From Publishers Weekly
Veteran academics Pilkey (The Corps and the Shore) and Young (a geoscientist and Pilkey's former student) team up to offer a rational approach to inevitably rising sea levels over the next century, an unprecedented problem for human civilization: for the first time a densely developed shoreline is putting the ways of life of millions of people at risk." Even with a significant reduction in carbon emissions, sea levels will continue to rise and, combined with increasingly severe storms, force a retreat from the shoreline. Thus, the authors make a strong case for an immediate halt to high-rise construction "in areas vulnerable to future sea level rise" coupled with the relocation of buildings and infrastructure, to be executed "when major maintenance is needed." Simultaneously, steps should be taken to protect coastal marshes, mangroves and especially coral reefs ("the most biologically diverse environments in the modern ocean"). Pilkey and Young make short work of costly plans like sea walls and artificial beaches, with provide no long-term protection. Pilkey and Young's balanced, optimistic perspective on the tough decisions that lie ahead should garner interest from policy makers and real estate developers as well as environmentalists.
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"A must read for all Americans. The authors are among our most eminent coastal scientists. They deliver, in clear and measured prose, an urgent message explaining how rising sea levels will affect New York, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles and every coastal community in our country."
(Bruce Babbitt former Secretary of the Interior
"An excellent, easy-to-read exploration of how oceans change and how the changes affect people—their property, their relationship to nature, and their perception of what is permanent. This is a fascinating book for all concerned about the state of the planet we are leaving to our descendants."
(John M. Teal scientist emeritus, Woods Hole Oceanograhic Institution
"The Rising Sea is a must-read, not only for those of us living on the coast but for everyone concerned about meeting the challenges of the future."
"The Rising Sea takes on a host of contentious issues, ranging from the science of climatology to the politics of coastal planning to the economics of engineering, all the while taking into account the perverse psychology of a populace loath to acknowledge the truth when doing so proves disruptive. Although insistent, Pilkey and Young are never unduly alarmist."
(Issues in Science and Technology
"One of the things I like best about The Rising Sea is its inclusion of many examples of climate-change adaptation, which suggests an emerging emphasis on climate-change adaptation and linkages between the natural world and people."
"Pilkey and Young's balanced, optimistic perspective on the tough decisions that lie ahead should garner interest from policy makers and real estate developers as well as environmentalists."
"The Rising Sea....is a book that is likely to inspire many. The authors knowledgably and effectively sound the retreat from the coast."
(Electronic Green Journal
"Sea level rise is a lurking dragon. Experts chart its pulse nervously, but speak quietly. Pilkey and Young pierce this reticence, telling a story that the public must understand—or the dragon may burst out of humanity's control."
(Dr. James E. Hansen Director, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies