This sobering examination of climate-change and the disastrous effects of rising sea levels explains what must be done to avoid the worst outcomes.By the end of this century, hundreds of millions of people living at low elevations along coasts will be forced to retreat to higher and safer ground. Because of sea-level rise, major storms will inundate areas farther inland and will lay waste to critical infrastructure, such as water-treatment and energy facilities, creating vast, irreversible pollution by decimating landfills and toxic-waste sites. Retreat from a Rising Sea explains in gripping terms what rising oceans will do to coastal cities—detailing the specific threats faced by Miami, New Orleans, New York, and Amsterdam. This policy-oriented book then lays out the drastic actions we must take now to remove vulnerable populations.
Aware of the overwhelming social, political, and economic challenges that would accompany effective action, the authors consider the burden to the taxpayer and the logistics of moving landmarks and infrastructure, including toxic-waste sites. They also show readers the alternative: thousands of environmental refugees, with no legitimate means to regain what they have lost. The authors conclude with effective approaches for addressing climate-change denialism and powerful arguments for reforming U.S. federal coastal management policies.