Sunday, February 28, 2016

Eye on Miami: Climate Change and Sea Level Rise Seminar - Yes you may yawn. By Geniusofdespair

You all yawned when all we wrote about was the housing bubble when we first started. And then when the bubble burst, our predictions rang true. We are way ahead on big issues because we both have big heads full of predictions. Remember that.

James Edward Hansen is an American adjunct professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.

Every year the University of Miami hosts a 2 day seminar on Climate Change training people like me how to talk about the subject. They have for the last 6 years. I went this year and it is not a jolly-fest that is for sure. I learned a lot and sat next to the charming and intelligent Jose Regalado. The seminar was sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences and the Department of Geological Sciences, and the Cleo Institute.

Besides the impressive presentations about sea level rise by scientists, there was one by 16 year old Delaney Reynolds who is making an amazing contribution. She founded The Sink or Swim Project.

I give the whole seminar 5 stars (the food was amazing too). Best cookies, lox and bagels, etc. breakfast and lunch were both a feast. I recommend you all go next year, and go without eating first. Join the Cleo Institute and they will announce the dates.

I asked Geology Professor Harold Wanless about the the clay layer 140 feet or so down that Miami Beach folks are talking about. Would that be a stable base for a seawall? You can't hold back the sea water with a wall on limestone, the water will just seep up under it, limestone is too porous. Wanless believes you have to go 1,000 feet at least to find a proper bed for a seawall. I think that would be expensive. So there is your answer to mitigation Marco Rubio. You can't pump, pump, pump water out forever. Have you given the mitigation you recommend any thought whatsoever?  I came away with the belief that: Most of Florida is up shit's creek with our limestone geology and Marco Rubio has given up on his home State when it comes to sea level rise.


Anonymous said...

Alternate clean energy sources if treated as a priority by our elected officials could contribute to local jobs and improve our dependance on fossil fuels. Denying that climate change and sea level rise can be addressed because it would hurt the economy is the exact opposite of reality.

Anonymous said...

Above anon, unfortunately most C level execs (FPL, etc) are on a less than 5 year plan and they don't care what happens after that, they'll have moved on with their profits. Elected officials are similar.

Slight typo in the post, should read CAN'T:

"You can hold back the sea water with a wall on limestone, it will just seep up under it, too porous."

Anonymous said...

Deforestation of Pine Rocklands adversely affects climate change. UM is officially the number 1 offender. I have to laugh that UM sponsors such a seminar. Was it co-sponsored by big sugar?

Anonymous said...

You have to take these sponsorship's with a grain of salt.

Think of Federal Reserve: Not Federal and no Reserves. Does not seem to bother anybody.

Many times sponsorship's are a way of public relation to "foster" good will image.

In the end, thou shalt know them by they're deeds.

Anonymous said...

Miami Beach will allow more excessive building to cover the costs of any flood related projects. The convention center hotel is another project that is tied to flood protection. Altering all zoning height restrictions, parking requirements and building permits restrictions to pay for all these projects will be the norm. If you live on Miami Beach you are out of luck.

Anonymous said...

Local and state officials are not serious about mitigation or resilience or any of the other buzz words being floated around to quell investor selling panic in real estate. If they were they would stop allowing more building in harms way and start leaving open land to capture rising waters. They would be protecting and preserving barrier islands. Miami dade and Broward would not blast and destroy offshore coral reefs for their ill fated port expansions. Unfortunately when we realize our mistakes it will be too late. We know now what we should be trying to save miami or buy it more time - and it's not those pumps - but we choose not to. Perhaps doing the right things now - like NOT building that expensive convention center - will set off that panic. It's better to keep pretending until the bottom falls out - seemingly overnight after a Superstorm Sandy like event or an ecological collapse, like a Zika virus epidemic or a water supply catastrophe when our wells become contaminated by pollution or saltwater. Because it's all to terrible to contemplate and beyond our human ability to fix what we broke.