Earlier in the year, our mayor here in Miami Beach was inviting sea-level-rise skeptics to come down and watch the city sink beneath the waves during the King Tides. See what I wrote in Seasonal Sea Level Rise.
Well, the highest tides have come and gone, and we are still here. Not only that, but in my new role as pizza boy I was riding a bike all over the city, making over 100 deliveries, during the very highest of tides, and I didn’t see a single puddle out of place. Instead, I saw care-free tourists on the beach taking photos of themselves with the giant, high-tide-causing, full moon in the background. They were having the time of their lives, as well they should have, here in America’s most gorgeous city. Kudos to them for not letting our extremist mayor scare them away.
Yes, there was some flooding, but the photos and video that you see in the media are cherry-picked. If you go to the right spot, at the right moment, you can see some water in the street. But I would bet that 95% of our tourists will go home without even an inkling of the “extreme peril” they were in.
Yes, we have pumps all over the place, pushing the water back into Biscayne Bay, no doubt making the tides higher in less-fortunate cities that can’t afford pumps. But if all it takes to prevent Miami Beach from becoming the “New Atlantis” is a few pumps, then what’s the big deal? It’s not even new technology; New Orleans has been operating such pumps since the invention of the steam engine nearly 200 years ago!
Over on the ocean-side of the island, I rode all up-and-down our 50-block long boardwalk, and didn’t see a single puddle on the concrete segments. Check out our awesome lampposts on the boardwalk in South Pointe Park (they change colors):
I can also see some of Biscayne Bay from my window. And while the morning tides did indeed look higher than usual, I didn’t see anybody’s yard flooding in the Sunset Islands, which are flat, man-made islands three feet above sea-level. (I saw a manatee as I was writing this, but he dove down before I could get a picture.) So, I saw the morning King Tides from 22 floors up, and I saw the evening King Tides at the ground level while visiting dozens of restaurants, hotels, and residences, and it was a total non-event.
I might also add that with the $400 million that we are spending on raising roads, Meridian Avenue still looks like France in 1940, right after the German panzers blitzed through. If memory serves, it’s been like that since I moved here 20 years ago. I guess the “small people” who live in the middle of the island don’t rate smooth roads. Without padded gloves, my hands would be paralyzed from riding on such roads. I’m going to need a mountain bike with shock absorbers because it is literally like riding on rocks.