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Donald Trump’s real estate empire already suffering from climate change

Water world: rising tides close in on Trump, the climate change denier Climate change has barely registered as a 2016 campaign issue, but in Florida, the state which usually decides the presidential election, the waters are lapping at the doors of Donald Trump’s real estate empire, Guardian. , 6 July 16, On a hot and lazy afternoon in Palm Beach, the only sign of movement is the water gently lapping at the grounds of Mar-a-Lago, the private club that is the prize of Donald Trump’s real estate acquisitions in Florida.

Trump currently dismisses climate change as a hoax invented by China, though he has quietly sought to shield real estate investments in Ireland from its effects.

But at the Republican presidential contender’s Palm Beach estate and the other properties that bear his name in south Florida, the water is already creeping up bridges and advancing on access roads, lawns and beaches because of sea-level rise, according to a risk analysis prepared for the Guardian.

In 30 years, the grounds of Mar-a-Lago could be under at least a foot of water for 210 days a year because of tidal flooding along the intracoastal water way, with the water rising past some of the cottages and bungalows, the analysis by Coastal Risk Consulting found.

Trump’s insouciance in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence of climate change – even lapping up on his own doorstep – makes him something of an outlier in south Florida, where mayors are actively preparing for a future under climate change.

Trump, who backed climate action in 2009 but now describes climate change as “bullshit”, is also out of step with the US and other governments’ efforts to turn emissions-cutting pledges into concrete actions in the wake of the Paris climate agreement. Trump has threatened to pull the US out of the agreement.

And the presidential contender’s posturing about climate denial may further alienate the Republican candidate from younger voters and minority voters in this election who see climate change as a gathering danger.

When Guardian US asked its readers about their most urgent concern in these elections as part of our Voices of America series, the single issue looming on their minds was climate change.

Real estate professionals, with perhaps an extra dash of self-interest, hold similar views. In a survey published in the Miami Herald last month, two-thirds of high-end Miami realtors were concerned sea-level rise and climate change could hurt local property values, up from 56% of them last year.

So too for mayors in south Florida. About a third of the civic leaders in south Florida’s compact of mayors are working on strategies to protect their towns from rising seas – and lobbying Florida’s governor and fellow Republicans in Congress to acknowledge the gathering threat.

Elected officials in those same Florida towns say they are already spending heavily to rebuild disappearing beaches and pump out water-logged streets.

Republicans in coastal districts can’t afford to play politics with climate change, said Steve Abrams, a Republican and mayor of Palm Beach County.

“We don’t have the luxury at the local level to engage in these lofty policy debates,” said Abrams. “I have been in knee-deep water in many parts of my district during King Tide.”……..

modelling suggests Trump’s Hollywood condos could be turned into islands for up to 140 days a year by 2045, cut off from the low-lying A1A coastal road because of tidal flooding and storm surges. Under a category two storm, a storm surge could wash right up to the front gate.

Further south, the Trump Grande in Sunny Isles also faces a soggy future, according to the projections. In 30 years, the boundaries of the property could face tidal flooding and storm surges for 97 days a year, cutting off access to the A1A road. The beaches could also be scoured away by erosion……….


July 8, 2016 - Posted by | USA elections 2016

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