Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Main Street - Clermont, Florida


There is so much growth in the Orlando area, especially west and north, that recent orange groves now feature massive housing projects.

Clermont is about 20 miles west of Orlando and while it still has a small town vibe, that is changing rapidly as more and more developments take shape and people move into the former groves by the droves. The Clermont area is also of interest because it is very hilly country and thus very different from other areas of Florida which are basically flat. There are trails used by bicycle riders which are very nice but because of the large hills become a real test of one's strength and stamina!

My feeling is that all this construction and all the people moving to Florida are a disaster of enormous proportions. The reason we have so many sink holes in central Florida is due to the stress originated by this development. The nature of Florida's limestone is such that when water invades its infrastructure already weakened by construction of homes, businesses and schools, it caves in. While we've had some spectacular sink holes, you ain't seen nothing yet.

In 1985, when we moved to Florida from Texas, there were about 12 million residents. Today, we're closing in on 20 million. Ocala, which ten years ago, was still mostly a sleepy little town, has become a busy metropolis with all the attendant problems of traffic gridlock, burgeoning schools, hostile political networks which pitch those who would preserve a little sanity against those with a Chamber of Commerce mentality who insist more is better, the constant need for new medical facilities, and crime, among other things.

Clermont represents that movement and those problems as well as any city in Central Florida.

I remember some years back asking a woman tour guide in The Villages, who was singing the praises of The Villages, (which is a little further northwest) insisting it was the best place in the world to live, when she thought we'd reach the point where so many people would turn her paradise into hell on earth. She didn't like the question and simply insisted the developers of The Villages would never allow that to happen. Then I knew we were in trouble.


Now, understand that none of this takes into account global warming and climate change which is already sending 3-4 inches of water into downtown Miami during high tide. Salt-water intrusion into the water supply will soon make that water unusable. Our ocean-front cities and homes are in a critical situation, especially as the most recent reports from climate scientists insist that the seas are rising faster than they originally assumed and by the year 2100 much if not most of south Florida and almost all the beachfront areas will be under water.

People will find 1) their property no longer has any value, and 2) they need to get the hell out of Dodge, soon!

How, you ask, has our state government handled this crisis? By hiding their collective heads, ostrich style, in the sinking sands. In fact, an executive order has gone out instructing state employees never to use the words, "climate change," or "global warming."

My fear, living high and dry in Ocala, is that we're going to not only be inundated by folks living north of the Mason-Dixon line, but by all those sopping wet souls who currently reside in Miami and Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton and Palm Beach and Cocoa Beach, and Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, and Naples, and Ft. Myers, and Charlotte, and Tampa Bay, and all areas in between.

But then again, I may have a beach in my front yard. That would be cool. I could charge a fee to use it.

15 comments:

Sylvia K said...

This is so sad to read and all I can say is that I'm glad I live on the other side of the US!! Eventually though, the same things could happen in the area here!! Take care!!

Pierre BOYER said...

We must take care of earth...

Pierre

William Kendall said...

When I hear the word developer these days, I feel nauseous. They have absolutely no regard for anything but how much they can make on a land deal. They're as bad as lawyers and politicians... and sometimes worse.

RedPat said...

Now that is a real and good rant! Developers all seem to be the same and that is going to cost us all. It would be nice to have a beach close-by though! ;-)

magiceye said...

Tough luck mate! I hope your fear does not materialise.

Linda said...

I echo William's comment, Lowell. Thank you so much for sharing this, and I love the things you share.

Jack said...

I see Naples on your list. Save some room in a spare bedroom for me.

Kay said...

I agree with William, too. California grew similarly in the lifetime I lived there. Any controls on growth, however, just sent the price of housing - even apartments in the case of San Francisco - skyrocketing. Only the extra super wealthy can live in San Francisco now, or many of the other more desirable areas. The rest? Cheek and jowell housing, featureless strip malls, and traffic gridlock.

llandudnopictures said...

It would be very interesting to see what this area, and indeed many more areas worldwide, which are under 'development' look like a hundred years from now...

EG CameraGirl said...

I fear what developers and climate change are doing to Mother Earth! Great rant, Lowell!

Sharon Anck said...

Don't even get me started on the climate change deniers. I just love how those guys love to preach about how people need to take responsibility for their lives but, they don't seem to think they themselves have any responsibility for taking care of the earth. They just drive around in their Hummers to advertise their disregard. You probably heard about the Arizona Representative who boycotted the event with the Pope this last week because he didn't want to hear him preach to him about climate change. Of course, he's more than willing to preach to all of us on his narrow, rigid and archaic ideas. See what I mean....don't get me started.

VP said...

I doubt we will see something like this in our lives. Maybe in a distant future, who knows...

Halcyon said...

Nice post today, Lowell. Definitely gives one pause.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Can we reserve a spot on your beach if it happens soon? Not really funny, your warning is all true and all frightening. The political situation in Fl is beyond horrible. But I'm quite aware that we as snowbirds are part of the problem too! I guess we're sticking our heads in the sand too by assuming Ft Myers won't drown during our lifetime ... ( not saying much there !).

PerthDailyPhoto said...

The problem is that there are too many people in the world Lowell! It must be a terrifying thing to see a sinkhole, having no control of a situation makes us feel so helpless.

"Photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth which can make them come back again." — Henri Cartier-Bresson