Retreat from a Rising Sea: Hard Choices in an Age of Climate Change

Orrin H. Pilkey, Linda Pilkey-Jarvis, and Keith C. Pilkey. Columbia Univ., $29.95 (208p) ISBN 978-0-23116-844-1
Orrin H. Pilkey (The Rising Sea), a Duke University professor emeritus of geology, joins geologist Pilkey-Jarvis and attorney Keith C. Pilkey to provide further warnings about the rising oceans that accompany climate change. After explaining the mechanics behind the irreversible surge in sea level, the authors contend that coastal residents worldwide must prepare to move inland (“We can walk away methodically, or we can flee in panic”). By examining past responses to rising sea levels, particularly in Miami, New Orleans, New York City, and the Netherlands, the authors convincingly argue for retreat, taking into account expenses and repercussions, including the displacement of environmental refugees from vulnerable areas such as river deltas and arctic villages. While “immediate retreat is already being forced” on millions around the world, the U.S. largely refuses to face the inevitability of the rising ocean, instead building ineffectual seawalls, subsidizing beachfront development, and bailing out coastal homeowners. This accessible, impassioned argument considers the scientific, political, and socioeconomic dimensions of climate change and fervently presses for Americans to come to terms with the disastrous changes to the world’s oceans sooner rather than later. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/04/2016
Release date: 05/01/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 240 pages - 978-0-231-54180-0
Paperback - 240 pages - 978-0-231-16845-8
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