Xenophon the Magnificent, Supreme Protector and Sovereign Lord of Atlantis, is worried that his island nation in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean could soon go the way of South Florida.
“Anyone can see the writing on the wall,” began the Atlantean King. He stroked his long, white beard thoughtfully as he sat on a solid gold and mother of pearl throne. After crawling the length of Atlantis’ renowned Crystalline Hallway while balancing the customary basket of raw tuna and oysters on my head, I was granted a rare audience with this most reclusive ruler.
“The last thing I want is for my kingdom to turn into the next Miami,” he continued, his pensive, deep blue eyes matching the roiling ocean outside the palace walls. “What a magnificent city. Truly a cultural gem. Globally unique. It’s such a shame what happened to it.”
The monarch sighed deeply. “All coastal cities live at the mercy of the ocean. Its aquifers salinated, beaches depleted, critical infrastructure routinely underwater, it’s a miracle Miami lasted as long as it did. I want to make sure that Atlantis does not repeat South Florida’s mistakes. I want our city to last generations to come.”
When I inquired about how he planned to accomplish this goal when accelerating climate change ensured rising tides and more devastating hurricanes, King Xenophon replied, “There’s no guarantee. At the very least, the Atlantean government refuses to bury its head in the sand. We’re focused on long-term initiatives such as mangrove replenishment, strategic floodplain withdrawal, fortifying utilities, and raising buildings where feasible. It’s expensive, but much smarter than short-sighted band aids like installing 20-year pumps or renovating seawalls on porous ground.”
When I asked for any parting advice for surviving Miamians, King Xenophon paused for a long time, his deeply creased forehead growing even more perturbed. “Good luck to you,” he said at last. “You had a good run, but your politicians refused to address an existential threat everyone saw coming. Though Atlanteans are supposedly descended from Poseidon, God of the Ocean, unlike you, we have no desire to be reunited with our progenitor in his watery realm.”
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