It’s getting harder and harder to find reputable scientists who dispute the dangers of global warming. It’s coming. It won’t be pretty. I just read an interview in Wired magazine of Tim Flannery, director of the South Australian Museum, biologist at the University of Adelaide, and author of the book The Weather Makers: How Man Is Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth. In it, he bemoans how all the computer models show disaster coming and yet some governments, like our own, are completely in denial of the problem. In a particularly spooky part of the interview, he describes our future:
Just play a little thought game: We’re 10 years out now; it’s 2016. Sea levels have started to rise quickly. And governments around the world are spending even more money than they are now in defending their low-lying areas. How much is the U.S. spending right now in New Orleans? Imagine that cost replicated right around the southern and eastern coast of the U.S. And partly on the West Coast, too.
Imagine oil prices twice or three times what they are today. Imagine the increased problems of hurricanes and insurance losses at the same time. And imagine the problems of water availability as well, because we’re getting a lot of extreme weather. That all adds up to a society under enormous stress. Is that society going to have the resources to invest in the new energy infrastructure that we need to build in order to eventually diminish those problems? Because changing energy infrastructure won’t help sea-level rise for half a century. It won’t help defend your city against this immediately rising ocean.
I feel like we’re living in a country of King Louis XVs. He (or his mistress, history is unclear) was the one who said, “Après moi le déluge.” “After me the flood.”