It’s fascinating that the paper is pointing out the negative stereotypes around flatness and implying these harm states that are perceived to be flat. I’d be interested to see that unpacked a bit more.
That's what I believe.
I've lived in FL (#1) and IL (#2). When I moved to central IL, I noticed it wasn't flat as S. FL. On a bike ride it was clear there were up and down slopes that I didn't have growing up.
But in Florida, either city or forest or scrub blocks out the view of the horizon, while in IL there were open plains where sometimes I could see the horizon under distant trees. It made IL feel flatter, even though I knew it wasn't.
> Her most influential work was the book The Everglades: River of Grass (1947), which redefined the popular conception of the Everglades as a treasured river instead of a worthless swamp.
The view that it is worthless swamp, best turned into real estate, sugar cane, or other agriculture has greatly damaged the Everglades ecosystem. An ecosystem which replenishes the Biscayne Aquifer that the Miami metropolitan area drinks from, and which provides a bubble of fresh water to help prevent saltwater intrusion.
Going back to the main point, none of the natural land surface of Florida is below sea level, other than the trivial case of land exposed during low tide ("sea level" means "mean sea level").
If there were land below sea level, it would be covered by water. Most of the rock in Florida is porous limestone, which isn't an effective barrier to water. Parts of Miami flood during king tides, simply because of water rising up through the ground.
Or, go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florida and see "Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_and_territ... (sort by elevation span)
But one of the few facts I remember to this day from 8th grade history, ages ago, is that no land is more than 20 feet above sea level in all of Florida.
I grew up in Miami, at about 22ft elevation. The highest point in Miami-Dade is about twice that height above sea level.
3 North Dakota
11 South Dakota
13 New Mexico
15 South Carolina
17 New Jersey
26 North Carolina
27 Rhode Island
38 District of Columbia
39 New York
46 New Hampshire
49 West Virginia
That's about 1/3 the state, so it brings down the average.