Earth Doctor / Climate Troubadour

Precarious Paradise

Feel your feet sinking in the sand,                F#m   B7
In the waves, walking hand in hand,            E    Fdim
The stars that are in your eyes,                      F#m   B7
Who would need any more advice?              E       Bm7 E7

Feel the palms swaying in the breeze,          F#m…
Spanish moss in the live-oak trees,
All whispering don’t think twice,
Precarious paradise!

There’s a beach on the edge of town,
Buy a place and settle down.
Hear the sun setting like a song,
Don’t it carry your heart along?   

We can make it here on the sand,
Don’t it feel like a promisee land?
Oh, go for it, don’t think twice,
Precarious paradise!

But you know baby, by and by,                     Amaj7
When the wind and the waves get high,  G#7  C#m  G#+5 Cm7
You’ll be watching the street signs rust,  F#6  – F#+  F#7
And the fantasy turn to dust!                        F#m  B7  

Do you really still need more proof?                 F#m   B7
Watching rescue boats from your roof,            E        Fdim
Wondering do I pack my things,                       F#m   B7
Wait and see what tomorrow brings?               E         Bm7 E7

Count the people who walk away,         
Count the chimneys in the bay?              G#7    C#m G#+5 Cm7
It was only a field of dreams                     F#6  F#+5  F#7
Uninsurable happy schemes                     Fm7     B7

Don’t you wish that  we all could see                F#m   B7
See what dreamers these mortals be                E    Fdim
Don’t look at the asking price,                            F#m B7
Precarious paradise!                                            E       Fdim
Just don’t look at the asking price                    F#m   B7
Precarious paradise!                                       B7sus4/F#       B7/F     E

©Doug Hendren 2022

What’s it about?  I’ve written other songs about Florida – Everglades Rolling In and The Sunshine State.  According to the US Census Bureau, more people moved to Florida in 2021 than to any other state. While it certainly seems like an attractive proposition compared to February in Minnesota, settling down too close to those beautiful beaches carries risks that many homebuyers and investors continue to underestimate. Many have learned the hard way, by losing their homes in hurricanes or other extreme weather events.

Several books about rising sea levels, such as High Tide on Main Street and The Water Will Come, give special mention to Florida’s special risks of low mean elevation, large coastal exposure, and porous geology. As global heating continues, however, cities and towns all over the Gulf Coast and East Coast are exposed to more powerful hurricanes and higher storm surges.

The insurance industry is well aware of the rising cost of climate-related risks, with insurers in the news for pulling out of Florida, California and other markets with “high climate risk.”  Other regions from Texas to the Carolinas are grappling with how to begin retreating from the encroaching seas.

Our national politics still remains stubbornly controlled to a large degree by fossil fuel interests, which obstruct and slow down effective action whenever possible. While the true cost of fossil fuels has not yet penetrated our national politics, a recent analysis by the International Monetary Fund calculates our direct and indirect subsidies at $7 trillion per year, or $13 million per minute. This is equal to twice what the world spends on education, about 7% of global GDP. Fossil fuels are costing us an arm and a leg, and our future. Isn’t it about time to change to clean energy?

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *