As planned, the Hands Across the Sand event in Miami Beach flocking-in hundreds and hundreds. Beach-goers, activists and concerned citizens all showed solidarity by holding hands across the beach nearly out of sight in both directions.
The event was hosted by the Urban Paradise Guild and Surfrider SoFla, but other organizations such as Greenpeace the 350.org were there as well. In a mad dash to get to one of the organizers, I caught up with Steve Leidner of the local chapter of 350.org.
I asked him ‘Now what, now that we’ve passed the tipping point?’ His response was one of hope. ‘The point is that we have to lessen the amount of CO2 we’re dumping into our atmosphere, whether we’ve passed the tipping point or not. We have to try to mitigate the damage as soon as possible.’
I also asked how long it would be before Miami Beach is impacted. ‘It’s already impacting Miami Beach and has been for some time. We had a big rain here the other day and streets sidewalks and parts of the Beachwalk are still flooded. The water table is rising, this means saltwater encroachment and no where for the water to go but up.’
By the way, Miami and the Beaches, the water-table was at six inches a few years ago. No more. According to NOAA, we have a steady linear rise of about 2.39 mm/yr. Let me speak to that, if I may.
This does not take into consideration the tidal swells, hurricanes and melting polar caps (Like the Petermann Glacier which in recent times has broken away from Northern Greenland). As it makes it way out to sea and melts, this alone will cause a significant permanent sea-level increase for all of us here in Miami Beach.
Now, if you live in Miami Beach, you know the city counsel is scrambling to refit, redo and replace existing sewage throughout South Beach – and I believe there are several proposals to increase new building foundations up to 6 feet higher along with improved pumping stations. It may buy us some time, it may not. Time will tell.
But in the interim, we all need to curtail and lessen our CO2 and greenhouse gas output or no matter what we do, Miami Beach will be swimming with the fishes.
Please take a moment to view the slideshow of the hundreds and hundreds of participants in Miami Beach alone. Maybe you’ll see yourself. Also note, this isn’t the only event to take place. Concurrently, this event is taking place across the globe in cities where sea-level rise is imminent, guys and gals.