President Biden Can Launch a Socioeconomic Version of the “Cancer Moonshot”

by Bobby Reyes

An American flag stands in the wake of Hurricane Ian at Fort Myers Beach, Florida (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Jesse Hanson) via Wikimedia Commons

Part XXXI: “Florida, the State of the Future” Series

Yes, Democratic members of the House of Representatives can help moderate Republican congresspersons wrest control of the chamber by forming a bipartisan coalition to elect non-controversial members as Speaker and other top chamber officials. Bipartisan efforts can help solve pressing problems, especially in rebuilding the infrastructures damaged by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in parts of Florida and states along the Eastern Seaboard. Natural calamities are becoming stronger and happen more frequently now.

Yes, well-meaning Democrats can help moderate Republicans save the GOP from itself. And help enact legislation to construct infrastructures — on a bipartisan basis — that will help many areas, especially in the Deep South and the Red States, mitigate the effects of natural calamities.

The last two hurricanes damaged even concrete buildings in Florida. Some condominium towers built close to the shore were condemned as no longer safe for their residents. Public safety agencies moved them to safer sites. The towers’ foundations buckled due to ground-and-beach erosion caused by the storm surges.

Continued in-fighting in the U.S. Congress will hamper the construction of simple back-to-basics solutions such as planting permanent “Memorial Trees” in lands close to the shore and mangrove trees in the shallow portions of the sea. This columnist has also written about the need to build small artificial islands on shores free of seawater during low tides. The tiny isles can be planted with mangroves, and oyster raising can be done in them. Oysters filter seawater and make it cleaner.

President Biden can help usher in bipartisan efforts in vulnerable states like Florida by fielding U.S. Army Corps of Engineers units. Military engineers can assist their state-and-civilian counterparts in helping shore up the shores by building natural defenses against storm surges and other infrastructures. This column mentioned the highly-effective massive drainage systems like those found in Tokyo (Japan) as good models to emulate.

“Continued in-fighting in the U.S. Congress will hamper the construction of simple back-to-basics solutions such as planting permanent “Memorial Trees” in lands close to the shore and mangrove trees in the shallow portions of the sea.”

As this journalist has been writing for decades, government agencies could collaborate with the private sector and develop “Public & Private Partnerships” (PPP). The PPPs can raise human-and-financial resources to do basic steps in constructing what would become the “New Cities of Venice of North America” and in countries with similar low-lying metropolitan areas. Some of these areas are below the current sea level. Because Climate Change has resulted in bigger tides and storm surges that flood, and overwhelm, residential-and-commercial areas.

President Biden can use the next two years of his first term to forge and launch bipartisan efforts to team up with the private sector in doing the said “back-to-basics” solutions to address the short-and-medium term dangers exacerbated by Climate Change (Global Warming). Because hurricanes, typhoons, floods, and other natural calamities affect all people — irrespective of their political orientation, creed, race, or sexual preferences.

More funding can be provided by the Federal Reserve Bank, which bought bonds from Corporate America at the height of the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Why can’t it buy similar bonds from PPPs?

Mr. Biden can establish his vision to accomplish long-term solutions for many of the climate-caused crises and, at the same time, address other community cancers like homelessness, inflation, and other social ills.

Perhaps President Biden can also launch the socioeconomic version of his “Cancer Moonshot.” Perhaps it can be called the “Socioeconomic-cancer Moonshot”? Or, for short, “Social-cancer Moonshot,” right, Mr. President?

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