sustainability depends on where you are

EU adapting to sealevel rise

Still gambling that hot property on Kauai's shoreline will double or triple in the years ahead? Dream on.

Oh, haven't you heard? The shoreline is being relocated inland. You're gonna be an undersea exhibit.

Oh, sure, you might get another 5-10 years of decent appreciation from such an investment. Yet, chances are, the realities of adapting to global warming will sink in...and shoreline properties will tank. Perhaps I could show you our new hot properties up in the caves.

Check out this new report from the EU on the need to "relocate ports, industry and entire cities and villages from low-lying coastal areas and flood plains" (via intl herald trib).

They're talking about "protecting power stations, transport systems and agriculture from flooding, droughts, forest fires and landslides likely to be caused by global warming, as rising temperatures scorch the southern Mediterranean, melt Alpine and Scandinavian snows and flood low-lying coastal zones around the Continent."

As scientist Tom Burke puts it, "what is tricky about this is that we are going to have to spend billions preparing and adapting, and that is going to compete for money to stop climate change getting worse".

OK, so that's Europe. This is the tropical Pacific. And, yes, it matters.

Here's wot we know about Kauai's prospects:

So, wot if it turns out that a significant chunk of our public and private investment is moving upland. Wot's your shoreline parcel worth then?

We're talking firesale, here. Yeah, that might ever happen, you scoff. Look again.

Says Stephan Singer of the WWF European Policy Office,  in the EU video (linked above):

"If Greenland melts, a rise of up to 7 meters (23 feet) is being predicted. You cannot adapt to that one", says Singer. "You have to evacuate people. You have to evacuate cities like Cairo, like New York, like London, like Hamburg, like Rome."

Go ahead and gamble, then.

Or come back for a follow-up post with a map of Kauai's new shoreline...when the polar ice melts and the sea-level rises 23 feet.

Published by Ken on July 3rd, 2007 tagged Community Initiatives, Island Vulnerabilities

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