While the western world has survived the beginning of the twenty-first century more or less intact, getting organized for the rest of the century makes it seem as if the destruction of the Middle East is more descriptive.
Hopefully, Guru envisions a burst of energy, jobs and economy as the whole world responds to climate change, repairing infrastructure and shifting world economies in a way that will stave off international disruption through abuse of the Internet and Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the global imbalance between the wealthy and the starving.
These tasks all are international and the wringing of hands and claims of the apocalypse will be part of the experience. It will be like training one’s wayward feet to fit into a new pair of shoes – if not painful at least uncomfortable.
Nations and their resources, unfortunately, do not drive the schedule of recovery. Every issue is at a critical stage such that avoiding catastrophe is the order of the day rather than casually planning new ideas with time to perfect them.
For the sake of brevity, mariner will describe only one issue – the one issue that ignores politics, economies and cultures; it is the most disruptive of the several critical issues: Climate Change.
We should be thankful that the pandemic has given the world practice at dealing with worldwide apolitical issues. Like the pandemic, climate change is no longer an issue of local environmental regulation and politics. It has become a global condition, an instability at the core of an environment that sustains all life. It is difficult to get excited about climate change because it is so slow in the manner by which it changes the environment. Mariner compares it to how sloping shoulders develop over decades of aging, one day at a time, one tiny increment of spine curvature each day. Then suddenly there is back pain and limitations of flexibility. The world already feels the pain of climate change.
Flooding of low lying land around the world already has become a crisis in many parts of the world: 11 million people in Bangladesh have lost two years of crops as the tides invade and stay longer each season; many populated islands around the world will disappear in this century; six large key cities in the United State will be overrun by rising seas – Miami already has in place city-wide pumping stations and drains to accommodate high tides.
Rising seas are caused by a warming atmosphere that melts the polar ice reserve. Being unusually warm, the atmosphere has extra energy for storms and, globally, the jet streams are shifting enough to begin changing agriculture on all the continents.
The following paragraph is a report from Forbes magazine:
“By 2050, sea-level rise will push average annual coastal floods higher than land now home to 300 million people, according to a study published in Nature Communications. High tides could permanently rise above land occupied by over 150 million people, including 30 million in China. Without advanced coastal defense and planning, populations in these areas may face permanent flooding within 30 years.”
The entire report is worth reading and has maps of where US cities will be flooded. See:
|Storms get stronger
|Data: NOAA. Graphic: Reuters
With climate change, hurricanes overall are moving more slowly, meaning they can linger for longer over land, causing more damage. —Reuters
The temperature, as a daily personal experience, will be much warmer. In the United States the entire sweep of Gulf States will become very hot with frequent temperatures over 100°. Not only will agriculture be forced to relocate, so will the people. This means that hinterland cities will receive large migrations of people and jobs moving north. Retiring to the southern shores will no longer be a pleasant fantasy.
So Climate Change is a serious, immediate issue that will notably change weather, geography, agriculture, population centers and a reordering of governmental functions and responsibilities – and each citizen because the changes will be quite personal.
Mariner agrees that the confrontation is serious, perhaps greater than all the wars in US history. But. It is a new time to unify and tackle a big problem together. The world must succeed. Mariner is reminded of Rosie the riveter. Let’s wind up our sleeves, get beyond petty politics and personal agendas and get on with it.