Miami should begin 'preparing for evacuation' due to climate change, Berkeley professor argues
Daniel Aldana Cohen and Samantha Schuyler provided arguments regarding the question "Should We Start Preparing for the Evacuation of Miami?" in a piece for The Nation on Friday. Cohen, a UC Berkeley sociology professor, offered the main argument in support of evacuating the major Florida city to both help Floridians and "force municipalities across the United States to get serious about hosting climate migrants in egalitarian ways." "Its urgent for governments and social movements to start planning for millions of people to land in new places. Prepping Miamis evacuation is a perfect starting point. Its residents are a multiracial, multinational, and multigenerational assemblage that spans the class spectrum. Tragically, many of them are already climate migrantslike Puerto Ricans displaced by recent hurricanes," Cohen said. He continued, "If cities around the country were forced to plan how theyd integrate arriving Miamians into communities flush with public green investment, theyd get a head start on planning for climate migration generally. This would also trigger conversations about zoning for density, enshrining tenant rights, upgrading infrastructure, taxing the rich, building green banks, and battling racism and police violence." CNN CLIMATE CORRESPONDENT TOUTS STUDY PREDICTING GLOBAL DOOM AND DEATH SENTENCE FOR ISLAND NATIONS Cohen further criticized the U.S. for taking part in what he referred to as "racial violence" for failing to properly relocate citizens. "And yet, right now, the U.S. doesnt have a justor even functionalpolicy for immigrants and refugees. Its still struggling to support Indigenous communities facing displacement from environmental calamities caused by colonial settlers. And the US has handled domestic movements for freedom terribly. In the last century, the emancipatory promise of the Great Migration was savagely curtailed by segregation and mass incarceration. Leading sociologists and scholars of environmental injustice called this racial violence a form of apartheid. Today, a surge in climate displacement threatens to deepen this eco-apartheid," Cohen wrote. Although Schuyler, The Nations research director, argued against evacuating Miami, she instead argued to further adapt coastal cities to prepare for climate disasters. MIAMI MAYOR FRANCIS SUAREZ: AMERICA NEEDS GENERATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND A POSITIVE MESSAGE "Shortsighted, surface-level adaptations arent going to save metropolises like Miami; we need to reimagine coastal living. The United Nations estimates that over 1 billion people live in low-lying cities vulnerable to coast-specific climate hazards," Schuyler wrote. "Miami, therefore, has a lot of work to do. So far, the metro areas attempts at resiliency have been green-lighted and financed in such a halting, disjointed, and uncoordinated way that they have resulted in a faulty patchwork of projects." She also conceded, "At some point, if South Florida doesnt change its approach to navigating climate change, evacuation will be necessary. But by withdrawing from Miami too soon, we will lose a vibrant city that could have become a training ground for learning how to adapt to the planets future. Its not just South Florida that is facing climate catastrophe; its Los Angeles, New York City, Mumbai, and many other places. Tremendous human effort created Miami, and if we act soon, that kind of effort can save it tooand show the world how its done." As recently as October, mainstream media touted climate change as a threat to Florida, particularly after the state faced Hurricane Ian. Fox News Digital recounted more than 600 uses of the phrase "climate change" between the one-week period of Sept. 26 and Oct. 2.