Sea Level Rise
Sea level rise is about to become the phenomenon that will awaken humanity. Awaken humanity to the absolute, no debate reality that we are the single largest cause of climate change.Climate change is not about “saving the planet” but about “saving ourselves from ourselves”. The planet will go on for another several billion years. Humanity might not make it out of this millennium.
The last 10 years have been a time of ever increasing severity of intense storms, extended droughts, unprecedented flooding. This time will be looked back upon as the earth providing us with a reality of dramatically altered weather. I don’t know anyone over the age of 50 who cannot remember ‘when I was a kid, this didn’t happen”. No snow for January and February in Chicago. Spring flowers coming up in February in the Southeast. 5 years of drought in California. On and on. People largely understand the phrase cause and effect. Okay so we are experiencing the effect. The effect of the changing of the climate.
The vast majority of humanity have an empirical sense of seeing is believing when it comes to life. Religions often reverse this to say that believing is seeing. Political parties also use this to gain control as in give us/me a chance and I will do right by you. Science is based upon proof, something can be theorized but until proven it is not accepted as fact.
Let me get your attention: hundreds of billions of dollars of lost real estate value will occur in the United States alone between now and 2035. Most of this will be expensive beachfront property becoming distressed inventory. Note the forecasts I revisited recently in this blog post
So, sea level rise is no longer a will it happen question but rather a how much how soon question. What sea level rise will show humanity by 2030 is that we are paying for the lack of action relative to greenhouse gas emissions that we had strong indications 50 years ago would affect earth.
As most of you know, I took much of last year off to co-found a global non-profit to face climate change. [Fighting climate change is the wrong word. Facing climate change is what we can do. What is that old truism: can’t fight mother nature?] The non-profit is This Spaceship Earth, Inc https://thisspaceshipearth.org/ This came from the writing of my seventh book “This Spaceship Earth” co-authored by planetary ethicist Tim Rumage.
Our goal is to create Crew Consciousness and to recruit up to 1 billion crew members. A visit to the web site will explain this in detail but the guiding quote is from Marshall McLuhan:
“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew”
Given that our headquarters is in Florida, the state most at risk for climate change and that we are based in Sarasota, we have highlighted sea level rise as something to create awareness about as the city and the state are facing unprecedented losses.
Last October we used drone photography to produce a video to show what sea level rise means to the 1# rated beach in America. A vertical rise of a single foot of sea level rise can mean a horizontal run of hundreds of feet.. Everyone you see on this video had their consciousness changed during the event. Hopefully you will think differently about sea level rise after watching it. The direct link to the video is here.
Last month at Ringling College in Sarasota, Tim interviewed John Englander, one of the leading experts on the subject and science of sea level rise. The goal for me was to get the smartest person I know about the interconnectedness of the planet to have a clear yet complete discussion with the smartest person I knew of relative to sea level rise.
The end result was a 15 minute video that I think is the single best video for gaining a basic understanding about why sea level rise is happening, why it is accelerating and what it might look like over the next few decades. I urge you to take the time to watch this video.
Both videos are available for viewing on This Spaceship Earth’s home page as well. We use the donations we receive to do such videos and stage such events to create crew consciousness. Thank you to those of you reading who have supported us in the past. To the rest of the readers of this column I ask you to look around the web site [which will be completely redesigned soon] in addition to watching the two videos.
For those of you wanting to connect with John Englander, start by reading one of his recent newsletters that discusses the real estate issue I mentioned above. I always look forward to Monday morning to read John’s email newsletter
In addition, if you are interested in columns about climate change, a 3X a week curated newsfeed on the topic and a 5x daily motivational climate change quote, please go here to sign up.
The most important fact you need to understand about sea level rise is that if all greenhouse gas emissions stopped tomorrow, we would continue to have sea level rise for the next few decades. This is purely a result of knowing but not doing anywhere near enough to address carbon emissions since the 1970s. There will be catastrophic sea level rise no matter what we do now. So it is the second major warning from the planet after the altered weather patterns of the last 15 years. This is the one that will change our perception of the climate change issue.
What we must do now is to reduce the use of fossil fuels ASAP so that the speed of sea level rise slows down by the 2040. If we get to a warming neutral planet then we can stop and possibly reverse sea level rise.
So, please take a look at these easy to watch and informative videos. Thank you