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  • Writer's pictureChristopher McHale

Our Condo Future

I can’t help but see the Florida condo collapse as symptomatic of the rising climate crisis. These things are hard to quantify, but a building on a beach, on a porous lime stone, shifting bedrock, taking hits from serial storms, is not built to last.

The Florida economy relies in large part on condos. You have citrus trees and condos. You have a large population of seniors who are not invested long-term. You have low-lying marshland surrounded on three-sides, by ocean.

I like Florida. Not Condo Florida, but the Everglades, the primal wildlife, the ocean light. The locals are interesting people. Miami is cosmopolitan, Latin, engaging. I can see living there, but in my gut it feels vulnerable, unstable, dicey.

I don’t think we understand the true nature of what we’re facing. I understand climate crisis denial, because climate crisis science creates a soul-sucking crunch in your head. Florida is jeopardy. Texas is jeopardy. Palm Springs is jeopardy. Phoenix is jeopardy. Where do you turn? Where do you go?

A friend of mine in Portland, Oregon told me a couple of years ago he felt he was ‘in the climate crisis sweet spot.’ It’s understandable. Oregon is soaked in rain, and covered in trees. And then last week I read the scorching heat caused a rear car window in Portland to explode. Electrical lines melted. Scary stuff.

I’ve spent my whole life worried about our environment. I’d say I’m a radical on this issue, except wanting humanity to survive doesn’t feel radical to me. Wanting my children and grandchildren to breathe hardly makes feel like a revolutionary.

I felt In the seventies it was already too late. Except I was wrong about that. In 2020, I saw the air miraculously cleanup in one week. It was extraordinarily.

Now we’re rushing back to where we were. Except where we were was nowhere. We’re building a future on shifting sands. It’s not a future built to last.


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