The initial bill for surviving sea rise in the coming decades has come due for the Florida Keys — and it’s far more than Monroe County can afford itself to keep the island chain dry.
Just for starters, Monroe is asking the state for $150 million to raise roads, elevate homes and even move critical buildings to higher ground.
It’s a huge request for a sparsely populated county, working out to about $2,000 per resident. County staffers believe it’s the largest resilience specific funding request in Monroe’s history. And that won’t even make a dent in the true cost of keeping the low-lying and lush islands a viable place to live and visit in the face of rising seas.
Four years after countries struck a landmark deal in Paris to rein in greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to avert the worst effects of global warming, humanity is headed toward those very climate catastrophes, according to a United Nations report issued Tuesday, with China and the United States, the two biggest polluters, having expanded their carbon footprints last year.
“The summary findings are bleak,” the report said, because countries have failed to halt the rise of greenhouse gas emissions even after repeated warnings from scientists. The result, the authors added, is that “deeper and faster cuts are now required.”
The world’s 20 richest countries, responsible for more than three-fourths of emissions, must take the biggest, swiftest steps to move away from fossil fuels, the report emphasized. The richest country of all, the United States, however, has formally begun to pull out of the Paris accord altogether.
A brutal “king tides” season made worse by climate change has flooded the streets of a Florida Keys community for nearly three months.
The New York Times
KEY LARGO, Fla. — Before he leaves for work, Rick Darden, an accountant with his own firm, stuffs a long-sleeved shirt, slacks and dress shoes in a backpack. Then he heads out, clad in shorts and waders, for the half-mile trek through the seawater that has flooded the streets of his Florida Keys neighborhood for the past 82days.
A colleague picks him up at the Winn-Dixie grocery store on the main road, Overseas Highway, and drives him to the office to change. In the afternoons, he puts his boots on again and catches another ride back.
“Humiliating,” said Mr. Darden, 54, describing his routine since the sea invaded the Stillwright Point community in Key Largo, leaving him and his neighbors leery of taking out their cars in the corrosive saltwater that now floods the streets. “It just restricts your ability to move out and around.”
But that’s not true for young Republicans (as well as most of the GOP under the age of 38). Pew Research Center recently polled 3,627 US adults to gauge their opinion on climate change, and the results show a generational divide in the GOP getting wider with every generation.
The Invading Sea is a collaboration by the editorial boards of the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Miami Herald and Palm Beach Post —
with reporting by WLRN Public Media —
to address the threat South Florida faces from sea-level rise. We want to raise awareness, amplify the voice of our region and create a call to action that can't be ignored. Read More