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The Independent

July 20, 2019

The Homeless Games, Part XI – Home Selfie

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Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2019 12:00 am

Orbiting the Earth are a group of satellites - each not much bigger than a toaster - that are imaging the entire 207-plus million square miles of the planet’s surface in four spectra (i.e. wavelengths) every 24 hours. In other words, a ‘selfie’ of the entire Earth’s surface every day. There is another satellite, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory (OCO – 2), one of NASA’s (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) satellites, that monitors human carbon dioxide emissions with a columnar-base-resolution diameter of 1.8 miles. What do these satellites see?

They see flooded coastal streets in Miami, Florida on clear, cloudless days for just one example of rising sea level. What do the satellites not see? They do not see the faces of the droves of persons fleeing the Sundarbans on the Bay of Bengal to the inland city we call Calcutta because their homes and communities are being flooding by the rising water levels of the Bay of Bengal. The satellites also do not see the “climate gentrification” of Miami, Florida as the demand for higher ground is a growing factor in rising real estate values in poorer neighborhoods, such as the predominately African-American community of Liberty City or the predominately Latino community of Little Haiti. (Source: Jesse M. Keenan, et al: “Climate gentrification from theory to empiricism in Miami-Dade County, Florida”, Environmental Research Letters, April 2018). These are just three examples of “a perceived concern” (“Actual Climate Change”, Russ Greenlaw, “The Independent”, 3/28/2019) over sea level rise from climate change.

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