What have you done today to lower your impact?

We are washing away the foundations of our existence on every front. It is high time we move from crashing about on the planet like a bull in china shop and find a way to go forward with intent. We must find systems of living based on sustainability. The systems and tools exist, it is up to each of us to adopt them.

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Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Do you own property near a coastline?

This image from World View of Global Warming is of a house in the island nation of Tuvalu.

My sister and I sold our family home which was about 18" above high tide mark a few years ago. I've posted before about the threats to coastal property, where you can find a link to the tool that lets you look at projected sea level rise in your neighborhood, and make no secret of my belief that I will live to see sea level rise of 1 meter or more. This isn't just a problem for far off nations like Tuvalu or Bangladesh so "out of sight, out of mind" ain't gonna cut it! Think, New York, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Miami, Savannah, Charleston, Norfolk, Baltimore, etc, etc, ......

There are so many issues associated with sea level rise that make property values seem insignificant; pollution of the seas as they swamp industrial sites and garbage dumps, food shortages as coastal farms are drowned, disruption of commerce as ports become unusable and highways are swamped, environmental refugees as billions of people look for new places to live.

Assuredly this is not likely to be an event as portrayed in Day after Tomorrow, it will happen gradually, except in the case of storm surges as hurricanes become more severe. This gives us time to adapt. But will we?

When will we realize that coastal properties have no value? Insurance companies are already realizing it I think. How will you sell your home to finance your move inland if your home has no value? It may sound unethical or even callous but shouldn't you be thinking about selling that coastal property while it still has value? There are those who do not believe these levels of sea level rise are possible and are still willing to purchase that waterfront property. Buyer Beware!

Check out this post on the subject over at Worldchanging
Here's an excerpt from the post by Joe Romm,

" Coastal property values won't wait to (permanently) fall until sea levels have actually risen 4 or 5 feet, as they almost certainly will by the end this century on our current CO2 emissions path (see
Startling new sea level rise research: "Most likely" 0.8 to 2.0 meters by 2100 and Report from AGU meeting: One meter sea level rise by 2100 "very likely" even if warming stops?).

Coastal property values will crash when a large fraction of the financial community and of opinion-makers -- along with a smaller but substantial fraction of the public -- realize that it is too late for us to stop 4 to 5 feet of SLR. And remember, if we don't get on the sustainable sub-450-ppm path soon, then people will quickly come to understand that SLR won't stop in 2100. Seas will continue rising post-2100 perhaps 10 to 20 inches a decade (or more) for centuries until we are ice free and seas are 250 feet higher. And that makes protecting most coastal cities very, very difficult and expensive."

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