Damien Hernandez, a 35-year-old sales rep and native Miamian, shuffled to the side to avoid a jellyfish.
“Yeah, you know, I’m just not all that sure climate change isn’t a hoax,” he asserted.
A shallow wave rolled over Bayfront Park’s concrete seawall, soaking the bottom of his cargo shorts. Downtown Miami lay two feet under water as the sun rose through a cloudless sky. The city’s usual rush hour traffic was replaced by an assortment of marine animals, a smattering of TikTok influencers twerking on kayaks, and a gaggle of others uploading all the above to Instagram.
“I’ve done my research,” continued Hernandez. “I only believe things I can verify, and I just haven’t really seen ironclad proof that humans are responsible for global warming.”
A stingray leapt out of the water and slapped Hernandez across the head. He waved it off.
“All these fear mongers say things like,” he lowered his voice and bobbed his head, “‘Miami’s going to be underwater in 20 years,’ and ‘I spent a lifetime studying and making climate models, you should listen to me,’ and ‘I have multiple doctorates, why on Earth would you think you know better?’ But I don’t need a degree to tell me what I can see with my own eyes.”
Two bull sharks tussled over an overboard TikToker on Biscayne Boulevard while the Instagrammers recorded it.
“This February, the temperature dropped to 70!” exclaimed Hernandez, ignoring the frantic splashing half a block away. “For two days whole days! If that isn’t proof climate change is fake, then I don’t know what is.”
Hernandez took a step forward and fell into an open manhole.
If you like our stories, check out the first free chapter of our new book.