Climate: even the rich cry

Even the rich cry. In the UK, sea level rise, according to a study by researchers from the Tyndall Center at the University of East Anglia, will force it to abandon around 200,000 coastal properties within 30 years due to the climate crisis. These are homes that cannot be saved, or that it will be too expensive to try to save, with measures such as dikes and other coastal defenses. Among the most vulnerable areas are North Somerset, Sedgemoor, Wyre, North East Lincolnshire and Swale.

The hardest truth

The study comes after the warning from the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, James Bevan, that “in the long run, climate change means that some of our societies will not be able to stay where they are. This is because even though we can improve safety and build better after most river floods, we can not recover land that coastal erosion has removed or that sea level rise has permanently submerged. (…) In some places, the right answer – in economic, strategic and human terms – will be to distance society from dangers instead of trying to protect them from the inevitable consequences of rising sea levels.It is “the hardest of unpleasant truths”.

The value of homes at risk is in the tens of thousands of billions of pounds, and the rise in sea levels that will lead to floods is now almost inevitable given the increasing pace of climate change. Sea levels on the British coast are expected to rise by around 35 cm by 2050. In addition, erosion of the coasts, leading to higher waves, especially in the event of storms. Previous estimates were lower, but they did not hold.

“We must honestly discuss with coastal communities that it will not be possible to protect all homes and businesses from rising sea levels,” added Jim Hall, professor of climate and environmental hazards at the University of Oxford. “These changes will come faster than we think, and we need to plan how we adapt now, including a strategic approach at the national level to decide how to manage the coast in a sustainable way in the future. “

There is no more time

“Unfortunately, we must bitterly state how far we are from achieving the desired goals in combating climate change. It must be said honestly: we can not afford it! ‘. Thus, Pope Francis spoke at COP26 in Glasgow last October (here) and reiterated how climate change will once again weigh on the shoulders of the poorest. “There is no longer time to wait; there are now too many human faces suffering from this climate crisis: in addition to its increasingly frequent and intense impact on the daily lives of many people, especially the most vulnerable sections of the population, (…) environmental migrants will soon become more than conflict refugees . We must act with haste, courage and responsibility. Also acts to prepare for a future where humanity is able to take care of itself and nature.

British research gives a clear signal: Even the richest countries will not be immune to the effects of the ecological crisis. One must hope that the world emergency will not trigger a “race” to save those who can, and for themselves, which would first and foremost punish the poorest again and in the long run would be ineffective in reversing the course. It is necessary for the international community to become aware of this global challenge and to take decisions on the urgent implementation of collective, supportive and far-sighted actions. And it is at this turning point that it would be valuable to incorporate the great religious traditions, both for bringing the visions of the human-cosmos relationship into play that they have, and for their educational commitment in the formation of conscience and in the transformation of reality.

«Organic culture can not be reduced to a series of acute and partial reactions to the problems that arise regarding environmental degradation, depletion of nature reserves and pollution. It should be one different appearance, a thought, a policy, an educational program, a lifestyle and a spirituality that give shape to a resistance to the advance of the technocratic paradigm. Otherwise, even the best ecological initiatives can end up in the same globalized logic. To look only for a technical remedy for any environmental problem that arises means to isolate things that are connected in reality “(LS, no. 111).

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