discussion about climate change.
Miami is one of dozens of cities and even entire nations around the world that stand to lose the most from rising sea levels. But Goodell argues that "South Florida is uniquely screwed" due to a combination of factors: the giant number of people who live directly along the coast, the area's flat topography, held up by porous (aka water-friendly) limestone; and most frustratingly, if not most importantly, politicians who turn a blind eye.
And there's one more scary vulnerability that cities like New York don't share: the rest of the nation doesn't really care about Miami all that much. "Congress will balk at rebuilding Miami after every big storm," one interviewee tells Rolling Stone. "It will be easy for the rest of the nation to just let South Florida go."
Given the U.S.'s long history of hating on Miami Heat fans, it's hard to argue that point.
Read the article at rollingstone.com.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.