Miami in 30 Years
People all over the world have various thoughts about the tortures their souls undergo after death. In the Christian hell people are suffocating from heat and are fried by devils. According to Jewish tradition, the hell is a valley, were souls are tortured with fire. The Buddhists can go to Naraka and suffer in the ice hell. People from Miami might certainly consider the hell to be a place with devastating hurricanes and never-ending rises of sea level.
Even though it might seem original that the US has its inner personal hell, the situation in Florida is quite pessimistic. After each hurricane or another natural disaster this state turns into the place of a Hellenistic tragedy with thousands of dead people. This tragedy is far from leading to catharsis, because everyone understands that the “actors” will not stand up after they are killed and there will be no encores in this play. Miami is drowning every time the level of the sea rises and this city has real chances to become the new Atlantis. This end is not the one people desire. That is why the government, engineers and all people in America think about the ways to solve this problem and restore Miami.
Jeff Goodell in the article “Goodbye, Miami” analyses the current climatic situation in the city and discusses possible solutions of the problem. Nearly the whole town was destroyed by the last hurricane and people were shocked when the plant that works with wastewater was also disabled. This incident led to an emergency situation when raw sewages ran out into Biscayne Bay. Approximately 800 people died because of the devastating power of nature. The author does not give any evaluation of this incident, but it is possible to imagine a situation when there are no plans in Miami. Man-made constructions are easy to break when they face nature. Human attempts to subdue the elements seem to give horrible results, but people still do not want to leave the place that has become dangerous after the technological revolution.
The situation in the state is extremely difficult. The level of water is rising because of the global warming. That is why the city administration needs to spend minimum 100 million dollars once in several years to fortify the beach and buy new sand. The geographical position of South Florida has much to be desired. It is situated in the flat area and even if the level of the sea increases by three feet, half of the state will drown. It is necessary to note that the level of water sometimes rises by twelve feet. It is difficult even to imagine how many people can die after another hurricane and the rise of sea level.
Engineers try to solve this problem by building storage ponds in Miami. This system will help to keep extra water in reservoirs and then it is possible to make it fresh. However, such storage ponds have limited possibilities and no one can predict the measure of future catastrophes. In addition the creation of such projects and their realization need serious investments which have to be made by the US government.
While scientists think about practical solutions of the problem, native people of Miami seem to be more fatalistic in their thoughts. Jeff Goodell gives the following example of the interview he took just after a heavy rain:
Blue sky vanishes and suddenly water is everywhere, pooling in streets, flooding parking lots, turning intersections into submarine crossings. Even for a nonbeliever like me, it feels biblical, as if God were punishing the good citizens of Miami Beach for spending too much time on the dance floor. At Alton Road and 10th Street, we watched a woman in a Toyota stall at a traffic light as water rose up to the doors. A man waded out to help her, water up to his knees. This flooding has gotten worse with each passing year, happening not only after torrential rainstorms but during high tides, too, when rising sea water backs up through the city’s antiquated drainage system. Wanless, 71, who drives an SUV that is littered with research equipment, notebooks and mud, shook his head with pity. “This is what global warming looks like,” he explained. “If you live in South Florida and you’re not building a boat, you’re not facing reality” (Goodell, “Goodbye, Miami”).
The government does not stop proclaiming optimistic things like Miami is not going to become an American Atlantis. The realistic thought that is necessary to leave the city before tragedy are not very popular among those who talk in public. The “official” position seems to be that it is not an American way to solve the problem by ignoring it and capitulating.
However, there is a problem with public reaction on making serious investments to make the state safe from natural disasters. All the money the government pays to local authorities is taken from the taxes other citizens pay. The society did not have questions why they pay money to help Miami people to restore their houses after hurricanes, because everyone understood that it is necessary to cope with the tragedy right away.
It is necessary to note that not everyone in the United States loves Miami. This city is considered to be a place of living of millionaires and spending nearly 50 millions of dollars after each hurricane is not the idea everyone support in the country. The costs on real estate in Miami might fall in the nearest future if the situation with the rise of the sea level will not change. Though, there is a chance that the city will alter its looks and will become the next Venice. This way out of the problem also needs big sums of money, because the whole city needs to be rebult according to the new project.
Iris Marie Bloom published a response to the article where she discusses the work of Jeff Goodell. She calls the effect this article about doomed future of Miami a “well-informed futility syndrome” (Bloom, “Miami and More: Doomed to Drown”). It is difficult to argue with this conclusion, because I had a similar feeling after reading that information. Iris Marie Bloom gives several possible solutions to the current problem with the sea level rise in the state. The first one is to become an activist who fights a governmental natural gas export strategy. The second way out is becoming an activist once more and go help people in Florida to fortify the beach. The last thing the author writes is that it is crucial to understand that the global warming is not the only problem. Sour-gas production, as well as the production of oil and coal harms the coast and the natural balance even more that the global warming.
The situation in Miami is extremely problematic. There are several ideas about the nearest future of the city, but they all have certain drawbacks. Rebuilding Miami and turning it into another Venice needs huge investments and the US government can not spend the entire budget on this project. Building reservoirs that will keep extra water when the sea level rises are good, but it is not a cure-all. Fortifying the beach each year and praying all the gods, hoping that hurricanes will not tough the state is irrational. It is sufficient to recollect that 800 people died during the last hurricane and flood in Miami and it becomes evident that it is impossible to risk one more time. There is another popular and extremely dull idea that Americans do not surrender, even if their enemy is the nature. Sometimes it is necessary to understand the ancient wisdom that the game might not worth the candle, especially when the candles in this game are living people.
The society thinks that the global warming is the main problem that caused the rises of the sea level and all other natural disasters. It is really true, but it seems to me that when people are blaming this “global warming” in all the problems, they do not understand that their own lifestyle is the key issue that led to the greenhouse effect. This “global warming” is not a bad guy from ghetto, it is a reflection of modern society. People usually do not fight with the mirror if they are not beautiful. Those who are clever try to correct their face. The same thing is with Miami – sometimes it is wiser to go away and start reforming ecological situation.
Bloom, Iris M. “Miami and More: Doomed to Drown.” Protecting Our Waters. 29 June 2013. Web.
Goodell, Jeff. “Goodbye, Miami.” Rolling Stone. 20 June 2013. Web.