My old English friend, John, agrees with elderly Donald Trump and the younger Sarah Palin that this type of news – alarmist warnings of Polar meltdown – is a Chinese or even an Alien plot to destabilise American industry; to depreciate Trump properties, many of which are at sea-level; and to upset Chinook of The North and other loyal Alaskans in Sarah Palin’s northern territory, which borders the Arctic sea. John relies for his facts exclusively on the US website Armstrong Economics, which, in this Post-Truth era include predictions of a coming Mini-Ice-Age, like the period when the Thames River in London froze and supported Frost-Fairs. This next Big Freeze, they claim, will afflict all of northern Europe and North America, and will descend on us in 2032. Global Warming is a hoax – they say.
Mr. Armstrong has written his own computer models that predict economic and climate cycles. But, six hundred climate scientists have other models, data and far more powerful computers that disagree with Armstrong. At today’s 400 parts per million of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere, science says that the Earth’s average temperature will rise above the critical +2C degrees (of warming since about 1850) and cause Polar meltdown of the vast ice-mountains, 3 km high on Greenland and 5 km high on Antarctica, which will melt and raise the sea-level.
President Elect Trump’s summer retreat, Mar a Largo (Sea-to-Lake), in warm, wet Florida – a beach-side property – will be beneath the surface of the ocean as the sea-level rises. As a smart business man, he should invest in snorkels.
By Ben Strauss
Note: First published in the Miami Herald
“Florida is in the crosshairs of climate change. Rising seas, a population crowded along the coast, porous bedrock, and the relatively common occurrence of tropical storms put more real estate and people at risk from storm surges aggravated by sea level rise in Florida, than any other state by far.
Some 2.4 million people and 1.3 million homes, nearly half the risk nationwide, sit within 4 feet of the local high tide line. Sea level rise is more than doubling the risk of a storm surge at this level in South Florida by 2030. For the hundreds of thousands of Floridians holding 30-year mortgages, that date is not far off in the future.”
Mr Trump’s beach properties will submerge long before our major cities and farms go under, and his empire will be bankrupt. But, unless global-warming is stopped – unless we hold at 400 parts per million of CO2 in the upper atmosphere – most of the coastal margins will also be flooded and the whole human race will have to adjust. We might move to higher-ground, migrate to newly liberated, ice-free polar lands, or build floating cities, but we cannot live underwater. We are not adapted to it.
One of the faults I’ve noticed in some Senior Citizens, particularly in old men who were once dominant silver-backs, is a desire to have the world come to an end, preferably a day or two before they die, to give them two days to gloat. My wife’s grandfather, Harold Bailey, a “Trouble-up-at-th’-Mill” northern-England boss who, rising from deep Victorian poverty, made a fortune in electric-switch-gear, was elated by the prospect of nuclear-war, which he thought would be triggered by The Suez Crisis. “Sod the grandchildren. If I’ve got to die – we’ll all die”. I see the same megalomaniac trait in Trump. The dangerous difference is that Harold Bailey didn’t have his finger on the nuclear button. Trump will have the nuclear trigger. Is he sane? My misguided friend John and his infallible guru Mr Armstrong are also, statistically, in their last decades.
But let’s pray that the button won’t work from under water at Mar-a-Lago, Florida.