BLACK MAG: ‘Climate Gentrification’ Could Price Black People Out Of Their Homes


Flooding at Alton Road and 10th Street is seen in Miami Beach, Florida on November 5, 2013. The U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee was holding a hearing on sea-level rise and coastal resilience began inside commission chambers in Miami Beach City Hall, in Miami, Florida, April 22, 2014. The hearing, entitled, “Leading the Way: Adapting to South Florida’s Changing Coastline” is being chaired by Florida U.S. Senator Bill Nelson on the 44th anniversary of Earth Day. South Florida, with a population of 5.5 million is considered by many environmentalists to be ground zero for sea level rise. Picture taken November 5, 2013. REUTERS/Zachary Fagenson (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS ENVIRONMENT)

From The Daily Caller

Photo of Michael BastaschMichael Bastasch

3:41 PM 08/04/2017

Black activists in southern Florida worry man-made global warming will change the makeup of traditionally minority communities in the greater Miami area, according to a black online magazine.

The Root published the first in a three-part series on the way “race, climate and gentrification intersect and impact black communities in Miami.” The article reports how activists, like Paulette Richards, are trying to get residents of Liberty City worried about future sea level rise.

Because of global warming “[h]igher ground becomes essential—and more valuable—as coastal communities in the United States battle chronic flooding as a result of rising sea levels,” The Root reported, quoting University of Miami professor George Eberli who said sea level is “about four millimeters per year or even a bit faster.”

“That means in six years, that’ll be about an inch higher in sea level,” Eberli said. “And in 60 years, 10 inches or in 70 years a foot higher. So it is pretty fast, even if it doesn’t seem like a lot per year.”

Activists worry this will price out residents of lower income neighborhoods. But even The Root noted there’s pretty much no evidence of “climate gentrification” right now.

Florida International University’s Hugh Gladwin has been looking for signs that climate is changing the makeup of neighborhoods, and hasn’t seen much evidence global warming is gentrifying parts of Miami.

“What you look for in gentrification with mapping are places that were priced low, stayed low and then jumped up,” Gladwin told The Root. “This is starting to happen here and there and probably will accelerate, but we think it is not that much so far.”

“Or is the market still being moved by the crazy South Florida cycle?” Gladwin said.

Environmentalists and some scientists have been sounding the alarm on sea level rise in the Miami area for years, saying the city is on the “front lines” of global warming.

Liberty City sits 10-feet above seal level, so at current sea-level rise rates it would take decades before they are inundated with perpetual flooding, but even that assumes not a single person does anything to mitigate flooding — not to mention sea level rise not changing.

Gentrification happens for a lot of reasons that have nothing to do with climate change. It’s often driven by people looking for more affordable places to live or invest in property. Overtime these once poorer areas are built up, raising property values and rents.

The Root reported “[s]ome see parallels to Miami in what happened to the predominantly black Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.”

“Hurricane Katrina came in and decimated neighborhoods. My fear is that the history of black folk will be eliminated,” activist La Tonda James said.

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68 thoughts on “BLACK MAG: ‘Climate Gentrification’ Could Price Black People Out Of Their Homes

  1. All climate, all the time.
    Liberty City residents might better worry about rising electricity and fuel prices, thanks to “climate change”. rather than sea level.

    • Well at least Liberty City is a good ten feet above “seal” level.
      Cant have nature wandering the streets can we.

      • Nothing wrong with that as long as they aren’t packing heat as they wander around.
        Funny how easy it is to make that error when typing “sea’ vs “seal” level. I have made that error myself a few times before making a mental note not to do that. “Scientist” vs “scientists” is another tricky one. That s at the end just jumps right in there.

    • There is no significant sea-level rise (or change) taking place. Land may be moving up or down due to plate action but that is variable everywhere. I have lived in the Pacific NW Puget Sound for 37 years. I have also gone to a local marina on a continuing basis. There is a large drain pipe from the parking lot, the bottom of which has always been approx. 2-3 inches above the highest high tide mark. It has never varied in those 37 years. According to AGW predictions, it should have shown a sea level rise of about 8 inches by now… The AGW predictions and proclamations are a hoax – flush them.

  2. ASFAIK the city “Miami Beach” has always flooded, just like in the photo, whenever there was an especially high tide. alarmists nitwits these days take photos. Natural sea level rise has made this slightly more common. If AGW sea level rise is a thing, it’s just a few inches
    “Liberty City sits 10-feet above seal level, so at current sea-level rise rates it would take decades before they are inundated with perpetual flooding” … uh, not decades, rather centuries, 600 years or so.
    activists playing the race & climate cards, simultaneously. Yikes.

      • Women, being on average more ‘nurturing and caring’ are somewhat more disposed to left leaning thinking (of course the exceptions are the formidable ones who comment here at WUWT and historic ones like M. Thatcher, B. Bhutto, Golda Meir, etc.) and there is some traction with the idea that if things are going wrong because of humans, the blame rests more squarely on men.
        And to put a finer point on it, light coloured men are the culprits. Political Correctness operates under its own logic. While it’s true that such men historically are most responsible for the things that shaped society to date and therefore its ills, PC does not credit them at all for any of the good stuff. That’s why they haven’t been invited into the diversity club.

    • Ten feet = ~3 m / 2 mm / year = 1500 years.
      But before then, another cool cycle will occur, during which sea level falls.

    • ” sea level rise has made this slightly more common.”
      An assertion with zero evidence or consideration of land sinking.

      • Point. Florida has a huge problem with subsidence due to overdrawn groundwater. Until they regulate that, their flooding problems will only worsen.

      • Ben of Houston:
        Subsidence due to groundwater removal is primarily a problem where the aquifer is unconsolidated. This is not the case in the Miami area, the Biscayne aquifer is a consolidated, very highly transmissive Limestone.

    • exactly… black’s are the only poor people
      They are being pushed out now….Miami is growing like a weed….and the only areas of cheap rent are being taken over by hip new millennial bars, restaurants, etc….millennials want cheap rent, so that’s where all the new development is going
      Couldn’t be happier about it……pushing out the drug dealers, trash….Liberty City was taken over by Haitians years ago….Overtown is about the only original black neighborhood left…and one day that will be gone too

      • Calling black people poor is basically racism. Discriminating color when talking about wealth is nothing but discrimination.

      • @Hugs,
        You misread the comment. Acknowledging that black people are not the ONLY poor people is an obvious statement of fact. Acknowledging that a disproportionate number of black people are poor is also a statement of fact, as is the observation that affluent hipsters are displacing the less affluent in may areas.
        The tendency to label / treat statements of fact as inherently racist is at the heart of much disfunction in policy and race relations at least in the US, and I expect elsewhere.

      • Joe, there is no need to play the race card at all. Conventionally it is not considered racist, but that is what it is.

    • activists playing the race & climate cards, simultaneously. Yikes.

      If I was playing blackjack and the dealer gave me a Joker, I’d know there was something wrong with the game.

  3. Media have a vested interest in alarmism. Bad news sells. Reminds me of a TV news spot that tried to get people concerned because bacteria were found on the tops of unopened pop cans.

  4. It is more that the greens do not care about people, period. They tend to be equal opportunity misanthropes, but also want to preserve their own status at the expense of the poor.

  5. This is one of those areas of climate “Science-Fiction” that needs to be debunked and rather publically.
    – Miami was LAID OUT a century ago (as a seasonal resort, i.e. a playground) with roads that were 10 feet above sea level and BELOW King tide.
    – The hurricane of 1926 had a storm surge of 12 feet and set back Miami’s development several years.
    Obviously, if a tropical storm surge hit at the same time as a king tide (why does that sound familiar?) there would be heavy damage.
    Someone has to repeatedly challenge the fear mongering of advocates like Al Gore on these simple facts that anyone (even politicians) can understand. (Arguing climate sensitivity ain’t gonna get us nowhere!)
    Note: Estimates are that sea level around Miami have risen 9 inches in the last century (New Republic – Nov 8 2015).
    – I think we can handle that rate of rise for a lot less than we spend on climate alarmism
    – Any chance that pavement, concrete and high rise hotels built on sand and swamp, drained by canals, may be subject to subsidence?

    • George spot on…..except it’s Miami Beach that was designed to flood at King tides
      ..Miami only floods when it rains….that’s a drainage problem

    • “simple facts that anyone (even politicians) can understand”
      Personally, I would have changed the “even” to “except”. The re-election process pays them to not understand very much ?

    • Miami was experiencing a King Tide when the photo in the article was taken, November 5, 2013.

      Estimates of this year’s King Tide in Florida are around four feet, according to the Miami Herald.

      Of course, with sea level rising at about 2mm/yr it will take about 610 years for sea level rise to equal Miami’s 2013 King Tide. Until then they are taking steps to mitigate the problem.

      “The City of Miami Beach has placed check valves in over 50 critical outfalls that allow tidal flooding in the city,” City Engineer Bruce A. Mowry said in an email. “We are checking daily to see if additional locations can be identified.” The check valves will allow an outflow of storm water to be drained, but will inhibit reverse flow inland…..“Several months ago, the city approved emergency construction of several storm water pump stations in critical areas of South Beach,” Mowry said, adding that six pumps are currently in service.

  6. Perhaps the poor beleagured soon to be drowned might consider reading history books. In the sixteenth century, and for several hundred years since, large areas of land, and indeed sea, were protected from the seabed by dikes. I don’t know where you’d find dikes in Florida. It seems to me you’d only need dikes about 3 foot tall, i don’t know where to find 3 foot tall dikes anywhere. HTH

  7. Some might say that it’s surprising this hasn’t been suggested before.
    But poor people with real problems have more important thing to think about than global warming, and they generally don’t tend to own beach-front property. Or any property at all.
    Sea level rise will have zero effect on the poorest people, whatever their skin color is, because they can carry all their personal belonging on their back faster than the tide moves.

    • It’s the working class that will be hit hardest by any downturn or disaster. War, hurricanes, mass droughts, and the like. They have enough to lose but not enough to protect what they have. The poorest of the poor have nothing. The wealthy can avoid whatever they need to. Farmers, laborers, and tradesmen will lose everything and join the poorest of the poor.

      • So basically they will be hit hardest by things that have and will continue to occur NATURALLY all the time. Globally natural disasters are down in recent years. .

  8. I wish coastal property owners believed it was going to flood so I could pick it up cheap. Sadly, the market doesn’t believe in global warming enough to get me a discount 🙂

    • Right on. We should see market forces in action.
      Of course, insurance companies follow the risk of flood intensively.

    • That must be those poor white folx who can’t afford to move north to avoid all that extra heat. Miami must be dying as all the wealthy ones leave?

    • Actually that (assuming that by saying ‘white’ you are implying privileged) is the only area that does flood during king tides. A low lying area on the west side of Miami Beach. Quite expensive neighborhood.

  9. Isn’t it 5 – 7 inches per century at the current rate? And there is no actual evidence of sea level rise acceleration… Blacks and the general white, Hispanic, Asian whatever poor will have to pay more for energy = electricity, AC, heating and transportation, etc. Too bad for them…

    • J Philip
      Correct. He says 4 to a little more than 4 mm/year.
      But it is 1.8 on average these days. In 83 years that = <6 inches. If a large storm surge is 10 ft, the city is already in the sights of a Cat 5 on a bad moon night. Because building an embankment 10 ft high is not exactly a civil engineering challenge. The Dutch have made them for centuries using shovels and horses.
      If sea level is such a big issue they could also do what London did: install a barrage.
      In the long run (if we get continued warming for a few centuries) Florida will disappear and become a massive, verdant reef – as it used to be! So what. No building last that long anyway. It is odd that some shouting alarm consider that Earth should be a static object.

  10. Well right now the expensive land in the Miami area is lower than 10ft above sea level.
    Honestly, Liberty City should just be plowed and turned into a park and pond with lots of stormwater controls. Kill two birds with one stone.

    • Well the are definately showing their racism …. black folks…gentrification…black communities…..lower income neighborhoods
      Why is it they always seem to get a pass on bad behavior

  11. Black, white, man, woman, climate hot; cold carbonated dinks.
    Poverty, pollution, corruption are worth exploring.
    Race, sex, and climate are tangly.

  12. I’m not sure if I’ve understood anything in this latest climate tale from University of Miami professor George Eberli for the following reason:
    The arctic circle is in post-glacial rebound. I’ve observed the rebound in the Baltic Sea granite shoreline a few decades. It’s reported 3-5 mm/per year over there.
    The Baltic Sea is directly connected to the Atlantic Sea. If the latter is really rising “about four millimeters per year or even a bit faster” by George, the former would too. So, the rebound and sea level rise would cancel each others out, right? Yet, the shoreline recedes enough for the country to reportedly gain over 1 square kilometre of land each year. WUWT?

      • Yes, sea-level by Merentutkimuslaitos, but there are four other, independent criteria, which can be expected in a PISA-rewarded country. The region I’ve observed this in person for a few decades is in green in the image above. I can confirm, the shoreline recedes visibly also in this particular area. WUWT?

      • I think it is time to penalise people living in those countries that are rising faster than sea level. They are benefitting from sea level rise by gaining more and more land – it never ends! And they are carelessly dumping all that water into the ocean!
        Now, a 9mm rise surely means that sea level is being driven up somewhere else where the people, in good faith, had allowed their land to remain stable. That means they are getting punished by all the water driven away from the land-rising counties. How fair is that?
        Compensation is in order. Those who are profiting from their isostatic rebound should pay into a fund managed by the UN which will distribute it to those living in countries being submerged by the irresponsible disposition of sea water.
        As technology advances some companies will be able to offer ‘rebound services’ and if that catches on, we should open a Rebound Market and trade millimeters of ‘level’. Those who make their countries rise should pay per millimeter, say 1 billion 2017 $/mm. Rich, rising countries like Finland and Sweden can subsidise the construction of civil works to protect those they are driving beneath the waves.
        Canada is not off the hook. Hudson Bay is rising – a lot, inundating places like Florida. Instead of sending seniors south for the winter, Canada should start sending money as well.

    • Crispin,
      In the UK your excellent plan would have the Highlands, and Scotland more generally, compensating those in the South of England – from Cornwall to Kent.
      I cannot imagine your visionary policy being approved without, at least, some vocal opposition.

  13. Naturally George is difficult to understand also for other reasons. He seems to be disseminating harmful prejudices, but hopefully regains his senses before Radi-Aid award candidacy.

  14. I’m sorry, are they saying rich like people LIKE to live in flood zones and so will crowd out black people by bidding up homes prone to frequent inundation??

    • Hard to say.
      It almost sounds like they don’t want improvements in “black neighborhoods” because it raises property values, drives up rent, etc.
      They don’t want whites to it for those reasons. But wouldn’t those same things happen if blacks improved their own neighborhoods?
      It would seem their race car is running in circles. Don’t they want to get anywhere?

      • PS Don’t misunderstand me. I don’t divide humans into “black vs white” (or any other shade), they did.

      • They’re addicted to grievance, and the big-L Left plays up those grievances to attract their votes. In many impoverished black communities, there’s significant cultural pressure to NOT self-improve. Those who do are derided as ‘tall poppies’ who are ‘acting white’. The derision is telling. Being successful is a rebuke to others in the community who won’t try because they’d rather have the grievance. Success makes waves in the chin-deep cesspool of dependance, so those who want to stew in it don’t like it when others try to climb out.

  15. A sea level rise conference in Miami, ground zero for sea level rise? Really? I would think that “ground zero” would have a sea level gauge, but there are none since about 1980 in Miami or its replacement at nearby Haulover Pier since about 1990. At least none that I can find on PSMSL or the NOAA sea level site. Perhaps environmentalists should turn their attention to Norfolk, Virginia for their “ground zero” posters. There, the sea is rising more quickly than elsewhere, largely because of ground water withdrawal, but still rising. And they have a gauge or two. And its closer to DC, even within driving range for conferences and it would save on CO2 emissions and time.

  16. “The Root reported “[s]ome see parallels to Miami in what happened to the predominantly black Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.”
    “Hurricane Katrina came in and decimated neighborhoods. My fear is that the history of black folk will be eliminated,” activist La Tonda James said.”
    You mean the revised history? Katrina did not hit New Orleans directly and the lower 9th ward was decimated by flooding from Lake Pontchartrain, which is not near Miami, due to poor infrastructure design and maintenance. And not to forget that New Orleans is below sea level to begin with. This looks more like trying to lay a foundation for compensation due to the racism of weather.

  17. This article pretty well covers it all. Climate change, crazy weather, white privilege, sea level rise, racism, elitism, minority victimisation, you name it.

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