The ‘shocking’ statistics of Florida flooding

About this sweet land of liberty W.H. Auden, with whom I’ve been reacquainting myself, wrote in his preface to Henry James’ The American Scene: “Nature never intended human beings to live here.” Having finished Edward Mendelson’s superb poetic critical biography Later Auden, I can confirm the British poet, who became a naturalize American citizen, spentContinue reading “The ‘shocking’ statistics of Florida flooding”

Miami: ‘Sooner or later, we’ll have to consider moving out’

Today I learned a term describing how a search for higher ground as sea levels rise pushes the poor out of neighborhoods. Laura Raim’s article on climate gentrification in Miami is a must-read. Grappling with a rise of nearly three inches since 1992, Florida lacks the dough to pay for the infrastructure essential to mitigatingContinue reading “Miami: ‘Sooner or later, we’ll have to consider moving out’”

‘Dark Waters’ sunk by familiar script, gestures

If you’ve ever fried an egg on a Teflon pan, as I did last Tuesday, chances are you’ve got some levels of perfluorooctanoic acid in your bloodstream. Known as C8 for the number of carbon atoms strung together by scientists, this silent killer is responsible for cancers, deformities, and birth defects. A title card inContinue reading “‘Dark Waters’ sunk by familiar script, gestures”

‘When can we go back?’

As the remains of Florence dissipate in the northeastern United States, residents in towns like Garland, North Carolina reckon with their second bout of record-breaking flooding in two years. The Barnes family, for example, barely crawled out of Hurricane Matthew: On Tuesday, Mr. Barnes, 42, and his wife, Brandy, 41, sat parked on what wasContinue reading “‘When can we go back?’”

The innovative capacity of Florida lawmakers

In an unprecedented bit of collaborating, the editorial boards of the three major South Florida newspapers published exhortations to their communities on Saturday warning about the immediate danger posed by sea level rise. More remarkably, they accept the consensus: there’s no stopping it; the hope is to gather business leaders and, uh, “innovators” and politiciansContinue reading “The innovative capacity of Florida lawmakers”

When to use ‘corruption’ as an insult

Alex Pareene on how Scott Pruitt, like many phenomena emerging from Trump’s DC, represents a culmination rather than an aberration: So the problem is, the only difference between Pruitt’s corruption and the widespread corruption of nearly everyone else in Washington, in both parties, is the degree to which he is captured, not the form hisContinue reading “When to use ‘corruption’ as an insult”

The GOP and trolling

Today’s New York Times has an account of how the GOP transformed from the party that got a Democratic Congress to sign the Clean Air Act into law and pushed for the Environmental Protection Agency became trollers pushing junk science: Until 2010, some Republicans ran ads in House and Senate races showing their support forContinue reading “The GOP and trolling”