The popular U.S. holiday state of Florida apparently accepts the reality of climate change after all – and wants to be prepared for it in the future. The possibility of rising seawater levels brought the authorities to action since houses as well as tourism may be in danger.
The current U.S. president, as is well known, does not think much of environmental protection and thinks that the issue of climate change is only fueling hysteria. But in the U.S., people are now beginning to seriously address climate change – even in the state of Florida, which recently voted Republican and is certainly Trump-friendly, but is also one of the states that are particularly threatened.
Florida knows about occasional floods. The highest elevation in the state is just 115 meters above sea level, but the vast majority of the land area is in the 1-15 meter range. It is clear that in the event of tropical storms or hurricanes and the associated spring tides, the land surface is quickly submerged. The water always retreats. But what if the seawater levels are fundamentally rising?
Florida, after years of negating the problem, now wants to deal with it. Last week, plans were announced to establish a state “Office of Resilience”, which would deal with the question of how to protect Florida’s 2200 kilometer long coast from a rise in sea level and how Florida can help to keep this rise to a minimum. This office is scheduled to open in August 2020. Until now, there has been no such thing at the state level, only local evacuation plans and the like.
It will be difficult to reach a consensus on the primary challenges and the measures to be taken. For the time being, data will be collected so that, if possible, arguments can be made with it instead of only along with party ideologies. So far, the fact is that Florida fears that the rise in seawater levels could affect numerous buildings near the beach – at a cost of up to 300 billion dollars. According to a survey by Jupiter Intelligence, although only 5 percent of the buildings in Miami-Dade Country are currently in a potential danger zone in the event of a (slight) rise in seawater levels, 98 percent of the buildings could be in danger by 2050. This would of course also affect tourism, one of the most important industries in the American sunshine state.