By Donald Trump’s account, scientists have tricked Americans into accepting that global warming is caused by the burning of fossil fuels.

“I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change,” he told the Miami Herald on one of the rare recent occasions when he has talked about it.

A few blocks from the Miami Beach hotel where Trump spoke, water flooded over a seawall last year during the highest autumn tides, blocking traffic on one of South Florida’s main evacuation routes. The city is now elevating that street and many others as part of a $500-million program to protect itself from the rising ocean.


Carbon pollution has caused record-high temperatures globally in each of the first six months of 2016, according to NASA. Last year was the planet’s warmest on record.


The impact is especially notable here, in the densely populated and nearly flat Miami region, which is built mostly on drained swamps.

Over the last decade, streets in low-lying neighborhoods have begun flooding during the highest tides, usually when the moon is full around the fall equinox. The storm drain system, built on the assumption that gravity will carry water downward into Biscayne Bay, can’t function when the tide rises above street level.


“We know the stakes,” said Mark Rosenberg, chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. “At 5 feet over current levels, much of suburban Miami, including Miami Beach, is completely submerged.”

To Doug Yoder, deputy director of the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department, the debate over climate science ended long ago.

“There’s a point beyond which habitability, certainly at the scale and density that southeast Florida is currently developed to, would not be feasible,” he said. “Whether that point is 3 feet of sea-level rise, or 6 feet of sea-level rise, certainly at 10 feet of sea-level rise, there is a point of no return.

“The only way that point of no return could be avoided would be to effectively address greenhouse gas emissions.” And that, he said, “has to be managed at a global scale.”


Source: Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times