Global Warming, Pollution Add to Coastal Threats
Mon Dec 27,12:29 PM ET Science - Reuters
By Alister Doyle, Environment Correspondent
OSLO (Reuters) - A creeping rise in sea levels tied to global warming, pollution and damage to coral reefs may make coastlines even more vulnerable to disasters like tsunamis or storms in future, experts said Monday.
Few coastal ecosystems are robust enough to withstand freak waves like the ones that slammed into Asian nations from Sri Lanka to Thailand Sunday, killing more than 22,000 people, after a subsea earthquake off Indonesia.
But global warming, poorly planned coastal development and other threats over which humans have some control are weakening natural defenses ranging from mangrove swamps to coral reefs that help keep the oceans at bay.
"Coasts are under threat in many countries," said Brad Smith at environmental group Greenpeace. "Development of roads, shrimp farms, ribbon development along coasts and tourism are eroding natural defenses in Asia."
Scientists say a build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere from human burning of fossil fuels threatens to trigger more powerful storms and raise sea levels, exposing coasts to more erosion.
It's not enough to call us "stingy", they have to find a way to blame us for the whole thing.
"Damn those Americans!! What do you expect from the people who invented AIDS in a lab and then unleashed it on an unsuspecting world, armed and trained the Taliban and Al Qaida in Afghanistan, conspired with the Israeli Mossad to fly planes into their own buildings to frame Al Qaida, and faked evidence of WMD's in Iraq so they could topple a peaceful regime and inflict suffering on a happy people. Bastards!!!! They'll probably find a way to make billions for Haliburton off this disaster."
OK, I admit it. It's all my fault. All of those people could have been spared if only I had bought an electric car. While we're on the subject, the common cold and slow internet connections are my fault, too.
That's enough ranting for now. I have to go fill my SUV up with that cheap gas (insert sarcastic tone here) we "stole" from the Iraqis so I can cause another natural disaster.