An alarming view of sea-level rise.
A shocking report was released last June by top climate scientists warning that sea-level rise could reach seven feet by 2100, more than double what was previously thought. If the seas rise by seven feet, the destruction to coastal communities like Nantucket would be apocalyptic. In an effort to draw up a plan for these rising tides, the Nantucket Preservation Trust recently held its Keeping History Above Water conference. The keynote speaker was the author and Rolling Stone contributing editor Jeff Goodell, whose recent bestseller The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World provides a deep dive into what coastal communities will look like in the near future. N Magazine recently spoke to Goodell to find out what Nantucket should be doing to stay above water.
GOODELL: Yes, it is inevitable. That’s why I called the book The Water Will Come and not The Water Will Come… Unless Everyone Sells Their SUVs and Buys a Tesla. That’s one of the fundamental facts that people don’t really get. They think that if we get our act together and start cutting carbon or find some magical technological fix, then we could stop the sea-level rise. But that’s not true. Cutting carbon is really important because it can change the long-term rate of sea-level rise and the ultimate height of it, but we already have a lot of sea-level rises baked in.
GOODELL: Be aware of the risks that their home or investments face with sea-level rise. Get politically involved and begin to fight hard for cutting carbon and to make climate change a priority. And do what you can to reduce emissions and live in a lower carbon way.