I visited the Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Naples, Florida.
This reserve conserves a part of the coastline with its natural vegetation, so there are some interesting (if slightly soggy) walks to be taken here, and it makes for a nice afternoon outing on a cool winter day. It also has a learning center, and one exhibit particularly caught my attention. It was a chart of accelerating carbon emissions. It showed an exponential growth, with a future projection far above the present level. It caught my attention because Florida is a red state, and the United States is the only country left where one major party denies the science of climate change. However, this was a learning center, and thus, I suppose, could be counted on for a “liberal” point of view. Note, however, that the exhibit gave a graph of increasing numbers, and nothing about any human causes of climate change.
The Rookery Bay is right at sea level, and right to be worried about climate change, and the consequent rising sea levels. Parts of New York City, where I live, are less than 5 feet above sea level, and sea levels are almost certain to rise more than that in the next few decades. I am convinced, in this case, of the power of money. Enough rich and powerful people’s interests are affected that there will be a plan to save the city. Perhaps some sort of sea wall. When I think of climate change, I worry more about a country whose inhabitants think it can’t be saved. Maldives, which is entirely at sea level, is preparing for the coming years by buying land in the Australian outback to transplant its people when its lands drown. This fills me with purely selfish sadness — Maldives is one of the prettiest snorkeling destinations that I have visited. This is a Maldives video that I have linked to before.
I want Maldives to endure for future generations. I want the whole world to endure for future generations. And it makes me shake my head in disbelief when people argue about the science of climate change. This is a threat to all of humanity. How can we not be united in taking actions to fight it?