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This just in… sand isn’t a good place to build

February 15 2008 | Jim's Blog,
by Jim

Sometimes I wonder what we are thinking.
Would you build a hotel straddling the top of an active volcano?

Would you invest in a second home smack dab in the middle of a large river delta?

When we were children we played in the sand. We built sandcastles right at the wave line and as the tide fell and rose we learned the simple lesson that sand shifts, water is a powerful force and oceans are seasonally dynamic.

Or... we learned nothing at all.

I've had the blessing to see beaches all over the world. In many places they DID learn this, seemingly straightforward, lesson and built structures far from the water's edge.

In other regions, like Florida, they seem to have not only learned nothing... there seems to be a running contest to see how far they can push the "oceanfront property" concept. This by itself, gross folly... tempting nature, isn't really new. But combine that mindset with being surprised when oceans rise, hurricanes come, sands shift. That is where I draw the line.

This concept/mistake is further underscored with the fact that these poor choices, made by a few, eventually call for massive amounts of money to provide short-term fixes in the form of beach fill. For some strange reason the general populous is supposed to foot the bill to keep a few "ocean-front" homes safe from the ocean. In simple terms, that doesn't seem fair. If a person wants to build home straddling an active volcano why should the rest of us pay to protect it when that... surprise... volcano goes off?

Attention all people: oceans rise and fall, hurricanes and spectacular weather come and go and sand is the perfect metaphor for a shifting platform.

I'll boil this down to a succinct point. IF you chose to build in a highly dynamic area please don't feign surprise when you see the majesty of nature firsthand, please don't expect the rest of us to line up to pay for your poor choice and please try and learn that sand is NOT a good place to build... ever.

Good video on this...

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