From Jeff Goodell at Rolling Stone:
In Zarrilli’s view, there is no time to waste. By 2030 or so, the water in New York Harbor could be a foot higher than it is today. That may not sound like much, but New York does not have to become Atlantis to be incapacitated. Even with a foot or two of sea-level rise, streets will become impassable at high tide, snarling traffic. The cost of flood insurance will skyrocket, causing home prices in risky neighborhoods to decline. (Who wants to buy a house that will soon be underwater?)
Then the big storm will come, as it always does. It might come this year, it might come in 2018, 2029 or 20-whatever. It might be bigger than Sandy. It might be smaller. But if you add a foot or two of sea-level rise to a 14-foot storm tide, you have serious trouble. And if it hits before the Big U is completed around Lower Manhattan, you have even more serious trouble. Water will flow over the aging sea walls at Battery Park and onto the West Side, pouring into the streets, into basements, into cars, into electrical circuits, finding its way into the subway tunnels. New Yorkers will learn that even after the region spent $60 billion on rebuilding efforts after Sandy, the city’s infrastructure is still hugely vulnerable. In the aftermath, it’s not hard to imagine how this will play out: Businesses that don’t need to be in Lower Manhattan – hedge funds, banks, law firms – will move to Midtown, others to Westchester County or the New Jersey suburbs. The economic engine of the city will sputter. Rents and property values will fall, eviscerating the tax base. Throughout the city, people with money will begin moving to higher ground, leaving the poor behind in polluted swamps of abandoned buildings along the waterfront. More.
Reality check: Consider this in the light of Rolling Stone’s “It’s not true” moment, captured in e-mail It would help if more people realized that progressives and their willing audiences do not need true stories; they need narratives. And this is one hell of a narrative.
See also: Scientific dissent can never be securities fraud