The Water Will Come

Jeff Goodell

The Water Will Come



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Global warming, caused by CO2 pollution, is causing sea levels to rise. This is a known phenomenon, which for the moment, is not considered alarming because most people believe that the ultimate impact is destined to materialise many years into the future. However, The Water Will Come states that a possible catastrophe awaits us at the end of the century. A detailed and data-rich report offers in-depth analysis into what is happening at the North and South Poles, and in the large coastal cities, to offer useful suggestions in answer to the most difficult question: is our economic and political system ready to face a crisis of this magnitude?

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Analysis and key concepts


Even if we stop c02 emissions immediately, sea levels could rise by over 2 metres by 2100


What we can learn from history: Australian myths, the stories of Noah and Gilgamesh are eye witness accounts of real events


The events of 2012 worsened the situation, but the data was not updated in time


The countries that pollute the least are the ones most at risk of disappearing simply because of their topography


The problem is the absence of any recognition of risk: take the case of Miami, which Miami expands out to the sea


Engineering systems: the solutions for Venice, Rotterdam and New York


The engineering method to deal with the problem: create new emerged lands


Another terrible risk caused by salt water: the salinity of the soil and the contamination of the springs


Climate changes create political instability and social tension


Geoengineering: the temptation to experiment with risky solutions


The best strategy for the future is the least popular one: pull back to win




Take-home message

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Many useful tips to:

  • Understand the consequences of global warming and climate change at a global level.
  • Be more adequately informed on possible solutions and on those already put in motion to counteract the danger of rising water levels.
  • Understand the financial and political risk that civilisation is up against.

Jeff Goodell began his career in New York, as an expert crime journalist on the editorial board of 7 Days. Freelancing for Rolling Stone since 1996, he has covered a wide variety of topics, interviewing politicians, scientists and billionaires. Bestselling author and commentator for New York Times Magazine, he is highly credited for his analysis on energy and environmental issues. He has been a member of the New America Foundation since 2016.

Publishing house:

Back Bay Books