- Product Author
- John Englander
- The Science Bookshelf
- Publication Date
- Item Number
John Englander, an LFBC member, explains the issues of sea level from a totally different perspective. The view is stunning. Rather than focusing on projections about how many inches of rise we might see by 2050 or 2100, he puts it in historical context showing how it moves up and down more than 300 feet with each ice age cycle. Written in a conversational style, without any scientific jargon, he takes us through the big picture with anecdotes and examples that are vivid and memorable, like using a 47 floor elevator to describe past and potential vertical sea level changes.
The author’s credibility comes from an amazing oceanographic bio plus the fact that he described a storm exactly like Sandy hitting Atlantic City and impacting New York City to explain that location’s surprising vulnerability. Eerily the book was published one week before Sandy hit that exact location. That alone justifies paying attention to some of his other examples.
High Tide On Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis avoids hysteria, and does not advocate any top-down political solutions. There are dozens of easy illustrations, as well as plenty of endnote references, though the text itself is entirely convincing due to the way he connects all the dots.
This book generally encourages free market solutions, points to the folly of subsidized coastal flood insurance, and warns that no government will be able to compensate for the losses from rising sea level that will only accelerate in the coming decades.
Englander makes a strong case that coastal property values will soon begin to adjust downward recognizing the new reality that coastal land is no longer permanent. For the first time in 6,000 years the sea is rising and the coastline is moving inland. The sooner we adapt to that reality the better. He believes that delay and denial will only make things worse for future generations — noting the parallel with our fiscal folly.