08 July 2005

It's a Shore Thing

By 2100, a mere 95 years from now, the United States will lose more than half of its over 33 million denizens through climate change unless we rethink the use of our land space. 23 of the top 25 most populous counties are coastal. Why do we insist on overbuilding these strips of sand which represent a mere 17% of our total national territory? Don't believe my statistics, then try the government's. The population trend report is at http://marineeconomics.noaa.gov/socioeconomics/Assesment/population/pdf/Coastal%20Population%20Report.pdf

In case no one has been watching lately, what with Jacko and Cruise making so many headlines, our weather has been steadily changing. That too has been marked by the government. http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/Library/nationalassessment/overview.htm and http://www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/Library/nationalassessment/overviewcoastal.htm

Now, maybe a rise of 19 inches of sea water doesn't seem like a lot to you. But each inch of sea level equates to 9 inches of flood level. Think of it this way: 19 inches above current sea level effectively wipes out all of Florida and Louisiana, large chunks of Texas, and New Jersey and New York. You think the fall of the Twin Towers was bad? Wait long enough and you'll see all of Manhatten disappear.

Guess what? This isn't even NEWS, unless you can call a 1998 article in the CNN archives "news": http://cnnstudentnews.cnn.com/EARTH/9804/07/global.warming/

Here's a novel idea to combine sustainability with political sensibility. All you Blue staters who are predominantly on the coasts -- Move en masse into higher altitude red states. Not only will your children be able to inherit your homes, you might even change the voting demographics enough to elect a President and Congress critters who might do something to extend instead of decrease our national environmental lifespan.

Interested in more? For the attention-impaired, you can get an update at Grist's article on the subject at http://www.grist.org/comments/soapbox/2005/06/15/kay-coastal/ No independent research required.

No comments: