Saturday, 4 January 2020

nach uns die sintflut

Taking a cue from ancient living coastal-hugging stalamites, colonial creatures called stromatolites (formerly wide-spread but now only found in Australia and Bermuda) that consist of layer-upon-layer of stratified microbial systems that play differing, symbiotic functions depending on where the high mater-mark has settled, researcher Jonathon Keats with Stuttgart’s Frauenhofer Institute for Building Physics suggests that we don’t try to address rising sea-levels by retreating further inland, a near impossibility since most of our conurbations—home to billions and our economic anchors are settled near the oceans, but rather by staying put.
Not only would the flood plain help mitigate extreme temperatures and the prospect that large cities may become unlivable heat-traps and avoid exacerbating the problem by making more land unavailable to uninterrupted forests in the process, levels of hi-rises being subsumed by the encroaching harbours adapting their function and growing upwards (timber buildings growing material for their next storey on the roof). It’s not a perfect nor an ideal form of redress but a realistic contingency and a more just one that may help us cope with the coming deluge without leaving vast swaths of humanity behind.