“We are a coast-hugging species,” begins a Foreign Policy article on the inevitable crisis of rising coastlines, entitled We Are All Venetians Now. You just need to look at a map of China’s most populous cities to recognize that. Humans and our societies demand close access to water for a variety of reasons, but this close proximity to the oceans may mean our serious downfall. Oceans are rising. There is clear evidence of that. And although this rise appears gradual to a society that lives by the minute, a few millimeters over the span of decades is significantly faster than our population can adapt to, spelling the possible end of some of the world’s mightiest cities.
Hurricane Sandy showed the United States that its poster city, New York, is not prepared for massive flooding. And the more climate change takes its toll, the more dramatic weather conditions and abrasive storms the planet will see. Although it is a pessimistic outlook, the cities of New York, Mumbai, Tokyo, Shanghai, Jakarta, Lagos, and many others have an expiration date on the horizon if the human race stays on this path of rapid carbon-emissions. The world needs to be aware of how even a gradual change can have unbelievably immediate consequences, and take the city of Venice as a warning.
Mayor Bloomberg of New York seems to agree that climate change need be addressed.