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Thread: Trump to Mayor of Disappearing Island Town: "Don't Worry About It"

  1. #1
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Trump to Mayor of Disappearing Island Town: "Don't Worry About It"



    ....Tangier, Va., which sits on Tangier Island, [is] about 12 miles from both the Virginia and Maryland coasts in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay. The small island, now only 1.3 square miles, shrinks by 15 feet each year, according to the Army Corps of Engineers, which points to coastal erosion and rising sea levels as the cause.

    The island’s 450 residents, many of whom are descendants of its first settlers in the 17th century, are desperate. Scientists predict they will have to abandon the island in 50 years if nothing is done.

    “Donald Trump, if you see this, whatever you can do, we welcome any help you can give us,” Eskridge said in the CNN piece [June 5th], later adding, “I love Trump as much as any family member I got.”

    *Snip*

    [In his call yesterday] Trump thanked the mayor and the entire island of Tangier, where he received 87 percent of the votes, for their support. Then the conversation turned to the island’s plight.

    “He said we shouldn’t worry about rising sea levels,” Eskridge said. “He said that ‘your island has been there for hundreds of years, and I believe your island will be there for hundreds more.’”

    Eskridge wasn’t offended. In fact, he agreed that rising sea levels aren’t a problem for Tangier.

    “Like the president, I’m not concerned about sea level rise,” he said. “I’m on the water daily, and I just don’t see it.”

    Instead, Eskridge, along with many of Tangier’s residents, said he worries about the erosion caused by the Chesapeake’s water pounding on the island’s shores. He said he believes this is why his home is disappearing at an alarming rate.


    Trump apparently agreed.

    “He said that is a problem, and maybe when I’m up in Washington, I could come by and we can chat about it,” Eskridge said.

    Currently, the Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to begin building a jetty on the west channel of the island some time this year to protect it from the harsh currents. But Eskridge said they need a jetty, or perhaps even a sea wall, around the entire island.

    He believes Trump will cut through red tape and get them that wall.

    “He’s for cutting regulations and the time it takes to study a project,” Eskridge said. “Of course you need the studies, but we’ve been studied to death.”


    “We’re running out of land to give up,” he added.

    That said, Trump’s administration hasn’t been friendly to the Chesapeake Bay itself. Trump’s proposed budget included ending federal funding of the Chesapeake Bay Program, a federal-state collaboration coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency.

    Begun in 1983, the program aimed to help reduce pollution and restore the Chesapeake Bay’s ecosystem, the very one from which the watermen on Tangier Island make their livings.


    As a compromise on the budget, Congress restored the $73 million Trump’s administration planned to cut, at least until September when the fiscal year expires.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...=.3bc28892013f

    *Facepalm,*

    This is why we can't have nice things. Those Americans now most directly impacted by climate change are complicit in the attempt to deny it is happening. There is some very odd psychology at work here.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    What will he say to the mayor of Miami?





    https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2015...ep-challenges/
    Thanks from Friday13, HadEnough2 and BigLeRoy

  3. #3
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Mississippi and Louisiana coastal towns?

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    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Global warming is more than just melting ice caps and rising sea levels. It also means more violent storms, less fresh water, changes to the atmosphere such as altering the path of the jet stream (or worse yet, bringing the jet stream to an end).

    It means landslides and wildfires and earthquakes and the hideous deaths of many humans on the planet, and suffering for them all.

    Thanks from Friday13

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    Veteran Member Micro Machines Champion, Race Against Time Champion Tedminator's Avatar
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    trump sez all of those problems mentioned above can be fixed by building walls. Oh and Neptune will pay for it.
    Thanks from Madeline, RNG, Friday13 and 1 others

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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Update:

    Pres. Donald Trump has authorized the purchase of 727 pairs of water wings for the residents of Tangier Island.


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    What are this island's residents suggesting be done?
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    Council Member Djinn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neomalthusian View Post
    What are this island's residents suggesting be done?
    I think I read something about surrounding the island with a jetty to break up the currents that are wearing down the land.
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    Sally Sitter Paris's Avatar
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    You have global warming come in and I'm not just saying hot temperatures, I'm talking about higher tides that are from all over, that are killers and rapists and they're coming to this country.

    #BuildThatWall
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  10. #10
    Veteran Member Madeline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paris View Post
    You have global warming come in and I'm not just saying hot temperatures, I'm talking about higher tides that are from all over, that are killers and rapists and they're coming to this country.

    #BuildThatWall
    It is bizarre to me that any rational person can deny this. Not that Americans are ever slow to embrace The Stupid, but I think they feel manipulated by Democrats who tried hard to monetize the looming crisis.

    American conservatives now need to also ask themselves, who is making BILLIONS off this denial Trump and his ilk promote?

    Florida has 8,400 miles of tidal shoreline and more than 75 percent of Floridians live in coastal counties. Southeastern Florida, in particular, is “uniquely vulnerable,” thanks to a perfect storm of environmental factors, development patterns and infrastructural legacies.

    As a subtropical peninsula located within a major Atlantic hurricane alley, South Florida is already subject to extreme climate variability and unpredictability, which global warming will exacerbate. The pace of sea-level rise in the region is above the global average and appears to be accelerating. The U.S. Army projects a rise of three to seven inches by 2030 and 9 to 24 inches by 2060. Some 2.4 million people live less than four feet above the high-tide line, and highly porous limestone bedrock undermines the effectiveness of physical barriers, like those employed by the Netherlands.

    These environmental vulnerabilities are amplified by dense urban development within the coastal zone, from Miami to Palm Beach. A 2008 OECD study ranking cities’ vulnerability to coastal flooding placed Miami first in financial assets and fourth in population exposure.

    The final element of southeastern Florida’s vulnerability trifecta is infrastructural. Intense urban and agricultural development is a recent phenomenon here, made possible by a massive flood-control system built in the 1950s. Historically, almost the entire southern third of the peninsula was part of the greater Everglades ecosystem: a 3-million-acre marsh that was inundated for months every year. Now, a vast network of canals, levees, pump stations, and gates swiftly removes floodwaters and discharges them into the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico at an average rate of 1.7 billion gallons a day. This system has successfully carried out its mission for half a century, but with disastrous unintended consequences for both natural systems and people.

    Climate change is altering the calculus of an already-daunting hydraulic system. Some 6 million residents draw their potable water from the shallow Biscayne Aquifer, but decades of flood control have lowered the water table, allowing seawater to intrude. Several cities have had to move wells further inland, and sea-level rise is accelerating this process. If nothing changes, the region will increasingly have to rely on costly and energy-intensive desalination for drinking water.

    The canals that discharge floodwaters from urban areas into the Atlantic are gravity-driven – that is, they flow downhill. As sea level rises above canal stages, pumps must be installed to keep flow moving. These can cost up to $70 million each plus fuel. According to a study by Florida Atlantic University, just three to nine inches of sea-level rise would incapacitate 70 percent of coastal floodgates.

    The lowest-lying areas already experience “sunny-day flooding,” when high tides push seawater through storm drains into the streets. Miami Beach recently spent $15 million on two underground pumps, which successfully prevented street flooding during last fall’s biannual king tide. These were merely the first installment in a $300-500 million plan to install 80 more pumps by 2020, along with other structural measures such as raising streets and sidewalks. Yet this plan is designed to accommodate only six inches of sea-level rise; beyond that, city leaders place their faith in “human innovation.”

    Recent stories in The New York Times, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, The Guardian, and other high-profile outlets have drawn attention to the problems of seawater intrusion and coastal flood protection in southeastern Florida, but none have delved into the broader vulnerabilities of the flood-control system. The system’s lynchpin is the vast and shallow Lake Okeechobee, which serves as a multi-purpose reservoir. It is the primary site for storing floodwaters during wet periods but also supplies water for nearby agricultural irrigation. These two functions are at cross-purposes. Ensuring adequate water supply for dry years requires keeping more water in the lake, but higher levels mean less capacity for retaining floodwaters. This operational dilemma is particularly vexing in a subtropical setting already subject to unpredictable climate extremes – and lined up for more.

    In southeastern Florida, climate change is expected to bring more droughts, but also more severe storms. Global reinsurance firm Swiss Re predicts annual storm-related losses in the area “to reach $33 billion by 2030, up from $17 billion in 2008.” A major hurricane striking an urban area would inflict staggering costs. The Great Miami Hurricane of 1926 caused around $1 billion-worth of damage, according to The Economist (inflation adjusted). “Were it to strike today the insured losses would be $125 billion.”

    A less widely recognized threat is the integrity of the 143-mile dike, built in the 1930s and 1950s, that encloses Lake Okeechobee. The lake now holds much higher water levels than the earthen berm was designed for, and an independent technical review in 2006 concluded that structural inadequacies and internal erosion render it “a grave and imminent danger,” with a one-in-six chance of failing in any given year. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, if a Category 4 or 5 hurricane were to hit Lake Okeechobee, the dike would certainly fail, forcing the evacuation of nearly 3 million people, while putting hundreds of miles of evacuation routes under two feet or more of water for weeks. Dike repairs are underway but not scheduled for completion until 2021. Until then, the dike remains “a gun pointed at South Florida,” according to one of the authors of the 2006 review.


    The only way to combat seawater intrusion is to retain more of the floodwater currently discharged to tide and use it to recharge the aquifer. Additional retention capacity would also greatly reduce the risks and trade-offs of Lake Okeechobee management. A multi-billion dollar state-federal program launched in 2000 seeks to do just that, but has yet to produce a viable strategy. The failure is due, in part, to the technical challenges of large-scale water storage in South Florida. The flat topography means there are no river canyons to dam. The heat subjects surface impoundments to large losses from evapotranspiration. The porous bedrock causes underground water seepage. And the unpredictable climate greatly complicates operational decision making.

    But another key constraint is political. Highly influential agribusinesses have been largely unwilling to sell needed lands to the state, and the state has been unwilling to compel them through condemnation. At present, the governor and legislature are resisting calls to take advantage of a rare opportunity to buy available land.

    The water-storage dilemma is one example of how politics stands in the way of proactive climate adaptation in Florida. Property insurance is another. The simplest and least costly way to reduce climate vulnerability is to discourage development in high-risk areas. It has long been recognized that subsidizing insurance in flood zones, as both the state and federal governments do, perversely encourages such development, often underwriting multiple rounds of re-building storm-flattened beachfront communities. Congress finally passed a law sharply reducing federal subsidies in 2012, but repealed the reforms two years later in the face of bipartisan backlash. In Florida, where heavy hurricane losses have led most private insurers to pull out, state programs offering below-market rates are now the largest insurers. According to Reuters, Florida leads the nation in the value of property covered by the National Flood Insurance Program. A single hurricane, thus, could bankrupt the state.

    Nevertheless, according to a disaster-impact analyst quoted in Rolling Stone, “There is no serious thinking, no serious planning, about [climate adaptation] going on at the state level.” Governor Rick Scott was elected in 2010 as a climate-change denier and has made national headlines since by steadfastly refusing to discuss the issue, repeatedly stating, “I am not a scientist.”

    Fortunately, given the lack of state and federal leadership, some of the most powerful tools for steering development are wielded by local governments. Southeastern Florida’s four counties recently joined forces to create a regional climate change compact that is encouraging municipalities to rewrite land-use regulations and building codes in order to “discourage new development or post-disaster redevelopment in vulnerable areas.” It remains to be seen how many will take up this challenge.

    Meanwhile, Miami Beach, the most vulnerable municipality of all, is pursuing precisely the opposite strategy, actively promoting more high-end real estate. Twelve luxury condo towers are currently under construction, with another 20 proposed since 2011, largely by cash-rich South American developers “more concerned by currency instability in their home countries than encroaching saltwater,” as The Washington Post’s Danielle Paquette writes. In one of the most profound ironies of the Florida climate saga, the costs of new pumps and other defensive measures are motivating city officials to continue pro-growth policies in order to increase property-tax revenues.

    Local officials are generally more open to discussing climate change than employees of state agencies, but there is one word they rarely utter in public: “retreat.” The Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact has been lauded by the White House as a national leader in climate action, but at its sixth annual summit in October 2014, amidst much discussion of pumps and other structural flood- and storm-protection fixes, I heard only one reference to the R-word, by an architecture professor who noted that it is never discussed because it is “too scary.”

    Local officials have the regulatory authority to discourage development in, and even promote retreat from, vulnerable areas. But as long as developers believe they will find buyers for their properties, they are likely to resist any efforts to curb growth – and local politicians are often unduly influenced by such developers.

    At the state and national level, as long as leaders continue to deny the existence of climate change, they are unlikely to press local officials to do more, or use the tools at their own disposal, such as insurance reform.

    Unless the political landscape shifts substantially, the costs of climate change will eventually force a retreat – managed or otherwise. Unfortunately, vast sums will have been sunk by then into short-term fixes, devalued real estate, and avoidable expenses like desalination, leaving society with less capacity to adapt to the no-longer deniable realities of an altered climate.

    Perhaps the most disturbing take-away from Florida’s experience is an extrapolation: If changing our way of thinking is such a challenge in the world’s richest democracy, how can we expect others to do better?

    In the words of the University of Miami’s Hal Wanless, “there’s going to be a lot of throwing money in the ocean before we realize it’s time to move on.”
    https://www.newsecuritybeat.org/2015...ep-challenges/
    Thanks from Tedminator and Paris

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