The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Beachin', I Say!

In spite of being born on Long Island and partially raised in a small town there, I tend to think of myself as a Floridian... and not just any Floridian but one of those beach bum types. This is, possibly, because that is how I spent much of my youth after my parents moved us all to a small city in Dade County. I could easily have grown up to be a beach bum. It is not a difficult career and it takes almost no formal education.

It is with a mixture of sadness and mirth that I read this story:

Where Sand Is Gold, the Reserves Are Running Dry


Sadness, because I do not like the idea that beaches are disappearing. Mirth, because I have heard it all before... 50 years ago.

When I was a young lad, I hung around the beaches for the night life. Which at 13 or so, meant picking up teen-aged touristas to exploit and hanging out at pinball arcades in the motels along the beaches of Dade County. Later, I joined in the surfing craze. I recall this problem of beach erosion from my earliest days in Florida. Each year, the beaches seemed smaller... the ocean creeping up to the sea grapes and mangroves that tenuously occupied the high ground. The motels all built jetties ("breakwaters" we called them) stretching out 50 or more feet into the sea at each end of their properties. Mostly made of old telephone poles or chucks of rock and coral (or combinations of all these), they were supposed to keep the sand in front of the motel. I suspected they didn't work all that well once every motel had them. In fact, they may have made things worse.

For thousands of years, there were no motels along the beaches of Florida. And the sand drifted south in the winter and north in the summer.  It is only after we built up cities and economies based on those beaches that the problem could grow into a crisis. Only after those motels and motels popped up like mushrooms up and down the coastline that beach erosion was deem a problem.

My solution? Get rid of the jetties and let nature go back to taking care of the beaches.

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