California’s water emergency: satisfying the thirst of almonds while the wells of the people that harvest them run dry
You’ll never guess which U.S. metro area led the nation in the biggest increase in average home sale price from last year to this year.
It was Tampa-St. Petersburg, pride of the Sunshine state. TSP supplanted the longtime leader, the even sunnier Phoenix, in Arizona.
Miami-Dade rose to second on the list, and perennially-high-finisher Las Vegas was not far behind.
So let’s review: the hottest real estate market in the country just dodged a hurricane bullet, as Ian closely followed the destructive path of 2004’s Hurricane Charley, straight up the gullet of a smaller estuary at Punta Gorda and Port Charlotte, plowing over Fort Myers and across the state.
Miami, another hot real-state market, also missed the bullet. The last time the area was hit was in1992, with category-5 Hurricane Andrew, which subsequently triggered a crisis, as private insurers fled the Florida marketplace upon seeing Andrew’s then-unheard-of property damage toll of $40 billion.
Phoenix, the previous king of realty heat, is breaking its own records for thermal heat; and Las Vegas, a principal realty rival for Phoenix, also competes with the former for disappearing Colorado River water. The mighty river’s dwindling water supply may soon bring crisis to both cities, Southern California and a good slice of the U.S. food production.
We’re staring at an American mystery: We’re clamoring to live in our own future Atlantis, or in our own parched, broiling desert.
The strange phenomenon happens in not-so-hot markets, too: Take Fort Myers and Cape Coral, which suffered far worse from Hurricane Ian. Their Lee County is part of a relentless push toward living on the imperiled coast. In the 1950 census, Lee County had 23,211 citizens. Now, it is home to 787,976 people – meaning there are 34 times as many people in harm’s way than there were in 1950.
His views do not necessarily represent those of Environmental Health News, The Daily Climate, or publisher Environmental Health Sciences.
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