Monday, September 24, 2007

If you live on a coastline of the US

This is really something: Research and a visual representation of how high the water will come in to various coast areas of the US. I'm not sure if this is what Al Gore shows in the movie An Inconvenient Truth or based on similar data. As a current Manhattanite, I'm really sad that my apartment would be underwater if sea levels rise 5m. Most of my neighborhood would be gone, and I can't help but think that it is unnecessary. I'm sure Hawaiians will be more distressed about Honolulu mostly going under, although maybe they won't. "Real" Hawaii isn't in Honolulu anymore, although there are a ton of historic sites.

Then there's my other favorite continental US city, San Francisco, which will also be affected with less than 2 meters rise, while only 1meter sea rise, we lose most of New Orleans, which would be more than a shame -- it would redefine so much of what is an American city. The midwest, which coastal residents mock with pride, could be the centers of what defines American city life.

I guess this gives new (or reinforced) meaning to "head for the hills!"

I begin to wonder cultural, social, economic and political impacts such a dramatic shift in environment and political boundaries means for the US and other countries. Particularly when a country's major cities are the worst hit; cities that are the center of a country's commerce and cultural identity.

Like with so many other future-predicting environmental work, this could be hysterical. I'm going to guess that it's not entirely. It's the way I feel about religion. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe it's all a human-ego farce, but if I'm wrong I don't want to end up in hell so I'll at least listen to what is going on.

I think it's time to add The World Without Us by Alan Weisman to my reading list

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