Climate Change Impacts | Student Submission

The following submission was for a weekly discussion post in a Geology class asking about what will be the impacts of climate change. Though the poster requested to remain anonymous, we can tell you that this was written at an institution in Georgia, United States in 2015.

Discussion Prompt: So, after this module you should have a pretty good idea of what type of future is possible for the world if climate change does indeed continue as predicted. You may disagree, and believe tis is all a bunch of hogwash. For this discussion, I want you to describe a typical day in the year 2100 as you see it as it relates to the climate and weather. What are some possible personal consequences that an abrupt climate change would result in? How would the landscape where you live possibly be different? How about your transportation? Similar to Water World? Or Mad Max? Get creative and have fun.

I may award extra credit points for either critiquing or expanding on the merits of the posting from at least one other student. The number of points awarded in each category will be based on the thoughtfulness and meaningfulness of your comments. Vague and incoherent comments will receive only minimal points. Any comments involving a personal attack or offensive language against another student will result in a score of zero.

It’s 2100 and the world, whether viewed from space or experienced at ground level, looks noticeably different than the one in 1985.

Parents no longer tell their children that Santa lives at the North Pole as the ice has been gone for over 70 years (remember we’re in 2100), and an elaborate city in the middle of the ocean has been built where the north pole once was. This is because the north pole now sits in the middle of a major trade route. Many people attempt to make the treacherous journey to the North Pole because they say there’s work there, but when they arrive they find it’s all automated, the only work is grunt work.

At home (what used to be Georgia) this is what the coast line now looks like (via national geographic).

The land that used to be Florida is now a wild west of treasure hunters who try to salvage whatever valuables the can find from the houses that used to exist in “Florida” that now is covered by water. The salvagers use equipment that range from high tech submersibles (funded by the wealthy) to divers with scuba gear. Pirates wait with apocalyptic weaponry to pounce from a distance as they see what the salvagers were able to find.

Present day Atlanta is home to where smugglers try to bring in whatever valuables they can find from the underwater cities. Recently the Supreme Court (yes, still in’s not that bad) finally overturned what was called the “Finders Keeper Law” that was passed in early 2051 that stated that any treasure salvaged from an underwater city belonged to the finder of the valuables as long as they paid taxes on it. It launched a 40 year period of complete chaos.

At first it was not clear what would happen as most believed the flooding would be subside, and the government would insure that people would be able to reclaim their valuables. Within two years after the major flooding of the Florida coastline, insurance companies stopped paying out homeowners with flood insurance as the claims reached tremendously high levels (in the trillions).

In an attempt to restore order, the government bailed out the insurance companies so they could pay out the homeowners. In an instant foreign countries (dealing with their own flooding) refused to let the US keep borrowing, the US defaulted on their debt, and the government was forced to shutdown. Unlike in 2010 it was not clear that the government would come back, and thus most of the coast guard, police force, and emergency services quit leaving the flooded territory vulnerable.

Even when you know what’s coming, it’s amazing how quickly everyone can turn on each other.

Professor Feedback:

Wow. Easily the best post I have ever read on this assignment. Scary how possible it is.

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