Ministers should prepare the British people to "adapt" in the longer term to a landscape devastated by climate change, including the possible abandonment of parts of London and East Anglia, a leading industry body warns today.
Action to curb carbon emissions is failing, so the UK should immediately change the way it designs buildings, transport and energy infrastructure in preparation for a world potentially characterised by extreme heat and high sea levels, argues the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) in a new report. . . .
IMechE said that sea levels are predicted to rise by 2m by 2250 and 7m by the end of that century.
"A seven-metre rise in sea levels would impact on vast areas of the UK, including parts of London which border the Thames,[such as] Canary Wharf, Chelsea and Westminster, all of which would need to be abandoned," the report argues.
Although they were long-term predictions, the authors say Britain should be preparing for change today and they questioned whether Britain should be considering new nuclear power stations at places such as Sizewell on the Suffolk coast.
Tim Fox, head of environment and climate change at the IMechE and one of the authors of the publication, denied the institute was being alarmist or seeking to undermine actions against greenhouse gases. They were merely trying to be "pragmatic" engineers who needed to prepare for extreme scenarios, he said.
The action the members of IMechE want includes:
• Building new railways because many of the existing routes use valleys that could be flooded
• Building reservoirs underground to prevent evaporation
• Spending heavily on researching new forms of energy such as fusion
Environmentalists said the report was prescient. "If we don't take action quickly to reduce carbon emissiosns we could be facing catastrophic change. This could have long-term implications but the action needs to take place in the next few years, " said Robin Webster, energy and climate change campaigner at Friends of the Earth. . . .
Friday, February 13, 2009
Scuba gear for all
Classic piece of AGW hysteria in the Guardian today: