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What if Atlantis wasn't a myth but an early precursor to a new age of great flooding? Across the globe scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels and higher and higher tides pushing water directly into the places we live from our most vibrant historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages With each crack in the great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica and each tick upwards of Earth's thermometer we are moving closer to the brink of broad disasterBy century's end hundreds of millions of people will be retreating from the world's shores as our coasts become inundated and our landscapes transformed From island nations to the world's major cities coastal regions will disappear Engineering projects to hold back the water are bold and may buy some time Yet despite international efforts and tireless research there is no permanent solution no barriers to erect or walls to build that will protect us in the end from the drowning of the world as we know it The Water Will Come is the definitive account of the coming water why and how this will happen and what it will all mean As he travels across twelve countries and reports from the front lines acclaimed journalist Jeff Goodell employs fact science and first person on the ground journalism to show vivid scenes from what already is becoming a water world

10 thoughts on “The Water Will Come

  1. says:

    For too long the national climate debate has centered on is it real? and is it man made? How this occurred is likely the subject of another book but what Goodell has done here is expose how thousands of powerful people but only thousands They need support are currently working to mitigate the effects of climate change while simultaneously reassuring the public there is absolutely no need to panic or change Ah politics Can you inspire change without fear?The book is a curious blend of science and politics and seeing where they may or may not inform each other Chapters include'The Oldest Story Ever Told' archaeological era flooding and how primitive societies coped'Living with Noah' early Miami Dade Florida developers literally selling swampland'New Climate Land' changes in the ice sheets and problems with various models'Air Force One' meeting with President Obama in Alaska; consensus politics'Real Estate Roulette' the economy of Miami is real estate  How it's reacting'The Ferrari on the Seafloor' Venice's challenge the MOSE barrier'Walled Cities' NYC Mayor de Blasio and the 'Big U' the billion dollar wall around lower Manhattan'Island States' the Paris climate accords the Marshall Islands'Weapon of Mass Destruction' Norfolk VA the largest naval base in the US is especially vulnerable as is the largest air force base located in the Florida panhandle'Climate Apartheid' Lagos Nigeria and a new island city Eko Atlantic a gated community'Miami is Drowning' Miami's current interventions to manage sea water rise'The Long Goodbye' financial challenges climate refuges legal challenges to the government refusal to maintain unsafe properties and roadsThe book is full of examples in double think with regional variations There's the Prepare and Acknowledge But Keep the Party Going approach used in Miami; We're Building A Wall and Everything's Fine approach used in Venice and various seaports; Prepare But Publicly Deny Climate Change strategy currently used by the largest US military installation in Norfolk VA as well as small town mayors along the mid Atlantic Coast; the Prepare and We Will Thrive Because We're NYC variation; the We Are Probably Screwed approach of the Marshall Islanders sadly the most realistic of the bunch contrasted with the We Will Throw A Shit Ton of Money At It approach of a nearby island US Naval installationIn my ignorance I had euated the concept of rising seas with the popular but incorrect 'bathtub' model you add water and it rises all around the edges But due to all sorts of fun things mostly geophysics I gather including land composition topography and the Great Currents all locations will not see eual water rise I don't know if that's better or worse honestly but it does mean that places will be uneually affected which is always a problem Goodell concentrates on the US and for a couple of reasons Miami and New York City are going to be particularly affected by sea riseI had also thought climate change would be relatively straightforward inasmuch as rising seas increasing temperatures and increasing ferocity of 'weather events' can be but it turns out there's a lot of sub problems there I'm an inlander so I never knew about all the variations in tides with yearsmoonsweather patterns but it does mean that those things will become intrusive on a monthly or yearly cycle much like an 'el Nino' winter weather pattern for low lying areas This will mean regular and expensive bills to flood insurance city resources and the US disaster relief fundsThen there's the fresh water issue Oceans are obviously saline Unsurprisingly there's a lot of food grown along deltas where freshwater eventually runs into the ocean the Nile Delta deltas in Vietnam and Bangladesh These food sources might easily be lost resulting in large populations of hungry people The microcosm of the Marshall Islands already shows how rising water infiltrates the water table beneath the island turning previously freshwater sources brackish and leading breadfruit trees to die of salt poisoningFlooding also brings a host of bacteria problems most sewer systems end up over burdened as they were never meant to cope with that much water Even ones that were may fail as the water table rises Then there is the non sewer system waste systems many many parts of America and 30% of Miami Dade County rely on septic systems which aren't flood proof So a flood releases bacteria into the environment Sampling of the water during a recent Miami area flood showed Ecoli bacteria at 300 times recommended 'safe' levels p247 And that shit literally don't disappear with the water my friendsIn the chapter on Norfolk VA and the UN Climate Agreement Goodell makes a decent case for how this is potentially a national security issue because these world wide changes will undoubtedly result in refugeesIt wasn't as depressing as I thought mainly because I did learn a lot and there are people that are attempting to mitigate change  I gave it four stars because at times it felt like a collection of magazine articles which is how Goodell started and a little less cohesive than I would like I also felt for what was essentially a reporter piece that he interjected his opinion than he should I appreciated his honesty particularly when he was interviewing influencers such as President Obama but I think his uestions veered into being about his own ego and getting a 'gotcha' moment For the most part though I thought he was sensitive to the challenges his interviewees faced I do recommend it for no other reason than to cut through the hype and to understand the grand scale of both the problems we are all facing and the solutions they will reuireSite to help one think about one's own personal carbon use There's hope Leading solutions

  2. says:

    I read The Water Will Come under hazy yellow skies with the scent of woodsmoke hanging heavy in hot air my car dusted with a light coating of ash It took effort to breathe the air thick and sickly Forest fires all around me searing British Columbia to the north racing through the Cascades Mountains to the east Olympics to the west Oregon to the south We endure damp and dreary winters for the glory that is summer in the Pacific Northwest; months of blue skies gentle warmth and sunshine But I fear this is the new norm for summers in this pristine place of sea and mountains The world is on fire and at the same time sinking fast into the sea And we're not even close to being ready Sea level rise is one of the central facts of our time as real as gravity It will reshape our world in ways most of us can only dimly imagineWhat do forest fires in the West have to do with melting ice sheets and rising oceans? I hadn't put the two together until reading this urgent devastating vital read A backpacker’s campfire in the Western United States throws out a spark a tree ignites and soon the mountainside is burning and the soot is drifting up some of it lifted into the jet stream and settling into Greenland darkening the snow and accelerating the transformation of ice into water which runs down into the North Atlantic and eventually into Miami Shanghai New York Venice Mumbai Lagos and deeper stillGoodell a longtime editor for Rolling Stone concentrates much of his narrative in Miami and Miami Beach exposing the folly and corruption that built these sand castle communities the naïvete and stupidity and ostrich head burying that will eventually wash them away But Goodell also takes us to Manhattan and the Jersey Shore to view the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy 2012 the heartbreaking plunge of Venice the water ghettos of Lagos and the immediate peril in the Marshall Islands Alaska and Greenland As intensively studied as global warming and climate change have been in recent years not even the most dire predictions anticipated the rate at which the seas are rising The 2015 Paris Agreement was predicated on studies that assumed the sea would rise at the most three feet by 2100 Goodell introduces us to the current models that indicate the rise may be well over SIX feet We're going down uite literallyFor anyone living in Miami Beach or South Brooklyn or Boston’s Back Bay or any other low lying coastal neighborhood the difference between three feet of sea level rise by 2100 and six feet is the difference between a wet but livable city and a submerged cityWhat can we do? We have two choices work immediately toward slowing the temperature rise of our air by ending our use of and reliance on fossil fuels which we can replace with clean renewable sources of energy wind and solar This is happening of course on a small scale but hardly at the rate needed to slow the rise of temperatures and seas And with a Congress and White House in denial about climate change the United States is complicit in making this planet unsustainable by the minuteThe other tact is to adapt Goodell highlights several innovative and not a few harebrained ideas to live with or withstand rising seas or the flooding that accompanies hurricanes and typhoons Of course millions around the world live in communities perched on the edge of disaster and not just the entitled who claim South Beach; from Bangladesh to Boston poor communities are vulnerable to the inevitable Climate change leads directly to conflict and war Syria is the most immediate example The International Organization for Migration estimates there will be 200 million climate refugees by 2050I couldn't put this down as upsetting a read as it is Goodell made the facts accessible and fascinating he is as superb a storyteller as he is insightful a journalist This is essential reading I'm grateful for today's rain not the least for those battling these fires on the front line But the rain can't wash away the truth We're going down uite literally

  3. says:

    The water will come Anyone who has ever lived near water knows that water will find its way in if it has a mind to This book is largely about rising sea levels caused by climate change and melting glaciers and its impact on our society for the truth is our climate is changing and causing unusual weather patterns and problems around the world Personal experiences Our midwest home has been flooded twice by creek water in the last ten years after torrential rain storms And while we were in Aruba recently which has a desert climate the area was hit by a thunderstorm that dumped three inches of rain in about an hour blowing the manhole covers off sewers and flooding the streets with a foot of water The local residents were amazed they NEVER get rains like that Whatever happened to nice gentle soaking rains? Do you know what it's like to be scared when it rains? Even as a child growing up in suburban Detroit I remember sitting on the upper steps of our basement watching sewer water backing up and wondering how high it would come That problem was later solved by a twelve town drain system but the frightening memories still linger The National Flood Insurance Program is 23 billion in debt Who is paying for flood insurance claims? The taxpayer of course We are building where we shouldn't be We are building in floodplains on reclaimed swamps on the oceanfronts even though higher sea levels are being predicted and hurricanes happen freuently Jeff Goodell is a journalist who has interviewed scientists climate experts city planners politicians flood victims architects geo engineers etc to further his understanding of what the situation is and what might be done to solve the problems For the water will comeIf we want to minimize the impact of sea level rise in the next century here's how we do it stop burning fossil fuels and move to higher ground We wouldn't even have to stop burning fossil fuels tomorrow if we did it by 2050 that would be good enough It wouldn't entirely halt sea level rise but it would avoid the worst of it Thank you to NetGalley the author and publisher for providing me with an arc of this important new book for an honest review

  4. says:

    Jeff Goodell traveled the world to report on how rising sea levels are impacting human society across the globe His new book The Water Will Come takes readers to shrinking Alaskan glaciers with President Obama and into the flood prone homes of impoverished people living in Lagos NigeriaBy that time I'll be dead so what does it matter? uote from a Florida real estate developer The Water Will Come I long wondered how bad it would get before people broke down and changed how we live and do things I consider how Americans gave up comforts during WWII rationing all pulling together for a great cause we all believed in I don't see that happening today As Goodell points out fossil fuel empire Koch industries money has swayed government Private citizens can recycle and lower the heat and ride bicycles but the impact is small As long as governments are worried about big business than national security endangered by climate change we can't alter what is comingWhat? you ask; national security?Well consider that military bases across the nation and world are located in areas that WILL FLOOD Like the Norfolk Naval Base the Langley Air Force Base and NASA's Wallops Flight Facility Along with the financial district of New York City and expensive Florida beach front homes we will be losing the Ronald Reagan Ballistic Missile Defense Test Site in the Marshall Islands where 12000 Americans operate space weapons programs and track NASA researchSo if the loss of Arctic ice and habitat and the Inuit way of life doesn't concern you perhaps this information willSo many issues are raised in the book Consider We have not established how to deal with climate change refugees Where are these people going to go? Countries in Europe along with the US are closing borders the same countries whose fossil energy use is the primary cause of climate change behind rising sea levels What is their responsibility?There are a lot of ideas of how to deal with rising sea levels including the building of walls and raising cities It seems though that people are interested in coping with the change than addressing the root cause of climate change We just don't want to give up fossil fuelsThe book is highly readable for the general public Although the cover photo made me think of an action disaster movie the books is a well researched presentation of fact science and first person on the ground journalismI received a free book from the publisher through Goodreads

  5. says:

    The Water Will Come Rising Seas Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilized World was a riveting look at global warming by journalist Jeff Goodell and its manifestations throughout the world primarily focusing on Miami New York City New Orleans and Venice as well as many other countries including the Marshall Islands Goodell not only discusses the effects of global warming but also the rapidly rising seal levels and higher and higher tides as well as the effects of rising temperatures on the great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica I was particularly interested in Miami as we have property near the coast in southeast Florida where we spend time each year As we have heard elections have conseuences and that is never truer than today as we see the rollback and elimination of many of the EPA standards and guidelines as well as blatant denial and ridicule of the concept of climate change Our votes are crucial beginning at the local level as well as the national level It begins with this the climate is warming the world's great ice sheets are melting and the water is rising Sea level rise is one of the central facts of our time as real as gravity It will reshape our world in ways most of us can only dimly imagineOr as Harvard philosopher Roberto Mangabeira Unger put it At every level the greatest obstacle to transforming the world is that we lack the clarity and imagination to conceive that it could be differentYes we have had a lot of problems and yes it will reuire some radical thinking But I think this is an exciting time One of the greatest strengths of Miami is that it's still a new city growing and forming its identity There is so much energy and money and creativity here We just need to put it to work in a new way Reinaldo Borges

  6. says:

    Thoughts soon

  7. says:

    This is a journalist's book posing as serious writing The potential for coastal flooding caused by rapidly rising sea levels is genuine and acuteThis is a superficial look at the problem unnecessarily padded with character sketches of some of the politicians engineers scientists and activists involved Their lives may be or less interesting but their individual stories are nearly irrelevant to the issues the book half heartedly addresses This is a topic worthy of a serious and sophisticated analysis than this book presents I was disappointed; it had generally good reviews and I cannot imagine why

  8. says:

    I just returned from a Christmas break in the South Bay part of Los Angeles where multimillion dollar houses have been built along the strand next to the beach I was curious why no one seems to be concerned about sea level rise On the East Coast and southern Florida in particular the sea is already encroaching with every storm and high tide Jeff Goodell's book The Water Will Come provides some answers He describes how many parts of Florida were swamplands before they were drained and sold as valuable real estate Other neighborhoods were created by dredging sand from the seafloor and pumping it onto the shore In spite of this history all shorelines and seaside cities around the world are at significant risk due to the melting ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica Goodell describes the plight of Venice Italy and the efforts taken to postpone the ultimate fate of these places so important in human historyThis book is nonfiction and yet describes a future that sounds dystopian It is no longer a uestion of if the water will rise but rather when and how much Goodell describes a time he spent interviewing President Obama on his trip to Alaska to draw attention to the melting glaciers and villages threatened by sea level rise My impression is that the message of the book is not to frighten or discourage but to paint a realistic picture of what our world will be like if we ignore the signs and continue spewing greenhouse gases unabated

  9. says:

    It's October and in theory I should be reading something scary Then again this is pretty scary Jeff Goodell a journalist and a climate expert creates a hauntingly vivid picture of a very wet world to come Traveling the world visiting coastal cities across the globe that can potentially become the next Atlantis he talks to experts and locals to gain a well rounded perspective of the threats they are facing and the realities of their lives This isn't a mere alarmist reporting it's a thoroughly researched and compelling account of a very serious and fairly imminent danger it doesn't just raise uestions it offers solutions or possibilities thereof by showing how it's being addressed around the world It's very well written and reads at an almost thriller like pace no small feat for nonfiction depressing of course but it inspires thinking and certainly a conversation starter ever so timely and then at the same timeever so frustrating because this is precisely the sort of thing the majority of population dismisses either due to their inability to intellectually grasp the concept or greed or a combination of both Climate change deniers would label this book as sensationalist journalism And those who know the score don't need further proof or convincing So that's the frustrating anglethe message will not reach the target audience nothing will improve it fact recent politics have done such a tragic backslide that alone will probably take ages to undo It may not be too late yet but for anyone of reasonable intelligence following the news it's difficult to stay optimistic It may very well be auaapocalypse after all Why not read this smart informative account of some play by play international water action and then sit back and maybe rethink a Miami condo purchase Thanks Netgalley

  10. says:

    We are so screwed Disaster is coming and we are just going to sit here until it hits then ask why we weren’t prepared No one knows how much the seas will rise by 2100 three feet six fifteen? There are scientists supporting all of those numbers Any solution even for the lowest estimate will be horrendously expensive and the uncertainty of the scope of the problem combined with the lack of political foresight and courage the next election only time horizon and the aversion to raising taxes to pay for solutions means nothing will get done Cities will flood drinking water will be contaminated and the costs for remediation will be so high with so many places needing aid that the government will have no choice but to leave people to deal with their problems on their own On top of that no one knows how many climate refugees there will be by mid century but 200 million seems to be a popular guess Each chapter of the book focuses on a specific place and uses it to illuminate the larger issues at stake Miami is sinking in seawater and sewage; New York is increasingly vulnerable to another storm like 2012’s Sandy; Venice is also sinking with a huge pork barrel project underway that is doing little but lining the pockets of corrupt politicians and contractors; many Pacific islands face the existential threat of vanishing altogether; Lagos Nigeria is building a three suare mile artificial island off the coast so at least the wealthy will have a place to go Only in the Netherlands where they have lived with high water and low land for a very long time do they seem to have a realistic grasp of the problem and they understand that their options are limited and they can’t address everything Back to the United States where even in the face of unmistakable evidence of impending disaster denial is the primary response along with a childlike belief that technology will save us Republican Congressmen and mayors knowing well their political base continue to deny that there is any problem at all As the author succinctly puts it people who are concerned about climate change probably didn’t vote for Trump anywayThis is going to be bad It is going to be much much worse that even those who accept rising waters believe War disease political unrest mass migrations economic collapse and We are so screwed