Call for submissions for volume 2!

We’ve just finished a successful Kickstarter that raised $660 from backers.  That money will fund prizes for authors who submit the best “visions” (short essays of 800-1,000 words) of how we might (not) adapt to life in a climate-changed world.

Visions are “fictional” because they take place in the future, but they are based on the storyteller’s imagination or practitioner’s knowledge.

Anyone can submit a story or perspective no matter the author’s background, qualifications or job.

There will be four categories of prizes:

  • Best story by a storyteller
  • Best perspective by a practitioner
  • Best story or perspective by an author under 26 years old
  • Best story or perspective by an author from an economically-developing country

At the moment, the first/second/third prizes will be $100/$50/$25 in each category. The prize will be higher if we get more donations 🙂

The deadline for submissions is 15 Sep, 2017. 

Read the free version of Life Plus 2 Meters (volume 1) for examples of visions. Read up on the science or some “food for thought” blog posts to think more about how climate change might affect us.

To read about format and submission guidelines, go here.

If you’re ready to submit now, then please send your vision, bio and photo to dzetland@gmail.com

Life plus 2,000 meters

Mark Newcomb writes: 

I’m a county commissioner for Teton County, Wyoming, which is a gateway to Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone (97% of our land is federally managed), destination for the rich and famous and 4 million more people per year (here’s our local magazine). I was born and raised here. I’m passionate about our community, but I’m concerned about its trajectory.

Life Plus 2 m for those of us living 2,000 m above sea level has a much different set of implications. (I co-authored this report on local climate change impacts.)

One implication is that soon, apparently, our elevation will be 1,998 meters 🙂

Another is that the snowpack above 2,500 m that now reaches depths of 3+ meters and stores an entire reservoir (or two) of water is now coming down out of the mountains sooner and sometimes more rapidly than when water rights were established. Early, fast melt has implications for irrigated agriculture in the valleys, aquifers that drain into bigger rivers and streams (such as the Snake River), and water allocation.

Early summer runoff used to flood irrigate alfalfa fields at about the right time to get the crops off to a good start, and much of the water was utilized. Earlier runoff has reduced use by upstream farmers and helped downstream big ag expand. Upstream farmers are becoming less productive so they are more inclined to subdivide into sprawling, dispersed development that ultimately harms communities that want to preserve their character, open spaces and wildlife.

As a policy maker, I’m constantly pondering good policy in the face of these challenges we face. (Here’s an interesting example of how the right efforts in the right context can bring about good results.)

Please get in touch if you have ideas. I’ll reward you with a few stories from the “good ol’ days.”

How bad is the warming world going to get?

From the always-direct Straight Dope:

Sea levels just two meters higher will displace 2.5 million people from Miami, 1.8 million from Mumbai, more than a million each in New York and New Orleans, etc. We’re already exacerbating this problem — i.e., in ways beyond our economic addiction to fossil fuels. More people are moving to coastal cities, leading to construction on land previously left undeveloped precisely because of flood risk. In some places, increased population can overtax the groundwater, causing cities to subside — literally sink as water is pumped from below. Sunny seaside Jakarta, with a metro area now home to 30 million, is expected to drop six feet by 2025 — an inopportune development, one might say, what with oceans on their way up.

Life plus 20 meters!

Deltares — the Dutch semi-governmental thinktank charged with researching flood safety (and other topics) — had a “hackathon” around the topic of adapting to a 20-meter increase in sea levels. (They say by the year 2500, but that time scale may be too conservative.)

In their report on the hackathon [in Dutch], they give three different scenarios for the Dutch “Randstad” (the area where I live that includes Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, etc.)

The top left has a “beautiful wall” to keep the sea from flooding below sea-level ground and top right has “beautiful walls” to keep the sea and rivers out of lower ground. On the bottom, you see cities above the sea (on  deeper bases), which is the vision I think most likely.

H/T to LJ