Florida, a Fragile Kind of Paradise

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Photo: NASA Goddard MODIS Rapid Response Team / Flickr
Media Outlet: CNN

Jeff Goodell wrote for CNN about why South Florida is particularly susceptible and vulnerable to natural disasters: 

All hurricanes are brutal, but geology, geography and good old-fashioned capitalism have conspired to make Florida hurricanes particularly damaging events. South Florida, in particular, is a kind of paradise for many people who live there, but as far as Mother Nature is concerned, it's a fragile kind of paradise.
Historically, more hurricanes have hit Florida than any other state in the US.
And that's no surprise: Florida sticks out from the North American continent like a hitchhiker's thumb. Hurricanes spiraling across the Atlantic are driven to it by winds and currents. The narrowness of the state only increases its vulnerability: it's the only state that is vulnerable on both sides, east and west. A big storm like Irma can swallow the whole southern part of the state.


Jeff Goodell was a Class of 2016 & 2017 New America Fellow, working on a book about the impact of sea level rise on Miami, and other cities around the world. He is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the author of five books.