Philip Stoddard and his wife are saving money to prepare for the day climate problems render their home worthless and force them out. Stoddard lives three miles inland in an area that would be largely submerged — along with much of South Florida — under what the federal government considers a worst-case but worryingly plausible scenario by the end of the century. Some Florida scientists expect even higher sea-level rise. Stoddard is focused on keeping the city livable as long as possible, which means battling a faster-arriving consequence of a warming world.
Stoddard, looking into fixes, sees a need for hard conversations with residents of his city’s lowest-lying neighborhoods. Do they want to pay for expensive upgrades or risk owning homes without working toilets? He sees a future where some communities get ahead of climate problems and others are overwhelmed. Meanwhile, he said, his utility company keeps building gas plants that emit even more of the carbon pollution fueling this slow-motion tragedy.
“It’s going to cost more money, it’s going to pollute the environment — it’s like, why are they doing it?” said Stoddard, a fierce FPL critic. The answer, in his view: “They own natural gas.”
Read the full article for more information on how Florida is affected by climate change.