Saturday, December 22, 2012

Sea Level Rise and Taxpayers ... by gimleteye

There is a remarkable moment in public policy unfolding in Miami-Dade County, forced by a federal court order against the county, through the US EPA and the vigor of environmentalists.

The disconnect between government investments and the reality of global warming is slowly coming to focus, despite the forced efforts of climate deniers and the right-wing spin machine.

The issue at hand is not whether but how to invest $1.5 billion to rebuild the neglected, dilapidated mechanical infrastructure handling the wastewater of 2 million residents and countless visitors to the most populous county in Florida.

Right now, the wastewater treatment plant on Virginia Key either needs to be significantly repaired, or, moved to a more secure location and away from the threats of sea level rise. Environmentalists are urging, through the federal court, careful consideration of sea level rise in the allocation and investment of taxpayer dollars.

For the county to change course on its wastewater infrastructure -- in response to climate change -- would be a significant, major development. But the climate deniers include the most powerful special interests in Florida: the builders and developers and lobbyists whose goal is to keep making money the old-fashioned way: putting condos and platted subdivisions into cheap, low-lying farmland and wetlands.

To learn more about sea level rise, read the expert testimony offered by Dr. Harold Wanless, chair of the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Miami. 

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