Politicians and developers in South Florida love to cheerlead about how great the region is, often brushing off concerns about climate change to instead talk about beautiful beaches and tax advantages. But Philip Stoddard, a Florida International University biology professor and the former mayor of South Miami, has a darker take.
“My biggest concern is infrastructure collapse,” Stoddard told Bisnow during a recent call.
Every day, people are taking out 30-year mortgages on homes in the region, but there’s likely to be at least one more major hurricane in the next three decades, Stoddard said. That chance, combined with the threat of sea-level rise, means that sooner or later, flood insurance rates will become unaffordable and banks will stop lending. Property values will drop, the tax base will fall out, and there won’t be any money to pay teachers, parks or police, he worries.
“This is how societies unravel,” Stoddard said.
But he's not all gloom and doom. Stoddard thinks that South Florida is "paradise" for the near future, and that local governments should still invest in infrastructure like rail and seawalls. But those bodies should also be preparing now for future impacts of cllmate change.To that end, Stoddard's floating an idea he…
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