Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World

Jeff Goodell traveled the world to report on how rising sea levels are impacting human society across the globe. His new book The Water Will Come takes readers to shrinking Alaskan glaciers with President
Obama and into the flood-prone homes of impoverished people living in Lagos, Nigeria.

"By that time, I'll be dead, so what does it matter?" Quote from a Florida real estate developer, The Water Will Come 

I long wondered how bad it would get before people broke down and changed how we live and do things. I consider how Americans gave up comforts during WWII rationing, all pulling together for a great cause we all believed in. I don't see that happening today.

As Goodell points out, "fossil fuel empire" Koch industries money has swayed government. Private citizens can recycle and lower the heat and ride bicycles but the impact is small. As long as governments are more worried about big business than national security endangered by climate change we can't alter what is coming.

What? you ask; national security?

Well, consider that military bases across the nation and world are located in areas that WILL FLOOD. Like the Norfolk Naval Base, the Langley Air Force Base, and NASA's Wallops Flight Facility! Along with the financial district of New York City and expensive Florida beach front homes, we will be losing the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands, where 12,000 Americans operate space weapons programs and track NASA research.

So if the loss of Arctic ice and habitat and the Inuit way of life doesn't concern you, perhaps this information will.

So many issues are raised in the book. Consider: We have not established how to deal with climate change refugees. Where are these people going to go? Countries in Europe, along with the U.S.,  are closing borders--the same countries whose fossil energy use is the primary cause of climate change behind rising sea levels! What is their responsibility?

There are a lot of ideas of how to deal with rising sea levels, including the building of walls and raising cities. It seems, though, that people are more interested in coping with the change than addressing the root cause of climate change. We just don't want to give up fossil fuels.

The book is highly readable for the general public. Although the cover photo made me think of an action disaster movie, the books is a well-researched presentation of  "fact, science, and first-person, on-the-ground journalism."

I received a free book from the publisher through Goodreads.

Hear an interview with Goodell with NPR at https://www.npr.org/2017/10/24/559736126/climate-change-journalist-warns-mother-nature-is-playing-by-different-rules-now

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World
by Jeff Goodell
Little, Brown & Company
ISBN-13: 9780316260206

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