Thursday, May 10, 2018

Condo King Jorge Perez: "Besides I'll be dead, so what does it matter?" ... by gimleteye

Politicians plan for sea level rise, by Spanish artist Isaac Cordel

The New York Times repeats a quip by Miami Condo King and local billionaire Jorge Perez about climate change and sea level rise.

The report concerns a contemporary home built on Miami Beach by Mr. Hani Boutros. Concrete pilings elevated his dream house ten feet high -- not exactly a new concept in South Florida -- with a "retractable" stairway -- which kind of is. But a retractable stairway to pull up and away from sea level rise begs the question: what next?

The Times quotes Perez from a 2017 book by Jeff Goodell, "The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World." Miami, being Exhibit A for cities at risk from climate change.
“In 20 or 30 years, someone is going to find a solution for this.” He (Perez) added, “Besides, by that time, I’ll be dead, so what does it matter?”
What does it matter?

I can think of roughly 9 billion reasons, including one grandchild who is sixteen months old, why it matters. But I get it, Jorge.

There is a mind-set at work in the United States that is primitive and powerful. It is about circling the wagons, protecting what is yours, insulating from threats. (For the GOP Ten Commandments on climate change, click here.)

The same way that squirrels hoard in the fall for the winter ahead, powerful corporate interests view climate change -- and impacts like sea-level rise -- as a game they can't influence. Florida Senator Marco Rubio often says so. What he doesn't say, is what comes follows: make as much money as you can, right now this instant, because in twenty or thirty years (basically, one mortgage cycle), it's going to vanish.

Note that Perez is a frequently cited Democratic big ticket donor. The mindset that Perez articulated, also helps to explain how the politics and policies governing growth management in Florida have all but disappeared. It is no coincidence: this game of musical chairs requires speed and the elimination of barriers (ie. regulation) to build as much and as fast as possible.

That is the thinking behind Mayor Carlos Gimenez' determination to open the last remaining farmland and open space in South Florida to more suburban sprawl, through the extension of State Road 836 into the far southwest reaches of Florida's most politically influential county. Unleash more construction and development into the face of sea level rise because we can make billions now, but maybe not so much beyond one mortgage cycle.

All those acorns have to be scoured and collected today, and the price of those musical chairs keeps rising.

For earlier critiques of Perez at Eye On Miami, click here.


Anonymous said...

Hello! This is my 1st comment here so I just wanted
to give a quick shout out and say I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts.

Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
Appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

I believe in the last year most of the South Florida corruption scandals have been with politicians taking money from developers. Boca Raton and Miami Beach have good stories, but at the end of the day nothing changes. I'd be shocked if a state laws was ever passed that really protected the average citizen.

Anonymous said...

Sadly this is the frame of mind of most capitalists. They live in denial, which given their insight into particular market happenings, you wouldn't think is true, but it is. They hold false beliefs, like most of the little people they screw will make it up some other way, like there are so many options who cares if you yank health care from your employees or their retirement, like the environment is not that fragile... on and on.