Letters to the Editor

Here’s one Miami Beach certainty: sea level rise

In his debut article for the New York Times’ OpEd page, Bret Stephens makes a controversial argument for “less certitude about our climate future.”

He goes on to compare the Clinton campaign’s overreliance on flawed data in the 2016 election with the perils of total certitude in climate change's effects.

In Miami Beach and in coastal cities around the world, we have been facing our own upswell — sea level rise.

It is eroding our beaches, surging onto our streets with sunny day flooding, destroying cars and homes. Regardless of what data you follow, or which reports you choose to believe, the climate is changing and sea levels are rising.

Here in Miami Beach, we are a community of certainty. That’s why when I took office as Mayor in 2013, our first actions were to immediately secure emergency funding to raise our roads and install storm pumps in low-lying areas. Sea-level rise isn’t the subject of partisan debate when you can see it flooding your streets and threatening your livelihood.

While I am a proud card-carrying member of the 36% of Americans Mr. Stephens cited who do believe that climate change is a serious issue, unfortunately our state and federal government are not. This even includes our own Gov. Rick Scott, who reportedly banned the words “climate change” from official communications.

Time is running out, and we need all of the help we can get — especially from the OpEd writers for a great media organization dedicated to the truth. In the end, this is not about winning an argument, but about solving an urgent problem.

I guarantee that if Mr. Stephens visits Miami Beach during king tides, he can be baptized as a climate change believer in no time!

Philip Levine,


Miami Beach