Last May I published Part I where I talked about climate change and it’s implications for anyone with plans to retire in Florida or is already here. I was fortunate also to have it appear in our local newspaper, the Gainesville Sun.
My main focus these days is marketing my online school, Successful Retirement Secrets. Though officially retired with time on my hands, climate change is increasingly an issue to be concerned with as the threat becomes more ominous. I decided it was time to repeat myself and perhaps bring forward some new information. I’m calling it Part II.
Floridians no longer have luxury to pretend climate change isn’t real
This is the headline that appeared in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on November 1, 2019. The article was authored by Fred Grimm.
He reported on a poll released by Florida Atlantic University that said “…68% of Floridians worry that global warming threatened the well being of future generations in Florida.”
Our last Governor, and current member of the US Senate, Rick Scott, allegedly issued a directive as Governor that no one employed by the State was allowed to use the term “global warming”, or a similar term such as “climate change”. My understanding is it was not allowed to appear in any document or reference in any form, or the person would face discipline.
Presumably Governor Scott concluded that either climate change was a hoax, or that it might result in bad PR and therefor mentioning it was not in the best interest of the residents of the State. Persons at the highest levels decided it was irrelevant that climate change represents an existential threat to the residents and employers that fill our state. If we don’t talk about it, it will not happen.
So the question remains. Is climate change real and is it accelerating due to human activity? I argue we don’t have the luxury of quibbling over answers to those questions. It is real and we’re living it. And it’s going to get worse during our lifetimes.
Earlier this year we came within a whisker of surrendering to Hurricane Dorian. With winds of 185 mph, it devastated the Abacos and were it not for foretuitus barometric pressures, it could have just as easily come ashore in Miami and worked it’s way up the East Coast of Florida.
If that had happened, would we be arguing whether the manifest changes are attributable to mankind or not? My position is that if mankind has any sense at all, we owe it to ourselves, our children and future generations to at least make some serious effort to reverse the trends. Assuming we still have that option.
As for the future of retirement, I wrote back in May that knowledgeable scientists projected a 3 foot rise in sea levels along the South East Coast by year 2050. When it appeared in the Gainesville Sun, that number was edited to read 1 foot. For the record, I have no idea what it will be, but more recent projections suggest we are underestimating sea level rise this century. Never mind next century.
I want to again reference a web site by NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. They have a page where you can identify a coastal location by zip code, add a hypothetical sea level rise and see how much land is then underwater. This link will show you Miami Beach with a 3 foot sea level rise. https://tinyurl.com/y2d8mj5c
Today there are streets in Miami that routinely find themselves flooded by high tides. How long will it be before new retirees migrate here to North Central Florida? What will happen to real estate prices along the coast? Who will pay for the increased infrastructure required here in Gainesville and the surrounding counties? As a major health care center, Gainesville is going to receive a disproportionate share of migrants from the coastal areas, along with new retirees from places like Boston, New York and Charleston.
Are we ready or even thinking that far ahead? Just how far into the future is 2050? Or is that a number too big to get your arms around?
Tony Kendzior \ 11 DEC 2019