In a delicious bit of irony, a sinkhole has just appeared right in front of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort – his so-called “Winter White House”. This seemed to happen while he was visiting the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
This was definitely a coincidence, but this still conjures up images of heavenly forces sending clear signs to humanity that something is seriously wrong at the moment.
Twitter, as expected, has had a field day with this one, with one person openly wondering if the proverbial swamp is now finally beginning to drain. Another thinks that Trump will take ownership of the sinkhole, claiming that it’s “yuge. Tremendous. Real. Great, great sinkhole, believe me.”
Admittedly, the sinkhole isn’t actually that big, but it threatens to expand in size if the cause of it isn’t identified. A new water main has just been installed, and it’s possible that some of the water leaked in to the shallow sediment, undercut it, and caused the top section to collapse.
It must be mentioned, however, that Mar-a-Lago is another of Trump’s resorts that are particularly vulnerable to climate change.
Thanks to human actions, sea level rise has tripled in speed since the 1990s alone, and the encroaching waves threaten to put this palace of solitude firmly underwater. Briny water, seeping into the sediment beneath the complex, also makes future sinkholes not just more probable, but far more dangerous too.
At the most conservative estimates, the resort will be waterlogged by 2100. At the extreme end of calculations, most of it will be submerged by the end of the century.
Studies have recently suggested that 13.1 million Americans will have become internal climate refugees by this date thanks to sea level rise. Over 2 million of them will hail from Florida – including, perhaps, the staff that work and live around Mar-a-Lago.
It’s not yet clear if Trump will take any measures to do anything about this, apart from filling in the sinkhole, presumably. He could opt to build a sea wall around it, just as he has around one of his golf courses in Ireland – but then his supporters could think that he’s become “soft” on climate issues.
Speaking of which, he still hasn’t made a firm decision on the Paris agreement yet. Word is that he’s now leaning towards exiting the groundbreaking climate pact, but maybe this sinkhole will give him pause for thought.
Who knows, though – perhaps he’s too busy worrying about impeachment or giving out secret intelligence to Russian diplomats to think about sinkholes and climate change.
[H/T: The Hill]