What (Each Coastal State) Needs: A Tax Policy That Works With Sea Level RIse

This blog’s video – 27 minutes – is my recent talk before the Florida Bar Tax Section.

I was Florida’s Tax Section Chair in the mid-1970s.

A lot has happened since then. I “retired.” I trekked the seven continents. Our climate’s warming. Our seas are rising.

And, after a lot of “wet-feet, dirty-hands” trekking-learning, I finally began to “see,” not merely “look.”

My talk is about what I learned to see. I think it’s a message worth contemplating, even if you aren’t a Florida lawyer. After all, you’re a voter! And, maybe, a political contributor.

A bit of background:

• 75% of Floridians live in Florida’s coastal communities ( I am one of them).

• Florida is the state that’s “most vulnerable” to the ravages of sea level rise and climate change.

• Among those facts, I saw an urgent challenge for Florida’s lawyers: Florida has a desperate need for climate change/sea level rise “problem-solving revenues” in an age where politicians would rather brag about cutting taxes than solving problems. So, there’s a troubling disconnect.

Yes, my challenge is framed for Floridians.

But, Floridian’s are not alone. Thirty-nine percent (39%) of Americans live in coastal counties. That’s over 123 million people! Globally, 40% of the world’s population lives within 100 kilometers of the coast. When Greenland melts – and it’s on a fast track – 80 of the globe’s 100 largest cities will be underwater. Florida may be a leader in vulnerability, but many of America’s – and our globe’s – other coastal communities are going to be quick followers.

Please don’t dismiss idea that we need problem-solving revenue before you hear what I have to say. But if 27 minutes is simply too much is this age of sound bites and smart-phone messaging, Yale University has a 1.5 minute teaser, “Rising Seas Could Swallow Florida’s Tax Base.


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5 Comments on "What (Each Coastal State) Needs: A Tax Policy That Works With Sea Level RIse"

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A wonderful presentation, Dick. We are not surprised the group voted to take action; you made a strong case. We are appreciative of your efforts on behalf of us, as coastal residents.I have forwarded the link to neighbors.

To deny global warning is to demonstrate ignorance. There is no time left for ignorance.

If we instituted rainwater harvesting, permaculture practices
As large hurricanes continually batter the Eastern coast of the United States, causing catastrophic damage and human suffering, it is time to think about how permaculture design applies to human communities in such environments. From 100-year floods to wildland fire to coastal superstorms, modern infrastructure is proving to be insufficiently designed to deal with such destructive forces of nature. As permaculture designers, we attempt to work with nature, harmonizing what we design with natural forces, while using those forces as a resource, patterning after them, pacifying them, or deflecting them.

Oh, Dick.
We have been and are sick over the decisions handed down by Congress and the dirty works of #45. How can people be climate and evolution deniers.
The Yale clip is great. And thank you for the statistics. I had no idea that 39% of our USA population lived along the coast.
Keep on trucking!
We will call our state senators and representatives, although we do have a good tax system.
Thank you for all you are doing,
Hannah and Al

Dick this is a significant document. Thanks for sharing.