Since the day Damien Hirst’s Gone but Not Forgotten, the gilded skeleton of a mythical 10-foot-tall woolly mammoth, was installed in a sealed glass coffin as the showpiece of the extravagant $1 billion oceanfront Faena development in Miami Beach, not a few cynics have noted that the extinct creature was a portent of our own demise, 80 years from now, when, scientists predict, this strip of sand will vanish into the sea.

Miami-boosters will have none of it. Developers, real-estate brokers, hoteliers, and hustlers talk up the town incessantly. Art Basel! Global city! Paradise! And now that winter has come, New Yorkers are fleeing the coronavirus and its constraints, and buying up $1 million homes and condominiums in Miami, packing coastal enclaves and harming the already frail environment.