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Sun Jun 16, 2019, 08:36 AM

New York Magazine (2016) This is New York in the not-so-distant future


Even locals who believe climate change is real have a hard time grasping that their city will almost certainly be flooded beyond recognition.


A speculative rendering showing what a hundred-year storm could briefly do to the Meatpacking District decades from now, when sea levels have risen several feet. Photo-illustration: MDI Digital/Jonny Maxfield/Cultura Exclusive/Getty Images
Klaus Jacob, a German professor affiliated with Columbia’s University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, is a geophysicist by profession and a doomsayer by disposition. I’ve gotten to know him over the past few years, as I’ve sought to understand the greatest threat to life in New York as we know it. Jacob has a white beard and a ponderous accent: Imagine if Werner Herzog happened to be a renowned expert on disaster risk. Jacob believes most people live in an irrational state of “risk denial,” and he takes delight in dispelling their blissful ignorance. “If you want to survive an earthquake, don’t buy a brownstone,” he once cautioned me, citing the catastrophic potential of a long-dormant fault line that runs under the city. When Mayor Bloomberg announced nine years ago an initiative to plant a million trees, Jacob thought, That’s nice — but what about tornadoes?

For the past 15 years or so, Jacob has been primarily preoccupied with a more existential danger: the rising sea. The latest scientific findings suggest that a child born today in this island metropolis may live to see the waters around it swell by six feet, as the previously hypothetical consequences of global warming take on an escalating — and unstoppable — force. “I have made it my mission,” Jacob says, “to think long term.” The life span of a city is measured in centuries, and New York, which is approaching its fifth, probably doesn’t have another five to go, at least in any presently recognizable form. Instead, Jacob has said, the city will become a “gradual Atlantis.”

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Reply New York Magazine (2016) This is New York in the not-so-distant future (Original post)
Botany Jun 2019 OP
Hortensis Jun 2019 #1
Botany Jun 2019 #2

Response to Botany (Original post)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 09:00 AM

1. Worst case, but always needing examination, especially

as the anxiety it creates helps empower us to avoid and/or mitigate the most probable case.

Btw, somewhere on the web is a commercial study I found of what areas of Florida's current coastline are expected to be protected by seawalls and raised ground. Almost all. Most is already very expensive property, the economic lives of all but good residential properties are already short anyway, and retrofitting to meet rising waters will be a normal part of redevelopment. And, of course, taxpayers will take many hits to help pay the costs. Some very limited areas where rivers flow into the sea are problematic.

When our waterfront mobile home coop finally gives in and sells to a developer, probably because of sea level rise and unwillingness of owners to pay the expenses of redevelopment to deal with it (ah, but if we get sympathetic government, maybe tax dollars will pay most?!?), the developer will build a high rise on a raised platform like other newer nearby developments. And if they only last 30-40 years, that's pretty much their expected economic lifespan anyway.

Not to say the climate crisis isn't a huge calamity for humanity, only that it won't all play out as unmitigated worst case. In the case of those condos, how would they fare if the U.S. and its governments became increasingly poor if current trends, including the many unrelenting costs of constant needed big changes and recovering from disasters from climate crises, continued? How will Florida fare?

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Response to Hortensis (Reply #1)

Sun Jun 16, 2019, 09:41 AM

2. This flooding is not and will not be limited to a few areas

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