The News: Downtown Montauk, Obama’s Alaska

Obama has it wrong in Alaska
Obama has it wrong in Alaska, Photo: Issaurinko, frontpoint/iStock/Thinkstock

After many delays, the Army Corps of Engineers is poised to build a $9 million sand-covered sandbag dune at the back of the beach extending half a mile in front of downtown Montauk.

Ninety years ago when Carl Fisher, the developer, laid out downtown Montauk, he located it by the ocean in a bit of a valley. Two summers ago, bulldozers had to be called in to shore up the existing dunes to stop a high tide from flooding downtown. So now there is THIS.

When completed, it will extend a half-mile from Umbrella Beach to Surfside, but it is not clear whether the 16-foot height is from sea level or 16 feet above where we are now. If the latter, we’ll need what—a bunch of ladders to climb up to get people up and over to the beach? Steel pedestrian tunnel tubes to walk through to the beach? (Wouldn’t they let the water through? Perhaps they could have giant doors.) Anything about seeing the ocean from downtown anymore?

If there is any more perfect example of not seeing the forest for the trees it is Obama in Alaska. He trudges through Kotzebue Village and the Kenai Fjord and looks at where glaciers were but are no more and his thoughts are not about the horrors of climate change, but about beating the Russians, about claiming new rushing rivers that have appeared here and there.

They’ve got 24 icebreakers. We’ve got two. They’ve got an aluminum flag on a pole on the sea bottom claiming one new waterway. We’ve got none. Congress is going to need to authorize new icebreakers. They run a billion each. But we can’t let them do this to us.

If anybody was ever thinking of carving his face on Mount Rushmore alongside the others, well, that is that.

I mean, if we stopped climate change, all those waterways would freeze back up. We’d have all those useless billion-dollar icebreakers sitting around, for what? For nothing.

What a waste.

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