Scientific American] It’s shocking for me (Robert) to accept that my home could be wiped out by greatly rising seas. That’s because I live on a hill north of San Diego, 45 feet above sea level and more than a mile inland from the coast. Equally shocking to me (Dan) is that the current coastline of my beloved Mendocino County, California, could largely disappear, a place where I spend weekends with my daughters exploring rivers that run inland, deep into wine country. These inundations won’t happen this century, but that is little solace. At the rate the world is going, land so dear to our hearts could slip under the sea and stay there for thousands of years.
That hurts. Most of us believe our homes, our towns, our cities will
be here for centuries and millennia to come. And why not? In Europe and
across Asia millions of people live in cities that are thousands of
years old. Indeed, inspired by European permanence, Robert’s family
built garden walls from stone and fondly looked forward to passing on
the land to hoped-for-grandchildren, and theirs, and so on.
That idea, however, now seems flawed to both of us writing this
article. Strong, new research indicates that anyone or anything tens of
feet above the sea today may one day face an unbeatable force, whether a
country home near San Diego or a skyscraping condo in Miami. Although
shorelines are forever evolving, these changes can be predicted
directly, and are due to needlessly excessive carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from a relatively brief, recent period of time.
How has the public not been made clearly and painfully aware of this?
Why does fierce debate over climate miss so glaring a threat? The
misperception, the widespread disbelief and the fallacy are rooted in a
grave error in our thinking about time. Read More