When the Sea Rises
In my previous post, I was very melodramatic, you might think.
“Oh, the sky is falling in, the sea level is rising, the future of the earth is in grave jeopardy!”
Yeah, it is.
Plain and simple.
We have all heard that this is a temporary situation that can be corrected if we take steps now…but it’s really too late to do much more than readjust a lot of things, and people.
We’ve gone beyond simple corrections. We have gotten to the stage where in about 150 or fewer years, there will be massive population centers which will have to deal with trying to deal with flooding and entire sections of their cities under water.
There will be entire populated islands which will have to be abandoned because they’ll be under water. That island is a chain that will be lost in about 60 years.
So, how bad can it get?
Let’s look at a list of the major cities that have been listed as being in danger of being flooded, and their populations:
1. Guangzhou, China 16.8M
2. Mumbai, India 16.9M
3. Kolkata, India 14.4M
4. Guayaquil, Ecuador 2.3M
5. Shenzhen, China 11.9M
6. Miami, Florida 5.6M
7. Tianjin, China 8.9M
8. New York/Newark, New Jersey 20.8M
9. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 8.3M
10. New Orleans, Louisiana 369,000
11. Jakarta, Indonesia 26M
12. Abidjan, Ivory Coast 4.4M
13. Chennai, India 8.9M
14. Surat, India 4.7M
15. Zhanjiang, China 7.1M
16. Tampa, Florida 348,000
16. St. Petersburg, Florida 250,000
17. Boston, Massachusetts 4.4M
18. Bangkok, Thailand 7.1M
19. Xiamen, China 1.8M
20. Nagoya, Japan 10M
About half a billion people will have to be moved to higher ground because of sea levels rising. Many of them are in China.
That’s not all, either.
There are inhabited islands that will have to be (and are already) abandoned because they’re going underwater.
List of Islands that will disappear with rising sea levels:
Yes, this was written 2 years ago. The situation hasn’t improved, and it’s undoubtedly going to get far worse in the future, guaranteed.
I’m not going to ask how we’re going to cope with shifting populations and cities. That’s not my job…but it is pretty obvious that we’ve done this to ourselves, and have only ourselves to blame.
Global warming is not a myth. Climate change is not a fairy tale. They’re real and they’re about to smack us in the face. We won’t even know what happened until after it’s done.
I think that anyone who argues the opposite is either delusional or totally ignorant of how we’ve come to this stage. Unfortunately, there’s a logical reason of why people do deny the plain and simple truth when out in plain sight.
It’s really too bad when this happens, because right now, we are just at the edge of the abyss. Needless to say, the view is frightening and lethal for the fate of Earth.
All I can say is I pity future generations, and I personally apologize to them for having not done enough myself to stop it-but there’s a lot of other people who share more blame than I or ordinary citizens:
Big corporations which pollute the air and dump toxic waste into the seas without any consequences.
Politicians and governments (specifically, the United States) who had every chance in the world to save this situation from happening, and did nothing. They ignored the warnings, they did not sign specific treaties to stop massive pollution, they did nothing but further their own personal agendas at the cost of the entire planet.
The U.S. signed the Kyoto Protocol on November 12, 1998, during the Clinton presidency. To become binding in the US, however, the treaty had to be ratified by both houses of congress, and the US Senate had already passed the 1997 non-binding Byrd-Hagel Resolution, expressing disapproval of any international agreement that 1) did not require developing countries to make emission reductions and 2) “would seriously harm the economy of the United States”. The resolution passed 95-0. Therefore, even though the Clinton administration signed the treaty,it was never submitted to the Senate for ratification.
When George W. Bush was elected U.S. president in 2000, he was asked by U.S. Senator Hagel what his administration’s position was on climate change. Bush replied that he took climate change “very seriously,” but that he opposed the Kyoto treaty, because “it exempts 80% of the world, including major population centers such as China and India, from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the US economy”. The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research reported in 2001 that, “This policy reversal received a massive wave of criticism that was quickly picked up by the international media. Environmental groups blasted the White House, while Europeans and Japanese alike expressed deep concern and regret. […] Almost all world leaders (e.g. China, Japan, South Africa, Pacific Islands, etc.) expressed their disappointment at Bush’s decision.” Bush’s response that, “I was responding to reality, and reality is the nation has got a real problem when it comes to energy” was, it said, “an overstatement used to cover up the big benefactors of this policy reversal, i.e., the US oil and coal industry, which has a powerful lobby with the administration and conservative Republican congressmen.”
The U.S. accounted for 36% of emissions in 1990, and without U.S. ratification, only an EU+Russia+Japan+small party coalition could place the treaty into legal effect. A deal was reached in the Bonn climate talks (COP-6.5), held in 2001.
By May 2012, the USA, Japan, Russia, and Canada had indicated they would not sign up to a second Kyoto commitment period. In November 2012, Australia confirmed it would participate in a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and New Zealand confirmed that it would not.
Thank them for our lost world. We had a nice one while it lasted.