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Posted: 2018-03-22 15:04:45

After the hurricane hit Miami in 2037, a foot of sand covered the famous bow-tie floor in the lobby of the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Beach. A dead manatee floated in the pool where Elvis had once swum.

Most of the damage came not from the hurricane’s 175-mile-an-hour winds, but from the 20-foot storm surge that overwhelmed the low-lying city. In South Beach, historic Art Deco buildings were swept off their foundations. Mansions on Star Island were flooded up to their cut-glass doorknobs. A 17-mile stretch of Highway A1A that ran along the famous beaches up to Fort Lauderdale disappeared into the Atlantic.

The storm knocked out the wastewater treatment plant on Virginia Key, forcing the city to dump hundreds of millions of gallons of raw sewage into Biscayne Bay. Tampons and condoms littered the beaches, and the stench of human excrement stoked fears of cholera.

More than 300 people died, many of them swept away by the surging waters that submerged much of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale; 13 people were killed in traffic accidents as they scrambled to escape the city after the news spread — falsely, it turned out — that one of the nuclear reactors at Turkey Point, an aging power plant 24 miles south of Miami, had been heavily damaged by the surge and had sent a radioactive cloud floating over the city.

The president, of course, said that Americans did not give up, that the city would be rebuilt better and stronger than it had been before. But it was clear to those not fooling themselves that this storm was the beginning of the end of Miami as a booming 21st-century city.

This is, of course, merely one possible vision of the future. There are brighter ways to imagine it — and darker ways. But I am a journalist, not a Hollywood screenwriter. I want to tell a true story about the future we are creating for ourselves.

It begins with this: The climate is warming, the world’s great ice sheets are melting, and the water is rising.

This is not a speculative idea, or the

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