High Tide on Main Street:
Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis
By John Englander; Foreword by Jean-Michel Cousteau
(Publisher: The Science Bookshelf; ISBN 978-0615637952. Suggested retail $19.95)
Englander's new book "High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis" is a radically different point of view to understand sea level cycles. It explains how they are changing and why no one yet sees the giant, tsunami-like wave that will hit over the next hundred years and beyond. During the next decade this ultra long-term threat will become as real the devastation that occurred in Japan in 2011.
While the physical impacts of sea level rise will be on the order of another inch this decade–hardly discernible–what will start to change will be the perception of coastal real estate values. Most importantly, a new perspective will emerge on how to begin "intelligent adaptation"–a true mindset shift that will last for centuries.
HIgh Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis
- Uses simple graphics and metaphors to explain the big picture of sea level rise, without technical talk or jargon. Covers the surprising forces; historical perspective of regular rise and fall of more than 400 feet; and realistic ranges for increase by 2050 and 2100, and beyond.
- Explains why sea level will rise for at least 500 years regardless of our efforts to limit global warming.
- Looks at sea level rise apart from the broader issues of climate change. Rising sea level is special in that it is easy to visualize, unambiguous and will have huge financial impacts globally on homeowners, cities, businesses, and nations.
- Shows how sea level rise is much more urgent than is currently being reported in the media. Coastal property prices could start being “discounted” in the next decade long before they actually go underwater. This will lead to the destruction of trillions of dollars of assets.
- Examines the limitations of seawalls and other efforts to hold back the sea, which is now rising faster and faster. While they may work for a limited time, they may be a bad investment. Where can we look for a good "ROI" (return on investment)–as individuals, as businesses, and as communities. Some surprising opportunities lie ahead–amid the chaos and value destruction.
- Stresses the importance of intelligent adaptation.
The aim of the book is to clearly explain the geologic timescale, the forces, and the probability of what will happen this century. With that understanding, readers can:
- Protect the assets of family and friends, before the devaluation starts.
- Encourage community and government leaders to plan for realistic sea level rise of at least several feet this century. Beyond the loss of valuable property, profound damage may affect transportation and utility infrastructure, harbors, sewage treatment, ground water sources, and more.
- Be alert to one specific location and type of event that would virtually announce catastrophic levels of sea level rise, far greater than the present forecast: the so called “doomsday scenario".
- In addition to preparing one’s personal assets and encouraging communities to be better prepared, the book recommends positive efforts at the community and government level:
- The one change in public policy that can ultimately slow the rise in sea level.
- How we need to begin thinking clearly and creatively about “adaptation” to the changes that will start happening by mid-century or sooner. Innovative large-scale civil engineering projects can improve the otherwise disastrous situation ahead, and can also create jobs and positively contribute to our economy.
To see expert reviews and an order page go to http://www.hightideonmainstreet.com