Adapting to Rising Tides: John Englander on 'Moving to Higher Ground' | Shorewords

September 14, 2023

Moving to Higher Ground (Again)

In 2021, John Englander was on Shorewords, talking about his book, Moving to Higher Ground. Much of the conversation was about options for adapting to the rise in sea level projected by the recently released 2021 IPCC Report. Recent news indicates that climate conditions have not improved since 2021. The 2022 State of the Climate Report found that global sea level was 4 inches above the 1993 baseline, floods in Southeast Asia were one of the costliest natural disasters in recorded history, destroying crops and property, causing over 1.700 fatalities, and affecting over 30 million people. This summer, ocean temperatures were up to 100 degrees F and floods are again in the news. This week, the United Nations released the 1st Climate Report Card since the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement that found that time is running out to keep the increase in global temperature at or below 1.5 degrees Celsius, the goal of the Paris Agreement. It seemed like a good time to revisit John Englander’s book and his suggestions for adapting to rising sea level.

Show Transcription
This transcription was generated by a computer. Please excuse any errors.
Lesley Ewing

Hello. I’m Lesley Ewing, host of Shorewords!. This podcast combines two of my favorite things – the ocean and books. I learned to swim before I could walk and looked forward each summer to my family’s vacation at Ocean City, Maryland. As a student I was interested in science and engineering and became an environmental engineer before learning that there was something called coastal engineering. Both my 1 st and 2 nd mid-life crises resulted in me going back to school – first for a Masters of Engineering at UC Berkeley and later for a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. The first crisis also moved me from DC to the SF Bay. The second crisis reminded me how much I liked to read. Getting a Ph.D. while working a 40+-hour/week job meant that my only reading was work reports, text books and technical articles. They were all important and interesting books, but as soon as school ended, I replaced my academic text books with broader literature and realized that the coast was often a character in the fiction and non-fiction that I read. I am still fascinated by every visit to the ocean and remain in awe of what others write about the coast.