How should large coastal cities deal with gradually rising sea levels?

Sheffield, Jamaica Correspondent-Once again, the world has turned to science to solve, or at least provide answers to the elephant in the room. Sea levels are rising and people want to know to what extent did climate change affect the rising levels. Climate change seems to be at the heart of everything.

Especially for large cities situated along the coast, the catastrophe would definitely be immense if these levels continue to rise in the future. What can officials do to allay the anxiety of the people living along these areas?

There are several factors that could be tapped into, but I’d like to mention two.

Climate change is a monster. People need to wake up and realize that their actions and practices might not affect them immediately, but the atmosphere takes the blow.

Every hazardous gas we pump into the air adds up and affects rising sea levels. To deal with this problem, it takes a worldwide effort. People need to start doing things to better the atmosphere, not make it worse.

Another practical thing to do is to build. Build what? Build walls. Ha! Since Trump is putting things in place to build a massive wall, he might as well divide his resources and build a huge ass wall to separate those large cities and the sea.

My response to such a crucial question seems childish and frankly, it is. People need to grow up and stop building communities on WATER. No, it’s not safe to build because you want to look out at the ocean.

There are so many uninhabited places that can be developed to house people where they’re not threatened by water levels. Instead of building walls to keep people out, the government needs to get off his high horse and build walls to keep the waters out.

If that doesn’t work, God bless them.

Owatonna, MN Correspondent-Rising sea levels are the most immediate and obvious of the problems attributed to Climate Change, or Global Warming as it used to be called. Whether or not you believe the Earth is in danger, we all must adapt to whatever problems or crises Mother Nature throws at us.

One way to deal with rising sea levels is to fight the trend and try to preserve coastal cities by building dikes, dams, or sea walls to keep the sea water out. A modern-day example of this is the Netherlands, which has built massive dikes to keep its coastal cities from being flooded. Another solution is to adapt to water-filled streets like Venice, Italy did centuries ago by building a network of canals as a means of transportation and raising the livable parts of its buildings above the water line.

These solutions are temporary at best since it can’t be known exactly how high sea levels will rise in the future. A ten-foot-high sea wall may work for a time, but if sea levels rise eleven or more feet, the problem has been put off, not solved. The same goes for constructing canals and raising the habitable levels of buildings above the new “normal” sea level combined with tidal surge.

The only logical solution to rising sea levels is to discourage people and businesses from occupying seaside areas. If the federal government ends its flood insurance program, which essentially pays people and businesses to live and work in flood prone areas of the country, guess what? Logical individuals will conclude that it’s no longer worth the cost of occupying their coastal properties. The government should also begin limiting its declaration of disaster areas that are eligible for federal emergency which would be used to rebuild flooded buildings. Yes, help rescue people and clean up the messes, but don’t pay for anyone to rebuild a home or business in the same spot that was just flooded by storm surge from a hurricane.

However, a distinction must be made between discouraging coastal occupation and encouraging moving inland. Government-funded incentives like tax subsidies should not be offered to homeowners or businesses to encourage them to relocate to higher ground. Forcing those of us who don’t live and work in coastal areas to subsidize those who do is a recipe for an “entitlement disaster” as more and more people line up for their share of “free money,” a.k.a. a government handout.

Gastonia, NC Correspondent-Whether you believe in climate change or not, there’s simply no arguing with the fact that sea levels are rising worldwide. Whether it’s a warming climate or aliens hooking up secret invisible water pipelines in hopes of drowning us all, high tide is getting just a smidgen higher all over the world.

This will be a boon for many ports, as they’ll no longer have to spend so much on dredging to keep shipping channels open. However, the seaside or bayside subdivisions where their workers live might be a bit more challenging to inhabit when the roads are underwater.

For a solution, I’d look to Galveston right after the turn of the 20th century, when the damage from the 1900 hurricane was apocalyptic and the city fathers looked for a way to ensure that it never happened again. They built a wall (sound familiar) and they paid for it. The Galveston Seawall is a legendary feat of engineering, and has stood for over a century as a bulwark against storm surges and hurricane waves and has dramatically lessened storm damage on the island.

I’m not suggesting that Baltimore build a 60-foot concrete wall, but some smaller sort of construction should be undertaken to stave off Old Man Ocean before he decides to take over more than his fair share of the seaside. This will make beachside living a bit more challenging, as there will have to be a choice on which side of the wall to build, but it will be, in the end, a necessary evil.

Cartwright-This is sort of like trying to close the barn door after the horses have all escaped. People should have thought about this before building along the coasts. If you reside along the coast or own property along the coast or build something in a coastal city, you are fully aware of the risks and the reward of doing so. If you can buy insurance, get it. If you can’t, that’s your problem. The federal government shouldn’t be involved in insuring individuals and businesses in coastal cities. If the cost of insuring property in coastal cities is prohibitively high, people with either accept the risk of having no insurance, they’ll build elsewhere, or they’ll find alternative insurance opportunities.

In addition, the federal government shouldn’t be involved in building seawalls or dikes or levees to protect coastal cities. This equate to taxpayers insuring those who choose to live and build in coastal cities. If local governments want to invest in this type of infrastructure or privatize the construction of this infrastructure, more power to them. The end result might be that taxes become prohibitively high in places where they do this, but that’s the cost of living in paradise.

Likewise, I don’t think the federal government should be involved in insuring or investing in resources for those areas prone to floods, wildfires, tornadoes, massive snowstorms, or earthquakes such as places built on faults like in California. That’s what the private insurance markets are for. Allow insurance companies from all over to compete for hurricane insurance business in Florida or tornado coverage in Oklahoma or earthquake coverage in California and property owners in these areas will have options. They may not like the options or the cost of those options, but that’s life. It’s not up to the taxpayers to be underwriting insurance for those in disaster prone areas.

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