10 November 2012
Barrier Islands are nature’s buffer from storms. New inlets are a natural occurrence during storms and the sands are constantly shifting. Building on them is fraught with risk, but taxpayers all pay for the federal flood insurance that protects property owners there. After Sandy, I suspect there will be a much greater discussion about whether this is a good idea. Without flood insurance far fewer people will take the risk, but this has economic considerations as well.
Betting against the water rising on a barrier island is ALWAYS a bad bet. Add in climate change and it becomes a foolish one as well.