Just finished Elizabeth Rush’s amazing book Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore. A climate change book but not laden with scientific explanations—it’s more of an elegy for places we’ve lost and places we’re about to lose in this next Meltwater Pulse.
We’re already far down that road in Louisiana, in Florida, in the New York City area, in the San Francisco Bay area, and the human cost of the inevitable organized retreat the the will be not only inimpact the loss of property and the relocation of infrastructure, but in the mourning of those places we know and love and will not be able to take care of: beaches and wetlands, towns and cities, and for tens of millions of Americans, home.
We tend to think in human periods of the five generations we know (grandparents, parents, us, children, grandchildren) or in financial terms (30 years mortgages) or political cycles (4 year presidential terms, 6 years Senate terms); the earth has a different ebb and flow, and we’re about to be flooded out not with gradual rise over centuries as we’ve been telling ourselves, but in a short pulse of melting ice. The world has been here before and scientists know exactly what’s coming, and coming quickly. While we’re in the phase of desperately trying to buy some time, this book is well worth reading so we can start to make peace with the future we have cast for ourselves and our children. Highly recommended.