The Weekend Politics Thread Sees the Sea Seize Shacks

♫ Well now take a look at that I made a castle in the sand
Saying: this is where it’s at, you
Couldn’t understand now
If I realized that the chances were slim
How come I’m so surprised when the tide rolled in? ♫
— Never say no one warned how things can drift away.1

Your church-schooled Weekend Politics Thread host put the following parable into play while pondering the act-locally-think-globally story of a nearby beach home falling into the Atlantic Ocean.

*secures pince-nez on bridge of nose; clears throat; solemnly intones*

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.
— Matthew 7:26-27, NIV2

In addition to costing the owners hundreds of thousands of dollars,3 the domicile’s decimation deposited debris along a protected seashore, in a heavily used ship channel, and throughout an increasingly fragile littoral ecosystem. “Eat lead paint, little fishies,” one imagines an evil 1950s seaside developer portrayed by Richard Widmark sneering.

But the real-world kicker to the recent construction catastrophe comes from the local newspaper’s4 after-incident report. “Several homes near the collapsed house are in danger of the same fate after more than a decade of erosion in the area. In 2020, the ocean claimed another cottage just as the owner had hired someone to raise it.”

This sequel to Nights in Rodanthe sucks. Or, more like “sand castle tragic!

Sea level rise threatens to overwash every U.S. East Coast community to the right of the foothills of the Appalachians.5 Uvular’s own cul-de-sac by the sea also suffers serious subsidence, meaning his home would inexorably inch oceanward regardless of glacial melting, altering deep currents and volumetric increase.

Who knows if the sea remembers its own? But no one can doubt that the waters come for all land in time. The clock has sped up over the past few decades, and entire island chains across the globe will soon disappear. Saving places such as Tuvalu and Virginia’s own Tangier Island looks impossible, especially when so few seem willing to truly try.

So, laugh at the literal biblical folly of fools who build half-million-dollar teardowns on shifting sands even as you lament the victims of environmental degradation and deprivation. Commenting below Canute6 hold back the tide nor throttle the fascist insurgency in Ottawa or rein in the dogs of war let slip on a havoc-prone Ukraine. But it won’t worsen any of those things, either. Have at.

Header image info