It looks like some states are finally getting around to serious planning for the minimum six to nine feet of sea-level rise that we can expect between now and 2100. Via the NYT Green Blog:
New York State and California are creating blueprints for how governments should plan, and pay for, a wholesale retreat from the shoreline in anticipation of a possible rise in sea level of three or four feet or more by 2100.
The most recent report, written under the auspices of the nonprofit Pacific Council on International Policy and released Monday morning, warns that “the upfront costs of adapting to climate change will not be trivial; yet to do nothing and rely on reacting after the fact to deal with the impacts” would entail “prohibitive” costs.The report offers extensive advice on creating mechanisms to document the impacts of climate change and to then use the information to plan responses at the local, regional and state levels. It also recommends the establishment of a Climate Risk Council, a technically sophisticated five-member group appointed by the governor that would assemble and make available data on climate-related risks.Among other things, it could offer advice to both the state insurance commissioner’s office and private insurers about how to incorporate climate risks into insurance policies.
Speaking of insurance companies, that will be the tell that the business community has turned against the GOP's policy of climate denial. Once the actuaries start charging people for climate risk then it will be hard for them to maintain that rising seas and all the rest is a left-wing fantasy. Meanwhile, one of the states that remains firmly in the Head in the Sand camp is Florida -- ironic because they are most at risk and will likely have the hardest time adapting to rising seas.
But perhaps they'll get bailed out in the end by climate denial. After all, who better to sell all that prime oceanfront property to for premium prices, than a bunch of people who think climate change is a load of hooey?
Flickr photo: fotografar