"By century's end, rising sea levels will turn the nation's urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin (1Page)
"..the vibrant metropolis of 5.5 million people will begin to dissolve much quicker, most likely within a few decades."
"..the OECD lists Miami as the number-one most vulnerable city worldwide in terms of property damage."
"..The statehouse in Tallahassee is a monument to climate-change denial. "The view is, 'Well, if it gets real bad, the federal government will bail us out.' It is beyond denial; it is flat-out delusional."
" It's not hard to see how it will play out: As each new crisis arises, engineers will propose expensive solutions and people may be fooled into thinking that sea-level rise is not such a big deal. But in many cases, sea-wall extensions and elaborate pumping and drainage systems will turn out to be giant boondoggles, with money shoveled out to politically connected contractors for projects that are ineffective or overwhelmed by continually rising seas."
"The financial catastrophe could play out like this: As insurance rates climb, fewer are able to afford homes. Housing prices fall, which slows development, which decreases the tax base, which makes cities and towns even less able to afford the infrastructure upgrades necessary to adapt to rising seas. The spiral continues downward. Beaches deteriorate, hotels sit empty, restaurants close. Because Miami's largest economies are development and tourism, it's a deadly tailspin. The threat of sea-level rise bankrupts the state even before it is wiped out by a killer storm."
"We are going to have to change the name to Everglades National Marine Sanctuary," one scientist told me.
One of the biggest uncertainties in Miami's future is how the rest of America will feel about rescuing the city. Nobody questioned the wisdom of spending $40 billion in tax dollars to rebuild after Katrina and another $60 billion to help rebuild after Sandy, but will they feel the same about Miami – land of millionaires and beach condos – when the time comes? Not that everyone doesn't love Miami. But at some point, Congress is going to balk at spending $50 billion to rebuild the city every time a tropical storm passes by.
"The unpleasant truth is that it will be all too easy for the rest of the nation to just let South Florida go."
"Instead of spending a billion dollars to build a new tunnel for the Port of Miami, we should be spending that money to buy people out of their homes and relocate them to higher ground," Wanless says. "We have to accept the reality of what is about to happen to us."