🌊Rising Sea Levels Will Kill 40 Million In Our Lifetime

🌊Rising Sea Levels Will Kill 40 Million In Our Lifetime
Art: Paula Rego, Flood, 1996

It has recently come out that the rate of ice melt on Greenland has increased by eight times (yes that is right, eight times). I have yet to speak to the relevant scientists involved, but it seems reasonable to assume that it has more than doubled every decade. 

Greenland Cascading 30 Million Tons Per Hour
Facing Future.tv recently conducted an interview about spooky new developments in Greenland. The ice sheet is cascading/gushing at unheard of rates never

Why does no one do the social science on these numbers? 

I’m a social scientist. More specifically, I did Phd research at King's College London for five years. More specifically still, you might say I learnt how to do maths about society without fear or favour. Which, as you can see below, is a radical thing to do. 

So let's get going and do a bit of maths...

This decade we are looking at 12,500 cubic kilometres of melt. Given the latest report, we should double it each decade from now on. Greenland has 2.9 million cubic kilometres of ice. So, effectively, the whole of Greenland will have melted by around 2080. That’s within the lifetime of people in their 20s or younger today. That will raise sea levels by seven metres. 

To get a flavour of the geophysical amplifiers involved watch this video on Youtube by two expert professors: Greenland: Ice Loss Accelerating.

Taking into account the melt of other areas of the world, such as Antarctica, we can estimate that effectively everyone living within 10 metres of present sea levels will have to move. That would be 600 million people today - more like 750 million, given an increase in the world’s population to 10 billion from today's 8 billion by the mid century. 

In a conservative estimate this will lead to 40 million deaths in war (5% of the total refugees), given the “war” will continue forever (i.e. the sea level will continue to rise). It will lead to  20 million women being raped (look at the relationship between those killed in social breakdown/war and rape in places like Congo, Rwanda, Nanking - it’s around 50% of deaths).

Add in the numbers already established for temperature rise (extreme heat) - 1 billion refugees at 2॰C, 2 billion at 3॰C of warming. 

These numbers do not include the refugees caused by sea level rise. 

So let's say 2.5 billion displaced people towards the end of the century - one in four people on the planet - 125 million deaths in war/social breakdown and 60 million raped women. 

And the most important point: it does not stop - the ice continues to melt. This is nothing compared with what the 2100s will bring. 

This is the main scenario for this century with our present knowledge. It's 50% likely to happen with a 25% chance of doubling because of the compounding effects of endless social collapse and fascistic dysfunctionality (things did not end well for Germany in 1945). And a 25% chance of these numbers being halved if there are democratic revolutions which create rational policies to slash emissions and do geo-engineering (though sea level rise is now locked in regardless of what happens to emissions - it's warm: ice melts).

What to do about it is a question only those who are still in denial ask. It is beyond obvious to the 1% of the population with “self knowledge”, as Timothy Synder calls it. Give up your job and dedicate your life to enacting revolutions. So that when all this shit happens you haven't got the additional shit of knowing you stood by and did nothing effective to stop it.


Want to join me? Sign up my monthly Zoom call.

You can join nonviolent civil resistance with Just Stop Oil in the UK or via the A22 Network internationally. Alternatively, you can now sign up for a new Citizen's Assembly project I'm helping called Humanity.


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