Can we afford to live on the beach?
This is a real question. This is also a two-sided question.
The financial question can be, is it affordable for the average American to live on the beach?
Considering the constant amount of maintenance and the expenses associated with it, is it really affordable? The cost to properly maintain the cement, and the rebar, from deteriorating from exposure to seawater is eye-watering. Continuously fighting seawater that comes from rising seas -which is a real long-term problem- but also on high tides, King tides, and a laundry list of hurricanes that berate the South Florida year after year.
Then, there is a more ethical, moral, and challenging question. Can we afford the loss of life? Is it worth it to put our lives at risk and face the uncertainty that it carries to live on the seaside, whether it is dealing with flash floods, hurricanes, and now the potential for a high-rise collapse?
Should local governments change zoning laws and phase out living on the ocean side? This question brings even more questions. How will these folks be compensated? Who will finance such a payout for dozens of millions of homeowners?
I must come clean, I have no answers, only questions.
Today, I’m broken-hearted in Surfside.
I stood there for a few minutes. Seems it had rained earlier, all the candles were out, the newspaper clippings were yellowish and warped, and there was the smell of dead flowers. This smell, so familiar to us from forgotten living room decorations, only this time, it had a much more morbid reminder.
I stood there looking at face, after face, after face, after face of love ones. Memorials written by their brokenhearted family members left behind: toys, a bicycle, a red cowboy hat. I cannot imagine how many hundreds of family members will be left behind to put the pieces together of their broken lives.
I stood there while the constant beeping of heavy equipment work tirelessly behind the memorial. It seemed as if giant yellow ants were removing mangled cement and rebar chunks of unrecognizable walls, kitchens, bathrooms, play rooms, balconies, homes.
Mine is a fair and honest question. Can we afford to live by the sea?