What if Atlantis wasn't a myth, but an early precursor to a new age of great flooding? Across the globe, scientists and civilians alike are noticing rapidly rising sea levels, and higher and higher tides pushing more water directly into the places we live, from our most vibrant, historic cities to our last remaining traditional coastal villages. With each crack in the great ice sheets of the Arctic and Antarctica, and each tick upwards of Earth's thermometer, we are moving closer to the brink of broad disaster.
By century's end, hundreds of millions of people will be retreating from the world's shores as our coasts become inundated and our landscapes transformed. From island nations to the world's major cities, coastal regions will disappear. Engineering projects to hold back the water are bold and may buy some time. Yet despite international efforts and tireless research, there is no permanent solution-no barriers to erect or walls to build-that will protect us in the end from the drowning of the world as we know it.
The Water Will Come is the definitive account of the coming water, why and how this will happen, and what it will all mean. As he travels across twelve countries and reports from the front lines, acclaimed journalist Jeff Goodell employs fact, science, and first-person, on-the-ground journalism to show vivid scenes from what already is becoming a water world.
"An immersive, mildly gonzo and depressingly well-timed book about the drenching effects of global warming, and a powerful reminder that we can bury our heads in the sand about climate change for only so long before the sand itself disappears." (Jennifer Senior, New York Times)
Jeff Goodell is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the author of five books, including How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate, which won the 2011 Grantham Prize Award of Special Merit. Goodell's previous books include Sunnyvale, a memoir about growing up in Silicon Valley, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future.
Table of Contents
Prologue: Atlantis 5
1 The Oldest Story Ever Told 15
2 Living with Noah 31
3 New Climate Land 49
4 Air Force One 74
5 Real Estate Roulette 89
6 The Ferrari on the Seafloor 116
7 Walled Cities 145
8 Island States 165
9 Weapon of Mass Destruction 190
10 Climate Apartheid 213
11 Miami Is Drowning 233
12 The Long Goodbye 261
Epilogue: Condo Diving 290
Selected Bibliography 327
What People are Saying About This
Senator - Sheldon Whitehouse
“Sea level rise is coming. We know this as clearly as we know thermometer measurements, the melting point of ice, and the law of thermal expansion. Jeff Goodell’s book cuts through the fossil-fuel lies, and is a warning I hope we heed while there’s still time.”
author of United States of Jihad, and Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden - Peter Bergen
"In the tradition of Rachel Caron's Silent Spring and Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extiction, Jeff Goodell has written a deeply reported and very well written account of how rising sea levels are reshaping our world. Goodell has traveled seemingly everywhere that helps illuminate this profound shift from Greenland to Venice to Norfolk, Virginia to the Netherlands to Miami and he has written a powerful call to arms that is never preachy but is a very timely reminder that we ignore how climate change is raising sea levels only at great risk to our way of life."
John F. Kerry
"Jeff Goodell's latest contribution to the environmental cause paints an eye-opening portrait of humankind's dilemma as temperatures – and sea levels – continue to rise. The Water Will Come brings together compelling anecdotes from all over the globe and shocking expert assessments that should make the world's few remaining skeptics reconsider. Read this book for a reminder of the stakes – right now, today – and why we have to work harder, faster, to address the climate challenge.”
Pulitzer Prize-winning and New York Times bestselling author of The Sixth Extinction - Elizabeth Kolbert
"Jeff Goodell has taken on some of the most important issues of our time, from coal mining to geoengineering. In The Water Will Come, he explains the threat of sea level rise with characteristic rigor and intelligence. The result is at once deeply persuasive and deeply unsettling."
author of The World in 2050 - Laurence C. Smith
"Even if we could halt further growth in greenhouse gas emissions today, we would remain locked into several centuries of sea level rise ahead. Jeff Goodell's THE WATER WILL COME shows us how this stark truth will unfold, right down to individual human experiences."
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