I was really hoping this piece of science fiction, er, opinion piece was offered by the whole editorial board, alas, it’s by some guy named James Atlas, who’s crazy op-ed piece is part of a raft of crazy pieces at the times, such as Rising Seas, Vanishing Coastlines, What Could Disappear, Paying for Future Catastrophes, and
No, but it might make for some side splitting reading.
WE’D seen it before: the Piazza San Marco in Venice submerged by the acqua alta; New Orleans underwater in the aftermath of Katrina; the wreckage-strewn beaches of Indonesia left behind by the tsunami of 2004. We just hadn’t seen it here. (Last summer’s Hurricane Irene did a lot of damage on the East Coast, but New York City was spared the worst.) “Fear death by water,” T. S. Eliot intoned in “The Waste Land.” We do now.
Venice is located in a swampy, waterlogged area of many islands, which has been subsiding for a long, long time. Those parts of New Orleans were already below sea level. The Indonesian tsunami had nothing to do with globull warming.
There had been warnings. In 2009, the New York City Panel on Climate Change issued a prophetic report. “In the coming decades, our coastal city will most likely face more rapidly rising sea levels and warmer temperatures, as well as potentially more droughts and floods, which will all have impacts on New York City’s critical infrastructure,” said William Solecki, a geographer at Hunter College and a member of the panel. But what good are warnings? Intelligence agents received advance word that terrorists were hoping to hijack commercial jets. Who listened? (Not George W. Bush.) If we can’t imagine our own deaths, as Freud insisted, how can we be expected to imagine the death of a city?
Ugh, another Truther. Who would have been livid had George Bush put troops in the airports for months, if not years. There had been warnings for years that Bin Laden was determined to strike the US with commercial planes…..oh, moving on from utter left wing rantings of moonbattery…
YET we return home from our travels intoxicated by beauty, not truth. It doesn’t occur to us that we, too, will one day be described in a guidebook (Fodor’s North America 2212?) as metropolitans who resided in 60-story towers and traveled beneath the waves in metal-sheathed trains.
I told you this was funny. I think I read that book a few months ago. It was called Shadows Live Under Seashells by Allan J Ashinoff, which included those trains traveling around a floating city.
It’s this willed ignorance, I suspect, that explains why it’s difficult to process the implications of climate change for New York, even in the face of explicit warnings from politicians, not the most future-oriented people.
To quote Instapundit: “As I said before, I’ll believe it’s a crisis when the people who keep telling me it’s a crisis start acting like it’s a crisis.” You Climate Terrorists, er, Warmists, have been spreading awareness for well over 20 years, yet you rarely act on your beliefs within your own lives.
Here’s the kicker
The statue of liberty is 305 feet, 1 inch from the base of the pedestal to the torch. Add a couple feet of height for the island itself. And the rising of the seas is well within the historical norm for the last 7,000 years (when the massive sea height increase from the end of the last glacial period slowed). But, hey, don’t let reality get in the way. Let’s scare people!