Two articles on climate change impacts have caught my attention. The first (https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/07/news-internet-underwater-sea-level-rise/) shows how our fabled internet could soon fall victim to sea level rise. This is because a lot of the net’s physical structure is sited where people live, namely in cities on coasts. The risk from sea level rise does not appear to have been much of a consideration as the internet evolved. But much of this infrastructure will have to be protected or moved (one could say the same about coastal cities too). At what cost, who knows? What will come first, saving cyberspace or living space? The opportunities for capitalism will be endless. This point was rather emphasised in another article, this time about the current ‘climate refugees’ of New York (https://newrepublic.com/article/154044/new-york-superstorm-sandy-economic-climate-migrants). Residents in some poorer neighbourhoods have not recovered from 2012’s Hurricane Sandy and are seeking to leave. Their problems, it is true have been compounded by other issues, such as the costs of property protection, higher insurance and a sclerotic government response (the U.S. doesn’t seem to do efficiency very well when it comes to poorer people), not to mention speculative property developers.
These things are and will be increasingly happening in the world’s most powerful economy. An economy which has neglected its infrastructure for decades. What will be the tipping point for Washington (which was flooded this week)? Horror of horrors, must we see Mar A Lago flooded before the President acts (and don’t all shout ‘the sooner the better!)?