Monday, November 20, 2006

10 years for Manhattan?

So, twice in the last week I've heard people near me refer to a magazine article that claimed Manhattan would be underwater in ten years. Now, of course, the official Red Cross position is that there'll be a Category 5 hurricane in Manhattan in the next five years; I know they don't know, and I wouldn't expect magazine writers to be any more on the ball.

By which ball I mean crystal.

But, I'm happy to hear it's in the zeitgeist. The faster we start responding to climate change, the more we should be able to mitigate the damage. Well, that's the whole argument for prudence. But, I'm curious as to where the ten-year figure came from. James Hansen believes we have no more than ten years to act meaningfully, not that Manhattan will be underwater in ten years.

Does anyone have this reference? What magazine is this?


Nephos said...

Yeah, I'm not sure I understand where 10 years for planet earth comes from. Some blather about co2 being "outside the normal range of natural variability in recent epochs". Like, whatever.

I dunno. Economic inertia would seem to imply that it is already too late then. Good thing you live in a penthouse suite

Rionn Fears Malechem said...

I'm not sure that 'economic inertia' is any less hand-wavy. We as a country can change quickly! Remember, one day we were all just driving around, and after the President exhorted us to keep shopping, we started driving around with huge flags strapped to our SUVs.