This Is Murica

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big picture stuff, Republican Party

I didn’t even realize there was a mass shooting in Knoxville on Friday until I read about a young man who was shot in the head while shielding three young women. It’s so hard to keep up.

In the New Yorker, Elizabeth Kolbert writes about the siege of Miami. Or the drowning of Miami, as it were.

To cope with its recurrent flooding, Miami Beach has already spent something like a hundred million dollars. It is planning on spending several hundred million more. Such efforts are, in Wanless’s view, so much money down the drain. Sooner or later—and probably sooner—the city will have too much water to deal with. Even before that happens, Wanless believes, insurers will stop selling policies on the luxury condos that line Biscayne Bay. Banks will stop writing mortgages.

“If we don’t plan for this,” he told me, once we were in the car again, driving toward the Fontainebleau hotel, “these are the new Okies.” I tried to imagine Ma and Pa Joad heading north, their golf bags and espresso machine strapped to the Range Rover.

The situation is not helped by the fact that the state’s Republican government is in denial that this is happening. And the people whose property and neighborhoods are being flooded also are in denial, or just plain don’t understand what’s happening because no one is explaining it to them. Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are working on ways to kill the Paris climate agreement.

The class acts at Red State are trying to make an issue of Hillary Clinton’s old lady kidneys. Just wait until your prostates enlarge, dudes.

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16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. c u n d gulag  •  Dec 21, 2015 @10:41 am

    “Mourning in America.”

    Ronald Reagan did what no one else before him could:
    He took America from a “CAN DO”nation, to a, “Sorry. We can’t aford that. Our rich need tax breaks. Sorry, middle class people.”

  2. Tom_b  •  Dec 21, 2015 @11:30 am

    Fortunately treaties give the executive branch a lot of control and the current executive branch lives mostly in the real world. Otherwise, we would also be facing increased risk of a nuclear Iran right now.

  3. goatherd  •  Dec 21, 2015 @12:34 pm

    Unfortunately, your links seem to present a very representative sample. Regarding rising ocean levels and the other trials and tribulations that climate change will cause, I go back to that genre of Sci-Fi movie from long ago where the earth is threatened, and united by some invasion from outer space or awakened monster. Now those films all seem some hopelessly optimistic.

    It will be interesting to see how the Exxon-Mobil case and the Martin Skrelli case pan out, if Exxon-Mobil is shown to have deliberately funded disinformation and Skrelli is shown to have acquired so much wealth through illegal means, it should blow the “Libertarian moment” out of the water. But, history teaches us, that it probably won’t.

  4. moonbat  •  Dec 21, 2015 @12:47 pm

    I’m optimistic that some bright lights left holding the bag in Miami Beach will go Bloomberg and realize that climate change is real and something needs to be done.

  5. maha  •  Dec 21, 2015 @2:10 pm

    moonbat — one of the many things that make no sense (why should anything make sense?) is that people who have fortunes invested in Miami property aren’t shouting help from the rooftops. Denial? Or are they planning to cash out before it gets much worse?

  6. Bill Bush  •  Dec 21, 2015 @12:59 pm

    Our coastal communities need to go around and paint a red flood line to show where high tides will hit after a 1 foot rise in sea levels. Then they’ll start seeing that they are unsustainable and the building can stop. Of course, that would involve science and maps and satellites and projections and measurement and other things done with those terrorist Arabic numerals. So, no. Won’t happen.

  7. Mike G  •  Dec 21, 2015 @2:04 pm

    Somehow, it will all be Al Gore’s fault.
    Because with these people it’s never, ever their fault.

  8. Swami  •  Dec 21, 2015 @2:32 pm

    Well, I live about 1 mile from the Gulf of Mexico. So maybe the rising sea levels will be reversal of the economic misfortunes inflicted upon me by the GOP and the banking industry with their mortgage backed derivatives scam. In a couple of years I could be the owner of some prime beachfront property.
    I think the bible says…what the GOP intended for evil, God will turn to good.

  9. paradoctor  •  Dec 21, 2015 @3:03 pm

    maha: these are old folk, they’ll be dead by the time it’s a problem.

  10. Swami  •  Dec 21, 2015 @3:21 pm

    Could we have a moment of silence for Lindsey Graham’s presidential campaign?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zcSlcNfThUA

  11. maha  •  Dec 21, 2015 @3:34 pm

    Swami — maybe a moment of giggling would be more appropriate?

  12. Doug  •  Dec 21, 2015 @7:33 pm

    Miami Beach is part of FL23 – what I now think of as ‘my district’. It’s a well-researched article, regrettable that they didn’t include pictures. SO how about some feedback, friends. When the city can’t keep up with the cost, they will turn to the state who will turn to the federal government. Global warming wasn’t caused by Miami Beach to any significant degree, but they will bear the brunt of the first onslaught of sea level rise.

    Do they ‘deserve’ help or do they ‘deserve’ to be the new Atlantis? Yes, it would be fun in a way to force Tallahassee to admit sea level change is a crisis if they’re going to ask for federal relief. With an inch per year rise in sea levels in Miami Beach, it won’t take a decade for voters in Florida to sing a new tune, especially if the cavalry to the rescue flies the democratic flag.

    If you don’t think that’s important, do drag out a map of the electoral college.

  13. erinyes  •  Dec 21, 2015 @9:26 pm

    Lots of work for pile drivers installing sheet pile walls. Buy property in Lake Wales, nice view, perhaps ocean view for the grand kids.

  14. goatherd  •  Dec 21, 2015 @11:35 pm

    Swami, I had forgotten that Tiny Tim had such an impressive falsetto. Thanks.

    Erinyes, sometimes I think my land in the NC piedmont might have an ocean view soon enough.

  15. Tom_b  •  Dec 22, 2015 @9:39 am

    “Erinyes, sometimes I think my land in the NC piedmont might have an ocean view soon enough.”

    My piece of the Piedmont is near Chapel Hill, which has an average elevation of over 400 feet. I’m more worried about tropical disease-bearing mosquitos than flood waters.

  16. goatherd  •  Dec 22, 2015 @12:04 pm

    Tom, right you are. There are already some pretty bad signs, as you well know. One of the worst for us is the “Barber Pole Worm,” which causes a condition in goats known as “Bottle Jaw.” It is one of the parasites that moved north with the change in climate. We had frequent problems with it for the last couple of years. The we have had weak or nearly failed hay crops this year and last. Since it’s supposed to be around 75 degrees this Christmas Eve and Christmas, I am starting to get an uneasy feeling about next year. Then of course, there are the Pine Beetles that have been decimating the mountain forests, and a long list of other new pests.

    Of course, these are symptomatic of deeper and more serious problems to come. It’s ironic that farmers are so used to dealing with the vicissitudes of wind and weather that most of them are reluctant to see a bigger picture.

    Chapel Hill is a far more sophisticated place than our area, so you might not run into the fundamentalist view that God will either not let the earth and mankind be ruined or that it is all part of “His plan,” quite so often as we do. But, that’s a genuine part of the battle. Believing in climate change is an apostasy.

    I better shut up now, it’s starting to feel a little hopeless.



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