Rising sea levels, and THIS IS THE STORY OF YOU

Thursday, February 25, 2016

In a recent paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Bob Kopp, whose web page describes him as a "climate scientist, Earth historian, geobiologist, and energy policy wonk," reported, along with his collaborators at Rutgers, Tufts, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, York, Woods Hole, and Harvard, a sobering rise in sea levels.

Having examined the rising seas over the past 3,000 years, Kopp and his team demonstrated, with 95% probability, that sea levels began to rise at "historic" rates in the 19th century.

It's not that this is new news. Indeed, we've been watching islands disappear, shore lines erode, storms hit with devastating force. We've worried over the future of entire countries. We've read words like these (Nicholas Bakalar) in the New York Times:
A three-foot rise in sea level in Malibu, Calif., for example, would put many houses near Malibu Beach under water. In New York, most of Harlem River Drive and Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive south of 168th Street would be inundated, and Ellis Island would be about half its present size. In Florida, Tampa and Miami would lose large areas of land, and much of the Keys would disappear.
We've been watching our world get remade because we've been remaking our world.

I set out to write This Is the Story of You because I grew up loving the Jersey shore (sand castles, Dippy Don's ice cream, crab hunting, bird sanctuaries). Because I watched, along with every once else, the devastation of Storm Sandy. Because I worry, endlessly, about our planet. As I read the news that we all read, and as I think about the next generation and all the challenges placed before them, I hope, through Story, which takes place in the aftermath of a monster storm on a barrier island, to remind readers of all that is at stake—and of all we still owe to one another.


Victoria Marie Lees said...

I just received my copy of This is the Story of You, Beth. I can't wait to dig into the text. Thanks for all you do to help others understand about life, about poetry, about words.

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