Sunday, May 18, 2014


This is a picture of what downtown San Francisco will look like when the sea level rises 12 feet.  It's taken from an article published in the New Daily News:  U.S. coastal landmarks submerged if sea level rises 12 feet.
In the picture, you can see entirely submerged:
The Embarcadero,
The foundation of AT&T Park,
A big chunk of the South of Market residential area where a lot of people live and where may high-tech startups are located.

Also submerged would be China Basin, Mission Bay, Islais Creek, parts of the Mission District, the Marina, the Great Highway and parts of the adjacent Sunset District.

Interestingly enough, there is already a discussion about damming the Golden Gate to save highly vulnerable land used by tech companies and agribusinesses in California. (In this article, there is no discussion at all about what will happen to the many poor countries who will also be affected by climate change and sea level rise.)

To me, what is striking about these conversations is that the time horizon for which we need to start planning is in the next one to two hundred years.  Not very far away.  It's a little odd to hear the high tech community talking about mega projects like damming the Golden Gate.  Yet, it is unusual hear a San Francisco tech community conversation about building a well connected light rail system running up and down the peninsula to lessen the commute load on the increasingly clogged 280 and 101.  Yes, a few companies like Google, Apple and Yahoo have their commuter buses, but most companies don't.   Instead, we have an aging and unreliable train system (Caltrain), that doesn't connect very well to BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit).

Yahoo recently eliminated their policy allowing employees to work partly from home.  (Thank you Marissa Mayer.)

Large scale infrastructure planning is left to the cash strapped state.  Meanwhile, high tech companies strategize to minimize the amount of tax they pay into the California system.  Many also push their manufacturing operations to countries that rely heavily on coal to generate electricity, further accelerating the world CO2 load.

A query using "green" of the techcrunch website will tell you that Bay Area interest in green tech is a fading memory. 

Oddly, I find myself digging around on sites like burritojustice to read an article talking about what it will be like to live in San Francisco with a +200′ sea level rise.
Related Post:
EDGAR Emissions Database for Global Atmospheric Research

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