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Future threats of sea level rises and other annoyances

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  • Independent
    Massachusetts
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    Before it's too late (such as when Boston's streets are turned into Venice-like canals because of sea level rise.

    There's gotta be a profound and pervasive paradigm shift from what we consider conventional human existence. Ban car commuting. Even better, develop housing/working/walking proximities even within the same buildings. To a significant extent already taking place what with former warehouse and factory spaces now "lofts" within walking distance of city workplaces.
    Rising sea levels or storm surges make present cities impossible to maintain even by "Venicification", there's so much open land in this country and in others too (think Russia). Start from scratch and build integrated commercial and residential "foci" here and there, kind of what could be called "future-oriented townships" but complete with highrises . . . . or, perhaps subterranean development would be more advisable in that being surrounded by earth surely decreases heating and air conditioning costs. Lighting? Macro-fiberoptics.
    Already London has drastically curtailed automotive entry, I believe. Considering what I saw on the highways into Boston, the fuel waste and pollution to get into the city from (perhaps average 30) miles away at the rate of average 10 mph . . . . should be criminalized. And those thousands of cars creeping along . . . where the hell do they put them? Even in the Post Office Square subterranean garage (7 levels -- the construction phase to which I delivered was astounding) . . .only so many cars can fit in that and the other labyrinths.
    We created a distribution of people and places based on nostalgia (open land, even if just a big yard) and economics (cheaper the further from the city). For awhile this was a kind of utopia. But with population growth, it's become a total ecological disaster still called "progress". It's become a time-slavery (commute/work/commute and maybe a couple hours "free" if you want a decent night's sleep. The gain? The cost of gas, depreciation and deterioration of the spacecapsuleyacht 5 passenger vehicle that costs at least three whole days' income for payments and insurance and excise and unexpected major expenses.
    So there's 2 days a weekend (for most). With a sane scenario of life-style and work logistics, the family could cruise to wherever in their pw/ps/heated 8-way seat with memory/30 speaker satellite radio/self-parking/backup camera/ tire pressure display, touch screen dash/gps . . . . . . they could use it to drive in. Getting the ever increasing mpg (each model-year) while actually moving along.
    Regarding "cities from scratch" . . there's precedent. Salt Lake City, Utah. A rather unlikely location but look what the Mormons put together. Also notable, Israel (which could be considered a big, diversified city as well as country. And Dubai.
    Built for practicality, highest level sustainabiity and other tech, maximized efficiency, minimized mobility requirements of the populace, a new "trans-urban" generation of development may be required in order for developed-world humanity to survive various threats.
    Whether man's atavistic (livin' in the country) and atrocious (commuting back and forth) activities are the cause of the "changes they are a timing" now . . . is beside the point other than -- even if we just might be causing global warming, we should stop the specifics of causation as much as possible. And as soon.
    The issue and looming necessity is that we start planning ahead. And part of that will have to be less energy usage (even solar). Less pollution (by creating less waste inclusive of substance and emissions). Less water consumption (by "gray-water" re-use for "brown-water" flushing) and otherwise just plain less water use by law and/or by substitution of actual biota for lawns -- or artificial grass (the sales spokeswoman in the ads would be named Faye Klohnn).
    Actual inundations and erosions already creating crises, impending increments of sea levels inspiring engineering-level articles suggesting how some of Boston's streets could be converted to canals (a la Venice), it's past the point of placid "perhaps . . . perhaps . . . ." ponders.
    We wait too long to start restructuring our existence, it may be not only a matter of "past the point of no return" to submerged cities. It may be too late for survival as we know it.
    As for those billions in foreign, sea level realms, the recent Philippines should be the example -- of no way to get there and even if there were, nowhere to go because "there" is already over-occupied by others.

    A premise that the priority has to be maintaining the level of satisfaction, happiness, possession, choice, and in our culture de facto wastrel indulgence -- thus we can't think of decreasing or denying the people -- rather, we must be sure we come up with "alternatives fuels" (for example) is utopian delusion. The predicament of man is that the bases, the requirements, of his satisfaction, happiness etc. etc. . . . are excessive, may very well prove unsustainable by "sustainables". B
    But of greater existential threat -- the natural state it is a-changing. And our expectations and demands as if entitlements may be foreclosed by the geo-dynamic system's cycles, submersions, cryonics.
    Rather than research into self-driving cars, funds should be going into developing prototype paradigms (and even trial establishments) of self-perpetuating urban alternatives on a higher level . . . .
    On levels, yes not just altitude, but also ethos and efficiency and ecology and so much more engineered into a new paradigm of human existence.
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    along,
    Good post. Do you compose/write your posts ? I typically just sit and type. However yours are much longer. I like this one but there's a few issues. First of all it will require that a large number of people change how and on what they spend their money. To a 23 yr old it makes sense. To a senior citizen, they could probably not care less. Because the changes that will happen are down the line. Coastal cities (where a huge percentage of people live) won't be under water for 30 - 40 years. Maybe less, I don't know any actual estimations. It's certainly coming though. Greenland is melting fast as are the other areas with much ice. The social redesign idea is a good one. People should live, work, eat, shop, play - within a walking distance. How you get huge numbers onboard though.... I don't know.
    You're going to have those who paid a fortune to live in Miami, Boston, Manhattan, or Malibu really pissed off because their once expensive property will have become worthless.
    Your ideas on water conservation are certainly needed.
    Good Luck changing the world. Most are resistant to change. I do wish you luck though.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    The story about Boston streets turning into canals by 2040 was in the Boston Globe newspaper last week!
  • Center Left
    Independent
    Central, FL
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    Wow,
    That's 26 years. I bet if you walk down the street in most cities and ask people if and/or when that would happen, they would have no idea. It's certainly close enough that many more people will need to consider this. What to do with all of the billions of dollars worth of real estate ? I wouldn't be surprised if some said fill the bottom floor with cement and construct some elevated walkways.
    I'm going to look this topic up on the internet to get more details of what is anticipated.
  • Liberal
    Independent
    Durham, NH
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    Well don't forget most of Boston's Back Bay area was a swamp 150 years ago, before it was filled in, and Boston is a seaport. Bunker Hill ain't that high;(
  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    May be people wake up a tiny little bit; wars are more important than infrastructure. I that respect the Dutch, which country has been below sealevel since the apemen, at least learned on how to cope with water management. Sorry to say here they have no clue. A team of Dutch "civil" engineers were asked to advise New Orleans on how to prevent future flooding. Of course they followed it up only half way; thus results are known for the near future.
    Then we have in FL a corrupt Republican governor who controls the Army Corps of lousy engineers, who only dance to the tune of the governor and have no clue on water management nor clean water. Money is the only thing what counts. Looking at the Sandy disaster; they are rebuilding the same way right on the beach; very smart indeed. I guess it is the same as with our wars, we will never learn.
    But don't worry, Jesus will also take care of that as well our wars, Ebola etc. I asked "it" but he said I've never been in America; did not know it existed, so how can I help a country which does not exist? was "it's" answer?