The World Bank paints an incredibly bleak picture of the effects of global warming on the most vulnerable regions of the planet.

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    The World Bank paints an incredibly bleak picture of the effects of global warming on the most vulnerable regions of the planet.

    Major Asian cities underwater. Millions trapped in poverty. Africa plunged into drought and plagued by food shortages. Flooding of Biblical proportions.

    No, that's not the plot to some summer blockbuster set to hit theaters this weekend. That's what a new report from the World Bank says will be our reality within our lifetimes thanks to global warming and climate change

    The alarming report shows what only a two-degree celsius rise in global temperatures will do to our planet within the next 20 to 30 years. Among the scariest conclusions:

    • Events like the mammoth Pakistan floods of 2010—which affected 20 million people—will become commonplace, and the monsoon season could bring a major crisis.
    • Manilla, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ho Chi Minh City and Bangkok could find themselves underwater or threatened by intense cyclones and water shortages.
    • By the 2030s, doughts and heat will render 40 percent of current maize-growing land unusable. By the 2050s, depending on where you are on the continent, the proportion of the population that is undernourished will increase by 25 to 90 percent.
    • People everywhere will be forced into urban areas, exposing even greater numbers of people in informal settlements to disease, pandemics, heatwaves and floods.

    "This new report outlines an alarming scenario for the days and years ahead—what we could face in our lifetime," said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. "The scientists tell us that if the world warms by 2°—warming which may be reached in 20 to 30 years—that will cause widespread food shortages, unprecedented heat-waves, and more intense cyclones. In the near-term, climate change, which is already unfolding, could batter the slums even more and greatly harm the lives and the hopes of individuals and families who have had little hand in raising the Earth's temperature."

    15 Cities Threatened by Climate Change

    The World Bank alarm bells are just the latest to sound about the the havoc climate change and man-made global warming will cause to the planet. Last week, TakePart laid out exactly what the world has learned in the seven years since An Inconvenient Truthkickstarted the global conversation on climate change, and former Vice President Al Gorechallenged President Obama to finally "get serious" about tackling the issue.

    [Full report in .pdf format]

     
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    Jeff Goodell has a must-read piece in Rolling Stone, “Goodbye, Miami: By century’s end, rising sea levels will turn the nation’s urban fantasyland into an American Atlantis. But long before the city is completely underwater, chaos will begin.”

    Goodell has talked to many of the leading experts on Miami including Harold Wanless, chair of University of Miami’s geological sciences, department, source of the headline quote. The reason climate change dooms Miami is a combination of sea level rise, the inevitability of ever more severe storms and storm surges — and its fateful, fatal geology and topology, which puts “more than $416 billion in assets at risk to storm-related flooding and sea-level rise”:

    South Florida has two big problems. The first is its remarkably flat topography. Half the area that surrounds Miami is less than five feet above sea level. Its highest natural elevation, a limestone ridge that runs from Palm Beach to just south of the city, averages a scant 12 feet. With just three feet of sea-level rise, more than a third of southern Florida will vanish; at six feet, more than half will be gone; if the seas rise 12 feet, South Florida will be little more than an isolated archipelago surrounded by abandoned buildings and crumbling overpasses. And the waters won’t just come in from the east – because the region is so flat, rising seas will come in nearly as fast from the west too, through the Everglades.

    Even worse, South Florida sits above a vast and porous limestone plateau. “Imagine Swiss cheese, and you’ll have a pretty good idea what the rock under southern Florida looks like,” says Glenn Landers, a senior engineer at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This means water moves around easily – it seeps into yards at high tide, bubbles up on golf courses, flows through underground caverns, corrodes building foundations from below. “Conventional sea walls and barriers are not effective here,” says Robert Daoust, an ecologist at ARCADIS, a Dutch firm that specializes in engineering solutions to rising seas.

    The latest research “suggests that sea level could rise more than six feet by the end of the century,” as Goodell notes, and “Wanless believes that it could continue rising a foot each decade after that.”

    Prudence dictates we plan for the plausible worst case. Coastal studies experts told the NY Times back in 2010, “For coastal management purposes, a [sea level] rise of 7 feet (2 meters) should be utilized for planning major infrastructure.”

    Unfortunately, sea level rise is already 60% faster than projected. Goodell reports:

    “With six feet of sea-level rise, South Florida is toast,” says Tom Gustafson, a former Florida speaker of the House and a climate-change-policy advocate. Even if we cut carbon pollution overnight, it won’t save us. Ohio State glaciologist Jason Box has said he believes we already have 70 feet of sea-level rise baked into the system.

    Certainly without sharp cuts in CO2 starting ASAP, Jason Box is correct (see “Manmade Carbon Pollution Has Already Put Us On Track For 69 Feet Of Sea Level Rise”).

    So we need a combination of aggressive mitigation combined with massive spending to develop completely new adaptation solutions for Miami to have any serious chance of surviving this century intact.

    Sadly, Florida is one of the last places in the country where such action and planning can be expected:

    Those solutions are not likely to be forthcoming from the political realm. The statehouse in Tallahassee is a monument to climate-change denial. “You can’t even say the words ‘climate change’ on the House floor without being run out of the building,” says Gustafson. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, positioning himself for a run at the presidency in 2016, is another denier, still trotting out the tired old argument that “no matter how many job-killing­ laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather.” Gov. Rick Scott, a Tea Party Republican, says he’s “not convinced” that global warming is caused by human beings. Since taking office in 2011, Scott has targeted environmental protections of every sort and slashed the budget of the South Florida Water Management District, the agency in charge of managing water supply in the region, as well as restoration of the Everglades. “There is no serious thinking, no serious planning, about any of this going on at the state level,” says Chuck Watson, a disaster-­impact analyst with longtime experience in Florida. “The view is, ‘Well, if it gets real bad, the federal government will bail us out.’ It is beyond denial; it is flat-out delusional.”

    Goodell’s whole article is worth reading, not just for the sober view of what South Florida faces but also for the beautiful writing:

    When it rains in Miami, it’s spooky. Blue sky vanishes and suddenly water is everywhere, pooling in streets, flooding parking lots, turning intersections into submarine crossings. Even for a nonbeliever like me, it feels biblical, as if God were punishing the good citizens of Miami Beach for spending too much time on the dance floor. At Alton Road and 10th Street, we watched a woman in a Toyota stall at a traffic light as water rose up to the doors. A man waded out to help her, water up to his knees. This flooding has gotten worse with each passing year, happening not only after torrential rainstorms but during high tides, too, when rising sea water backs up through the city’s antiquated drainage system. Wanless, 71, who drives an SUV that is littered with research equipment, notebooks and mud, shook his head with pity. “This is what global warming looks like,” he explained. “If you live in South Florida and you’re not building a boat, you’re not facing reality.”

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    "At Alton Road and 10th Street, we watched a woman in a Toyota stall at a traffic light as water rose up to the doors"

    Funny, we are expected to accept as gospel climate scientists' claim to know the sea levels of the next century; yet some poor woman in Miamai gets stuck on a flood when the same climate scientists cant predict the next day's weather....

     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hansoribrother. Show Hansoribrother's posts

    Obama was sweating like crazy while giving his speech on June 24 at Georgetown Univ. YEs, it is summer in Washington DC but..

    GLOBAL WARMING!!!!! SCIENTIFIC PROOF!!! WE ARE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!

    $TRILLIONS MORE NEEDED NOW BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     

     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    On the other hand, if any of those Florida beach dwelling folk want to sell their property to me for pennies on the dollar I'll be happy to listen.

     

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  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from MrCricket. Show MrCricket's posts

    more ad hominems.. zero substance.. surprise surprise! jen the hall monitor should be here soon to give you a lecture on BDC ethics.

     
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  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from MrCricket. Show MrCricket's posts

    Cool

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    You da man!

     

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    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    In response to MrCricket's comment:

    more ad hominems.. zero substance.. surprise surprise! jen the hall monitor should be here soon to give you a lecture on BDC ethics.




    Aren't the golobal warming people simply trying to push their religion on the rest of us?

    Are they not screaming "fire" in a crowded theater?

     

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from skeeter20. Show skeeter20's posts

    In response to MrCricket's comment:

    more ad hominems.. zero substance.. surprise surprise! jen the hall monitor should be here soon to give you a lecture on BDC ethics.




    Aren't the golobal warming people simply trying to push their religion on the rest of us?

    Are they not screaming "fire" in a crowded theater?

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from MrCricket. Show MrCricket's posts

    In response to skeeter20's comment:

    In response to MrCricket's comment:

     

    more ad hominems.. zero substance.. surprise surprise! jen the hall monitor should be here soon to give you a lecture on BDC ethics.

     




    Aren't the golobal warming people simply trying to push their religion on the rest of us?

     

    Are they not screaming "fire" in a crowded theater?

     



    well, first, they are called scientists. second, their scientific findings aren't a religion. 

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    well, first, they are called scientists. second, their scientific findings aren't a religion.

    Well, what would YOU call an irrational attachment to an unproven belief system for which contrary evidence is piling up daily?

     

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    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    I hope I'm not hurting your feelings with that last post.

     

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    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from MrCricket. Show MrCricket's posts

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

     

    well, first, they are called scientists. second, their scientific findings aren't a religion.

     

    Well, what would YOU call an irrational attachment to an unproven belief system for which contrary evidence is piling up daily?

     

    --

    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.



    well, there's no dogma involved with climate change. as for the contrary evidence... am i just supposed to take your word on that? or would you like to actually provide some of that evidence?

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from MrCricket. Show MrCricket's posts

    In response to StalkingButler's comment:

    I hope I'm not hurting your feelings with that last post.

     

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    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.



    i don't believe you're capable of hurting my feelings. so, no worries Cool

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from StalkingButler. Show StalkingButler's posts

    well, there's no dogma involved with climate change. as for the contrary evidence... am i just supposed to take your word on that? or would you like to actually provide some of that evidence?

    It's one of the most dogmatic areas of science today. Do some reseach on how "gatekeepers" like Michael Mann and Philip Jones have, amongst other things, conspired to exclude dissenting studies from peer review journals. These people are just as bad as the medieval Catholic Church.

    Regarding evidence, I provide it in these forums all the time. Look it up.

     

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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from MrCricket. Show MrCricket's posts

    ahhh "gatekeepers".. sounds like an alex jones conspiracy. lol

     
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