Retreat from a Rising Sea by Orrin H. Pilkey
Hard Choices in an Age of Climate Change

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Synopsis

Melting ice sheets and warming oceans are causing the seas to rise. 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. This big-picture, policy-oriented book explains in gripping terms what rising oceans will do to coastal cities and the drastic actions we must take now to remove vulnerable populations.

The authors detail specific threats faced by Miami, New Orleans, New York, and Amsterdam. Aware of the overwhelming social, political, and economic challenges that would accompany effective action, they 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.

 

About Orrin H. Pilkey

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Orrin H. Pilkey is James B. Duke Professor of Geology Emeritus in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, author of The Corps and the Shore, and editor of the twenty-volume series Living with the Shore. Rob Young is the director of the Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines and professor of geosciences at Western Carolina University.
 
Published May 24, 2016 by Columbia University Press. 240 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math. Non-fiction
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