Celebrity cheese puff and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has a problem: Climate change. Despite dismissing our global planetary crisis as a Chinese hoax, the real estate mogul’s prized real estate is directly in the line of fire. In 30 years, Tump’s Mar-a-Lago club could be under 30cm of water.
The Mar-a-Lago private club in Palm Beach, Fla. Image: Lynne Sladky/AP
The Guardian commissioned Coastal Risk Consulting to perform a risk analysis of Trump’s south Florida properties, and the future is, not surprisingly, bleak. South Florida faces some of the highest projected rates of sea level rise of any coastline, anywhere — up to 205cm by 2100, according to NOAA. Many neighbourhoods and beaches in the Miami metro area are now forced to deal with tidally-induced flooding on a regular basis.
The danger posed by sea level rise is so clear that south Florida mayors and other elected officials are actively charting out survival and retreat strategies.
Openly, at least, Trump scoffs at these concerns, but as CRC’s new analysis shows, his holdings are not going to emerge unscathed, particularly if we take the businessman’s own advice and rip the Paris Agreement to shreds. Per The Guardian:
Parts of the [Mar-a-Lago] estate are already at high risk of flooding under heavy rains and storms, the analysis found. By 2045, the storm surge from even a category two storm would bring waters crashing over the main swimming pool and up to the main building, the analysis found.
The historic mansion at the heart of Mar-a-Lago is not going to be underwater, “but they are going to have more and more issues with health and safety, access, and infrastructure,” said Keren Bolter, chief scientist for the firm.
Further south in Hollywood, Trump’s luxury condos are unlikely to fare much better:
Bolter’s modelling suggests Trump’s Hollywood condos could be turned into islands for up to 140 days a year by 2045, cut off from the low-lying A1A coastal road because of tidal flooding and storm surges.
The threat Trump real estate faces is, of course, the same threat all of south Florida faces — a combination of rising tides, eroding beaches, more powerful storm surges and inadequate infrastructure. There’s just an extra twist of irony in allowing your most valuable assets to slide into the ocean when you’ve staked your reputation on business acumen.