Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Effects of Rising Sealevels

NYT - Sea’s Rise in India Buries Islands and a Way of Life
The sinking of Ghoramara can be attributed to a confluence of disasters, natural and human, not least the rising sea. The rivers that pour down from the Himalayas and empty into the bay have swelled and shifted in recent decades, placing this and the rest of the delicate islands known as the Sundarbans in the mouth of daily danger.

Certainly nature would have forced these islands to shift size and shape, drowning some, giving rise to others. But there is little doubt, scientists say, that human-induced climate change has made them particularly vulnerable.

A recent study by Sugata Hazra, an oceanographer at Jadavpur University in nearby Calcutta, found that in the last 30 years, nearly 31 square miles of the Sundarbans have vanished entirely.
Now obviously all of the problems here are not global warming/global climate change related. But it seems to me that if it is at all accentuated by the build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere then those responsible should shoulder some of the burden. Doesn't that comport with our own sense of justice? If you are at least partially responsible then you bear at least part of the burden of the consequences?

And even if human activities is not totally to blame for global climate change, shouldn't we try to reduce our contributions. As my sister loves to say, human activities don't cause it to get warmer in the summer time, but we all have sense enough to stop running our heaters when it gets hot outside.

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