Wednesday, January 23, 2013

#23 / Folding Water

Rising sea levels might occur because of naturally-caused changes in the processes that control and determine the character of the natural world. It is widely accepted, however, that the rising sea levels that we are currently witnessing, and that we anticipate in the future, are the result of our failure, collectively, to understand that the laws of nature can't be broken. The actions that we have undertaken (and are continuing to undertake) that increase the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have led, inevitably, to the phenomenon of global warming, and warmer global temperatures have led, inevitably, to rising sea levels.

Now the question is, what do we do about it? 

One approach would be to adapt to the world of nature in its latest iteration, a world in which sea levels will rise. That approach would mean moving the vital structures of our civilization back and away from the current shoreline, and from the places where we expect the shoreline to be in the future, as both global warming and rising sea levels continue. That approach, philosophically, suggests that we should adapt to and live within the natural world, instead of trying to engineer a different, human-built world that we might prefer. 

Of course, human beings can, and always have, gloried in their power to build a human world that is different from, and that they find preferable to, the world provided by Nature. Last June, I published a "Two Worlds Picture" that illustrates the phenomenon. 

In the Sunday, January 20th edition of the San Francisco Chronicle, news stories featured a plan that might protect existing human developments around the Bay from the results of rising sea levels. A contest has been held, in fact, to find ways to protect "our turf." One elegant solution, pictured above, is called "Folding Water." It would cost billions to implement, and it might or might not actually work. It is worth reading about.

It is also worth thinking about that "other" solution: getting out of the way of nature, and living within that Natural World that is the ultimate support for all life, including our own.

Image Credit:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for your comment!