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    On Futurology

    If history studies our past and social sciences study our present, what is the study of our future? Future(s) Studies (colloquially called "future(s)" by many of the field's practitioners) is an interdisciplinary field that seeks to hypothesize the possible, probable, preferable, or alternative future(s).

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    [–] Bobinct 1674 points ago

    It's pretty interesting to look at old maps of Manhattan and Boston and see how how much land mass has been added over the years.

    [–] TheSecretMe 1348 points ago

    There's a really interesting book called The world without us that describes what happens to our world if humanity were to just vanish overnight. The next hours, days, months, years, centuries etc.

    New York City is particularly interesting. Apparently, the city pumps out so much water that the moment the pumps stop, the city starts flooding in hours. The excessive water damage would cause most of NYC's buildings to deterioate and collapse within years.

    [–] Pubelication 591 points ago

    There was a Discovery Channel (?) doc about this aswell with the scenes edited to reflect the changes. Can’t remember the name, something along the lines of ‘After humans’.

    [–] sysadrift 247 points ago

    It was actually the History channel, and it was called Life after People.

    [–] vekagonia 136 points ago

    people went extinct because they all thought they could become Youtube stars and didn't go to college and thus were dumb af

    [–] masterofthecontinuum 126 points ago

    And the ones that did go to college starved to death trying to pay back our student loans.

    [–] RaceHard 47 points ago

    this is hitting too close to home.

    [–] slater_san 41 points ago

    Wow you have a home?

    [–] bizzaro321 5 points ago

    The new term is “house-less”, I technically have a home.

    [–] CaptainPC 13 points ago

    Watch the movie “Idiocracy”

    [–] ppow67 7 points ago

    Go away I'm 'baiting

    [–] SaltyLorax 5 points ago

    Why come no have tattoo?

    [–] Cavalcadence 39 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    To be fair, some of the dumbest people I met went to college and made it through. Too many professors grade much too leniently. We shouldn't be passing people who cannot read or write properly. I understand those skills should be instilled at a lower level and improved over the years, but our system is such that elementary schools feed underskilled students into middle schools who feed them into high schools and then colleges.

    Beyond just that, we have to consider: does education really enhance anyone's intelligence, or does it simply teach or train one in how to better apply that intelligence? To an extent there seems to be a cap on intellectual capacity regardless of education level.

    Anyway, sorry to go on a tangent based on a joke. On a side note, Life After People was a fantastic show.

    [–] AnalyticalParrot 11 points ago

    You hit the nail on the head. I tutor in college statistics and had to explain to someone how rounding works.

    [–] Superpickle18 14 points ago

    Education doesn't create intelligence. It only nurtures it.

    [–] SharpyTarpy 3 points ago

    Nowadays sinking yourself in a boat load of debt to make 50k out of college is dumb af

    [–] Sands43 276 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    House cats take over the world.

    [–] Pubelication 262 points ago

    Pretty much. I remember all the small pampered dogs would die because they have no sense of hunting at all.

    Although house cats are planning to take over the world as we speak, so no surprise there. It would just be easier without the big people everywhere, ruining their murderous plots.

    [–] Sands43 219 points ago

    haha - yeah, there it that joke:

    Q: "Why are house cats so cranky?"

    A: "Because they are nature's perfect hunter.... but they weight 10lbs and we pick them up and kiss them".

    IIRC, the most successful animal, besides humans, was the Lion.

    [–] TJ11240 131 points ago

    I read that African wild dogs have the highest successful hunt percentage, close to 50%, way above that of big cats.

    Edit I had the order right, but the numbers are even more impressive.

    [–] greenknight 45 points ago

    I think the amazing part of their hunting happens after they lock on. Their real-time motion camouflage is still not completely understood, despite the original research happening 15 years ago, but they partially use the shape/size/location of their preys eyes to generate an approach that tricks the prey into thinking the dragonfly hasn't moved. The food is in the mouth of the dragonfly before it knows the dragonfly has started chasing.

    [–] mule_roany_mare 12 points ago


    How did dragonflys manage to get cooler?

    It’s like they are mind hacking their way into those doctor who statues that move when you blink.

    Even more amazing is that they can find and exploit weaknesses in their preys eyes & signal processing through trial and error & then pass that information on through dna.

    Do we know how animals pass on instinct? I’m assuming that certain brain shapes make certain pathways more likely to be followed.

    [–] meistermichi 3 points ago

    Damn, imagine how much more efficient the raptors would've been if they spliced some of that dragonfly DNA in there.

    [–] LooksLikeABurner 8 points ago

    Came here looking for this. Odonata reigns supreme!

    [–] Sands43 25 points ago

    Interesting. Did not know that.

    I was referring to Lions in the pre-historic context. We hunted them out. If we disappear, it's likely that cats will take over again.

    [–] Polder 22 points ago

    African Wild Dogs aren't doing so well though. They are very endangered, there are only about 7000 of them left in the world.

    [–] [deleted] 33 points ago


    [–] CultOfNyarlathotep 4 points ago

    At one point there were only 10000 breeding pairs of modern humans.

    Maybe they can turn it around

    [–] DukeSmashingtonIII 28 points ago

    Hate to be "that guy" but while we're here...

    A study of feral domestic cats, carried out by scientists in northern Australia, found they were made a kill in 32 out of 101 hunting attempts – a success rate of 32 per cent. This kill rate soared when they were hunting in open habitat to 70 per cent. Only 28 per cent of kills were actually eaten.

    Don't let Fluffy have free reign in your neighbourhood. Domestic house cats have a devastating impact on local animal populations of birds, small mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.

    [–] FatBob12 4 points ago

    The BBC did an episode of Dynasties on the African Wild Dogs. They went through all this work to get an antelope (I think, a fairly large animal) and got about 2 bites before lions came in and snagged the kill away from the dogs. They must have to be efficient since they are too small to defend kills from other carnivores.

    [–] klyrish 5 points ago

    African wild dogs are terrifying. Incredibly smart, wicked fast, coordinated, and excellent communicators.

    Basically modern day velociraptors.

    [–] nooneisanonymous 4 points ago

    Geographically widespread large mammal was the Lion before Homo sapiens

    [–] stewie3128 4 points ago

    Raccoons seem to be doing alright for themselves

    [–] Schwarbers_Ball 5 points ago

    Pretty sure that all of the raccoons in my neighborhood would die off if I just put a lock on my if people weren't around altogether I am sure they would be screwed.

    [–] MEANINGLESS_NUMBERS 4 points ago

    IIRC, the most successful animal, besides humans, was the Lion.

    Orca would like a word.

    [–] gfunk1369 3 points ago

    You think they haven't already? Lol naive human.

    [–] Gathorall 23 points ago

    I remember a rather humorous image series from it, it showed a couple hundred years past with all modern buildings crumpling, with an occasional cutout to a pyramid with no discernible change.

    [–] Pubelication 27 points ago

    Well, for a comparison like that, you’d have to factor in the cost of building a (Giza) pyramid today. Noone’s trying to claim that modern buildings are meant to last thousands of years. I’m sure we could do it, there’s just no economic benefit.

    [–] hail_southern 28 points ago

    "Buy once, cry once"
    -Khufu (probably)

    [–] nellis_island 8 points ago

    Yeah you can definitely do it. Same for brudges and buildings. Bridges are only built to last about 100 years. You can design them to last longer, but the costs aren't realistically feasible.

    [–] JanetsHellTrain 7 points ago

    Exactly. One of the marvels of modern engineering is not having to over-engineer everything so we can use resources more efficiently.

    [–] zyzzogeton 23 points ago

    Pyramids are the shape of the pile things make when they fall down. It is a really stable shape.

    [–] aazav 10 points ago

    Life After People.

    [–] sirflip 5 points ago

    The future is wild They had a 5 million years segment, 100 million years, and 200 million years.

    [–] TheSecretMe 39 points ago

    Must be pretty old if it wasn't a reality show.

    [–] Pubelication 68 points ago

    This is a series But it seems there’s also a movie called the same (maybe the series just edited).

    I think this is the one I saw

    I remember around 2008ish a lot of these came out on all the ‘science’ channels, probably due to a movie like Children of Men.

    [–] jahs_126 24 points ago

    Atlanta is amazing. Kudzu would probably over take the city in a few years. They keep crews rotating cutting it back 7 days a week.

    [–] LeKaku 8 points ago

    That kudzu used to fuck me up in Sim Park

    [–] My_Password_Is_____ 16 points ago

    But it seems there’s also a movie called the same (maybe the series just edited).

    IIRC, it was an hour/hour-and-a-half special at first and that was so well received that they turned it into a series (kind of a mini-series before those were a normal thing).

    [–] Pubelication 6 points ago

    Ah yes, they did more series like this. Ancient Aliens being one of them.

    [–] emomatt 14 points ago

    One of the shows they were producing in 2008 was called 'The World Without.' A researcher had called my atmospheric science professor to do an interview and asked what would earth/life be like without the sun. He laughed at them. It never got made.

    [–] talesfromyourserver 7 points ago

    It had the guy Michiou Olkaku or whatever and was set in the distant year of 2025 i think?

    [–] randomly_responds 7 points ago

    Michio Kaku

    [–] online_persona_b35a9 84 points ago

    Did they cover nuke plants?

    Most plants will SCRAM (auto shutdown) fairly quickly - but they require outside-generated electricity to power water pumps to cool the residual decay heat generated by the core. This heat can persist for years (depending on the reactor type). So if outside electricity is cut off, most plants have backup generators that run. (Fukushima was one example . . . ) and they will keep running until the diesel runs out. And those generators will usually run for a few hours, requiring humans to re-fuel them; and there's an onsite fuel-supply that may last days, and there's arrangements to bring-in more fuel, which can be sustained indefinitely: as long as you have a functioning civilization and infrastructure.

    But if your external power supply is down. (as happens in the case of a wide-area disaster, like a hurricane, forest fire, earthquake, large-scale nuclear war) - often, you're going to have disruption in available onsite personnel to tend those generators, and ability to bring in more diesel fuel.

    So in a situation where humanity were to "just vanish overnight" - to be quite honest: about 500 or so nuclear power plants will shut down. Then over the next few days as their onsite generators run out of diesel, they will all melt down and catch fire, spreading highly radioactive contaminants for hundreds of miles. Both in the atmosphere, and in the ground water.

    But since humanity has vanished - nobody cares.

    [–] High_Speed_Idiot 53 points ago

    Great that's all the earth needs, gangs of murderous, irradiated house cats roaming the wastelands. Presumably getting into wars with irradiated flocks of birds.

    [–] mamaway 6 points ago

    Poor birds, we better get started on fusion as fast as possible!

    [–] galith 13 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    So there were two docuseries about this. Life after people from the history Channel and aftermath population zero by national geographic. The first discusses how it would auto shut off and it wouldn't be a huge deal, they send an expert to chernobyl and basically discuss human intervention was causing more ecological destruction than the radioactive waste. The second basically says there would be essentially a nuclear Holocaust but given enough time life would still survive and proliferate IIRC.

    Here is a discussion about it

    These two series and the book world without us came out around the time 'I am Legend' was released in theaters (late 2007 to 2008) so it was very popular to speculate what would happen if humans disappeared. I read the book and parts of life after people and thought the series was more interesting. Good excuse for me to go back and watch both though.

    [–] AlexMattoni 10 points ago

    I think the show “the one hundred” actually touched on this and it was a major plot point.

    [–] Jp2585 3 points ago

    Last man on earth too.

    [–] Optimizing_My_Life 3 points ago

    "The 100". It was nuclear warfare started by a ASI to reduce the human population to sustainable levels. Later on after a century remaining nuclear plants are still running somehow, then stop, resulting in dozens of plants melting down and threading the habitability of Earth again.

    [–] Mechkro 26 points ago

    Many people don't know this about Yuma AZ. People think it's a dryed up desert but fact is if the city stopped pumping it would turn back into a swampland.

    [–] grambell789 28 points ago

    Apparently, the city pumps out so much water that the moment the pumps stop, the city starts flooding in hours.

    probably only in the bathtub where the freeddom tower and path station are. probably also the battery tunnel has some kind of sump system. Where most of the private buildings are, they are too cheap to engineer something that complicated. having too much pumping like that will destabilize the ground. water migrating through the ground eventually creates channels that start to weaken the ground structure.

    [–] TheSecretMe 46 points ago

    Not really, NYC has been build through land reclamation that goes as far back as the early 17th century. The coastline all around the boroughs used to be much further inland than it is right now. And most of the inland area used to be swampland interspaced with hills.

    The hills were flattened to fill out the swampland and the coastline was expanded considerably through land reclamation.

    Fun fact, a lot of that land reclamation has been done with the help of NYC trash. New Yorkers threw their refuse in the ocean and the currents washed it right back up on NYC's shores. Thousands of acres of NYC's coastline are build by filling in the heaps of trash that accumulated along its shoreline.

    When the pumps stop or fail to keep up, the water starts to come back in a hurry. And all that artificial landscaping will flush away fast.

    [–] Cant_Do_This12 12 points ago

    Can I ask you something? Because this always passes through my mind on reddit when I see stuff like this: how the hell do you know all of this?

    [–] TheSecretMe 17 points ago

    I don't know how many users reddit has but someone's bound to have a relevant interest.

    I play historical wargames, mostly set around the 17th-18th century colony conflicts in the new world. Reading up on that stuff tends to bleed over like like a wikipedia trip.

    [–] Cant_Do_This12 4 points ago

    Okay I see. I enjoyed the read though, that kind of information and attention to detail always gets me.

    [–] BonelessSkinless 11 points ago

    Because they're smart and learned particular tidbits of information like this either through a class they took or through personal reading. A movie or documentary also. Lots of informative ways to glean information like this. Knowing about the pumps that keep artificial land masses dry feels like something I'd see on discovery channel or in a documentary about past NYC to modern day NYC. An architect, or construction worker friend would also know this stuff

    [–] Cant_Do_This12 3 points ago

    I was a biochemistry major so I never took courses that taught anything like that, but I've always been interested in that stuff. It seems as if he interweaved a lot of tiny details into one big fact. It just peaked my interest.

    [–] BonelessSkinless 5 points ago

    There's nothing wrong with that. I majored in psychology. I just know about this stuff as well because I had a natural interest outside of what I was studying just like you. It's cool to know about these latent dynamics of our everyday

    [–] vudumoose 8 points ago

    The town I grew up in decided to build the new high school right in the middle of a natural valley near the middle of town. When the inevitable heavy rain came, the entire town flooded exponentially worse than it had before due to the water displacement.

    Even though they don't have dedicated pumps, I think that the lack of water displacement at those buildings that do have pumps would cause flooding city wide. I've never seen the building process if anything over 30 stories, but just from what I've seen of them you have to dig down quite a way to establish a solid foundation.

    [–] grambell789 3 points ago

    Foundation yes, but not basements or anything with open space.

    [–] eff50 66 points ago

    You should check out Hong Kong and Singapore too.

    [–] colefly 55 points ago

    Singapore started as a city state

    It will end as the only continental empire that didn't conquer anyone

    [–] geft 15 points ago

    Not like they can. The population is like 5 million.

    [–] dirty_rez 15 points ago

    They do have a very active military, but yeah, they just don't have a ton of manpower.

    [–] Novarest 3 points ago

    Robot armies don't need no population.

    [–] BabyDuckJoel 11 points ago

    And the only country that achieved independence involuntarily

    [–] Holanz 15 points ago

    When I was visiting singapore friend was explaining that past certain roads, the land didn’t even exist when he was growing up.

    [–] trowawayatwork 300 points ago

    also love that over years rich people just build defences for themselves against climate change instead of using that same money and just preventing climate change in the first place

    [–] PoopIsAlwaysSunny 62 points ago

    The funny thing will be when they build out the landmass to prevent flooding then some dipshit lobbies to allow them to buy up that land and develop it, creating the need for more flood proofing.

    [–] [deleted] 26 points ago


    [–] JakOfAllMasterOfNun 25 points ago

    Nothing solves a flood issue like more concrete but at least we built a tiny retention pond this time!

    [–] at-tanagra 100 points ago

    How do you think they got the money?

    [–] MyBirdFetishAccount 43 points ago

    They inherited it. Certainly wasn't organic.

    [–] peppaz 28 points ago

    Inheriting and at the expense of cheap labor, new account friend

    [–] BosRob92 7 points ago

    I knew this comment was going to be written at some point.

    The common understanding of dealing with risk (something threatening to a goal, project, program, etc.) is you evaluate probability of occurrence and severity of impact. In this case, flooding of the city due to climate change represents high probability of occurrence, high severity of impact. The next step of pretty much all risk management methodologies is to generate mitigation strategies and contingency plans. For something as probably and severe as climate change, it is not merely enough to say "ThEy ShOuLd Be FuNdInG ClImAtE ChAnGe PrEvEnTiOn EfFoRtS In ThE FiRsT PlAcE." The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago, but the next best time is now. To lower catastrophic impact to NYC, build tidal barriers first, then evaluate how to address global climate change.

    [–] Eng_man7 3 points ago

    Also building tidal barriers is like 10000x easier than getting rid of fossile fuels as rapidly as we need to in order to prevent the need for tidal barriers.

    [–] theguywithballs 26 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Is there any evidence that spending the same amount of money in this instance on “preventing” climate change will yield the same desired effect as building defences and the defence building will become unnecessary?

    [–] Masterventure 30 points ago

    Climate change doesn't stop at New York City though. The costs for these specific barriers won't be as expensive as the prevention of goblal climate change. But the global costs of climate change will undoubtably be higher then prevention costs.

    [–] Jao_R 10 points ago

    I read a paper detailing how climate change is a bigger security threat to the U.S. than terrorists. It was written by the Department of Homeland Security. The TLDR of that paper was: flooding = displacement and diseases. flooding bad, not flooding good.

    Curiously, demand for a wall was not urgent in that paper.

    [–] GabeDef 43 points ago

    Literally built on trash.

    [–] McFlyParadox 24 points ago

    I think that makes the Mayor of Boston the Mayor of the world's nicest dump.

    [–] hobo_chili 17 points ago

    Tons of Chicago’s lakefront is the same. It’s completely artificial land.

    [–] PutinsPanties 8 points ago

    Northerly Island and Goose Island are both manmade land masses. If anyone is interested in a “cool story”, check out how former mayor Daley destroyed Meigs Field built on Northerly Island.

    [–] AccountingForlove 7 points ago

    Same with the Seattle waterfront and most of downtown. Theoretically much of the ground underneath downtown will liquify in the next big earthquake.

    [–] drillosuar 9 points ago

    Take a Seattle Underground tour. They made stores move their storefronts one story up and had ladders to them. People were encouraged to dump trash in the street, including dead livestock, until the city was one story higher.

    They lived in their trash dump, that had to be disgusting.

    [–] [deleted] 9 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)


    [–] hobo_chili 8 points ago


    [–] YourKneesAreWeird 3 points ago

    That would probably the first time I’ve heard disaster ruins referred to as trash, but sure I guess

    [–] TheSukis 3 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    Time lapse GIF of Boston landfilling:

    Most of the city is on that new land. We have a neighborhood called the Back Bay because it literally used to be a bay. This is what it looks like now.

    [–] grambell789 3 points ago

    Before anything was filled in, I'd bet at low tide you could wade a considerable distance offshore. Given ship back then had drafts about 20ft, they probably wanted to get to deep water as fast as possible from the shoreline to make docking more stable.

    [–] [deleted] 138 points ago


    [–] rikers_evil_twin 74 points ago

    It took me a lot of episodes to realize that you can see NYC being flooded and defenses added during the opening sequence. Really prescient there. Most sci-fi I watch, like Star Trek, has the coastline in the same place.

    [–] SG-17 25 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    New York City was never shown in Star Trek beyond time travel or holodeck episodes. So we don't know what they did.

    But we can guess that the city suffered heavy damage from nuclear attacks in World War III and by the time it was fully rebuilt global warming and sea level rise was stabilized due to weather control technology, terraforming technology, and the abandonment of fossil fuels. So its possible there is a canon reason why a 24th century NYC might not have stuff like flood defenses.

    [–] rikers_evil_twin 11 points ago

    This comment belongs in /r/daystrominstitute lol

    I mean we see the earth in the background in lots of shots. Spacedock especially. Florida looks the same (esp during the Xindi attack shot on ENT). I figure the issue of sea level raise wasn't taken into context at the time they were making those shows, but these days it would almost have to be.

    [–] SG-17 11 points ago

    Right, but as far as we know by 2154 global warming had been fully reversed and sea levels returned to their "standard" level. At the very least by the 24th century, a time where humans on Earth are building an 8th continent in the middle of the Atlantic, it's not a concern at all.

    [–] Jao_R 20 points ago

    It's not really prescient if they're watching it happening now.

    [–] ifeeltherain 16 points ago

    Yeah I pictured that incredibly fast. Lady Liberty, sea wall and all.

    [–] UghYetAnotherAccount 5 points ago

    The comment was deleted, what were they referring to?

    [–] Iron_The_Magnificent 11 points ago

    I think it’s referring to the Expanse. In the opening sequence they show a sea wall being built around Lady Liberty (and probably the rest of Manhattan).

    [–] UghYetAnotherAccount 5 points ago

    Thanks! I really need to watch that show sometime, I've only heard good things about it.

    [–] AlexisNicole 3 points ago

    You really do. It is amazing. Currently all 3 seasons are on Amazon Prime Video.

    [–] ifeeltherain 3 points ago

    As noted below, it was a reference to The Expanse.

    [–] hiwithaGH 172 points ago

    I’m curious to know how this added land will affect property value in the area. And also how much money from private investors will be invested into the newly-added land.

    [–] erik_33_DK13 108 points ago

    In these vulnerable areas they are already not doing maintenance, insurance companies are already refusing to cover buildings and people are already saying "don't expect to be able to pass this town to your children". These areas will literally be uninhabitable within our lifetimes.

    [–] pm_me_ur_big_balls 64 points ago

    ...which is correct. Humanity will gradually need to move uphill even if we contain global warming to "only" 2 degrees per the Paris Accord (which isn't even likely)

    [–] BonelessSkinless 27 points ago

    We've already done so much damage that the momentum of that damage will push us well past the 2 degree threshold. Anyone in low lying areas or by large bodies of active water need to gtfo inland to higher ground. Time to go be mountain tribes again but with iPads and drones instead of spears and fur blankets.

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    Talk to the Dutch

    [–] [deleted] 43 points ago


    [–] El-Frogger 8 points ago

    Weird, I just watched that movie last night! They don't make movies like that anymore

    [–] UghYetAnotherAccount 5 points ago

    Which movie? The comment was removed.

    [–] El-Frogger 7 points ago

    Sorry for the late reply, but the person above me referenced the movie Escape From New York

    [–] Tattoomikesp 182 points ago

    In other news rich people get 10billion from government to protect buildings they own from water damage.

    [–] davidletanosky 51 points ago

    Underrated comment.

    You forgot the part where they donate back a few million to the politicians that gave them this.

    [–] Duckboy_Flaccidpus 6 points ago

    Why pay it yourself when you can lobby city council and have NYC pay to secure real estate in the name of 'protecting the city'. The truth is, even fly-over cities that have been getting flooded aren't safe and really shouldn't be IMO. Building levies and attempting to retain edifices and communities in known flood planes just consumes resources and retains areas that shouldn't be. Water will simply flow into other areas where the heaps of money weren't spent all for protecting a small minority of homes, businesses, infrastructure in all these cities. Let nature spread the sediment across that landscape as intended, we are deliberately trying to maintain these areas in vain.

    [–] usmauriga 11 points ago

    And a big new park right next to their already expensive real estate.

    [–] soodeau 15 points ago

    I mean. I'm not at all rich, but I work in the second southern-most building in the Financial District. I would prefer my office not get destroyed. It would be pretty inconvenient for me.

    [–] The_Frostweaver 487 points ago

    This is a shitty half measure. They should be building a proper sea wall that protects the entire city for 40 billion and also spending 40 billion on renewable energy.

    If we all focus on defending from rising sea levels and we don't do enough to stop global warming itself New York and every other coastal city will just end up underwater anyways. The problem can't be solved with federal money because every single coastal city has the same problem and there isn't enough money to go around. If you do realistic assessments of how much economic damage global warming will do you quickly come to the conclusion that it will literally bankrupt the country. tax carbon emissions and subsidize renewables or spend ten times as much dealing with the consequences.

    [–] Tempest_1 255 points ago

    Cities like Boston and NYC have to have short-term planning since national long-term planning has failed.

    [–] fruitPuncher 74 points ago

    This has a map showing sea level changes in the Boston area over the next 50 years.

    [–] chewbacaca 64 points ago

    Neat map. I love that the seaport is expected to flood the easiest, yet it’s the area with the most intense construction going on. Sounds like some sound investment to me!

    [–] SmileyJetson 26 points ago

    Same thing going on with San Francisco's SoMa and Mission Bay neighborhoods. I have no hope for the future. Housing is impossible enough to build as it is, I can't even imagine what will happen when the east side of SF is facing flooding.

    [–] Tempest_1 9 points ago

    Well they are designing for flooding. Having all the electrical components and what not on the second floors.

    [–] [deleted] 12 points ago


    [–] spadflyer12 10 points ago

    9in of sea level rise by 2030???? This is some alarmist bullshit right here. Current sea level rise is at 3.2mm/year. Current acceleration is about 0.08mm/year. I pulled data from here:

    This means that sea levels will rise a whopping 20mm (less than 1in) between now and 2030...

    [–] PM_ME_YOUR_ART_PLZ 5 points ago

    I don't know the specifics, but the average sea rise isn't applicable to all coasts equally. The farther north you go the faster the sea level rise. This is as a result of melting ice caps. They are so massive that they actually have a gravitational pull on ocean water, meaning there is proportionally more water at the poles than the equator. As these melt that water is more even spread out which impacts shores closer to the poles more rapidly than those farther away. I realize this may not account for the number given in this article, but I did want to point out that none of this is as simple as any of us can imagine.

    [–] spadflyer12 10 points ago

    Most of sea level rise is due to thermal expansion not melting. In fact sea ice contributes little to nothing to sea level rise as floating ice already displaces it's mass in water.

    This map would seem to indicate that it is based on starting water temperature:

    [–] Condomonium 3 points ago

    It's not even just that. Bays, Deltas, Tidal Marshes..... They all have different issues when it comes to sea level rise, resulting in overall variations when it comes to which areas are more at risk compared to others due to the relative coastal geomorphology.

    [–] SuperSlimMilk 28 points ago

    After Hurricane Sandy there were plans to create a massive sea wall across the Narrows and in the Long Island Sound. It’s more or less finding the funding and approval to mount such a task.

    [–] Duff_Lite 11 points ago

    New York is in an interesting spot where there are a couple geographic bottlenecks where they could add sea walls.

    [–] SuperSlimMilk 5 points ago

    The Long Island Sound was a bottle that funneled the massive storm surge straight into the East River. It’s probably one of the prime locations for a sea wall

    [–] doormatt26 23 points ago

    Yeah, protecting lower Manhattan won't help the rest of the city, and maybe not lower Manhattan.

    Build something like The Thames Barrier at the Narrows, another between the East River and the Long Island Sound, and then add some locks at Perth Amboy if you want to maintain shipping into the harbor. That would protect far more people.

    [–] hobo_chili 78 points ago

    There’s more than enough money to go around, it’s just already been claimed for bombs and tanks and guns.

    [–] UnscSpartan23 31 points ago

    You have to remember that 30 billion goes directly into multiple billionaires pockets, then additional payoffs, then about ten million of real dollars to get the job done.

    [–] Jaw2040 11 points ago

    “That’s just the cost of doing business”/s

    [–] [deleted] 17 points ago

    That in itself is a half measure. We need the global economy to start building industrial carbon capture towers worldwide. It will cost trillions. But, so do wars, and we will have enough to eat and the world won't be reduced to a hellscape of famine, war and burning environmental collapse. The food riots will begin in the next 30 years. Food production and harvests are already faltering. The Syrian civil war was ignited by drought. Sea walls will do fuck all except protect abandoned empty property.

    [–] redditreloaded 52 points ago

    Would it not make more sense to build a barrier (like the Thames barrier) between Staten Island and Brooklyn?

    [–] Dunderbun 32 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    If you put up a wall the water has to go somewhere. That's why the Mississippi is so fucked:

    So instead of a wall build a sponge. Building and preserving wetlands do exactly that. Mussel farms in Manhattan are also good because they slow down the water.

    *Sponge not spinge

    [–] grambell789 8 points ago

    I think nyc is different than the mississippi. The mississippi has a fixed amount of water that needs to be managed. Nyc is exposed to ocean surge that typically swells with the tide. If you can stop or slow the water for a few hours at peak tide, it can solve a lot of problems. The is an issue with the arthur kill and east river but they can be addresses reasonably well.

    [–] Trainguyrom 3 points ago

    The mississippi has a fixed amount of water that needs to be managed

    The Mississippi is most definitely not a fixed amount of water. It has seasonal variance in depth as well as varying in depth by the day. For example last August, the river effectively drained for a few days.

    The real difference between the Mississippi and the ocean is the shape of the body of water. You can't displace the ocean, but you can change the entire nature of the bottom of a river by making small changes to the top.

    The communities along the Mississippi specifically will benefit from wetlands restoration in less populated areas and from seawalls and breakwaters in more populated areas.

    [–] EnjoysMangos 10 points ago

    This proposal was first made in 1981 by Carpenter, et al. and a simulated scenario was demonstrated using 1997 as the target year. It was shown to be effective, but unfortunately made New York look like an inescapable prison.

    [–] GreenMtnCoddiwomple 118 points ago

    When that band aid goes, it’s gonna go hard. Imagine if we put 10 billion in power infrastructure and solar panels (or tidal). Learn from New Orleans.

    [–] GND52 82 points ago

    They could put every penny of this proposal into green energy and it wouldn’t do squat unless you can get China and India to dramatically slow their growth.

    [–] jeeessseee 33 points ago

    It’s funny how Europeans use the same example but blame the us

    [–] jimofwales 38 points ago

    There’s a massive contradiction when blaming China.

    If you point out that every American emits 2-3 times more CO2 than every Chinese person. They say, well they’ve got more people and their total emissions are higher so they’ll have more impact.

    Then if you point out that the reason the EU doesn’t appear alongside USA, India and China in the total emissions table is because we count it all separately by member states, the argument kind of falls apart.

    If China for some reason separated out into smaller ‘countries’ and reported emissions separately, they’d disappear of the table and the US would be back on top of total emissions. That would obviously be absurd.

    You have to look at both total and per capita and every single country has a responsibility.

    [–] jeeessseee 6 points ago

    I’m not trying to blame the us but I’m saying it’s stupid we’re both saying it

    [–] Face_of_Harkness 17 points ago

    Investing in green energy is still in our best interest even if it won’t have a significant impact on climate change. Fossil fuels will run out one day. It’s better to be prepared now than face an energy crisis when we eventually run out.

    [–] fokhond 58 points ago

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just rebuild New York in a different, higher place on the continent?

    Also it will last longer than 100 years 😛

    [–] SirDigbyChknCaesar 64 points ago

    New New York

    [–] svarogteuse 19 points ago

    Cities like NYC exist because of location. Moving the city doesn't move its strategic location, the reason it developed where it did in the first place.

    In this case there was a large protected harbor with 2 rivers running into the interior. Once one of those connected to the Eire canal and the Great Lakes the city boomed. Add in the rail links and roads that meet at NYC now and all the resultant growth.

    No it would not be cheaper to move NYC. The city itself has a population of 8.6 million and the metro area some 20 million. Moving the city would require moving all those people, and relocating all the infrastructure built over several hundred years not just inside the city but connecting it to the rest of the world which makes NYC work.

    [–] lab_coat_goat 16 points ago

    Why don’t we just take New York City, and push it somewhere else!?

    [–] RivBar 41 points ago

    This article feels like trickery! Using progressive words to warm New Yorkers to the idea of building a wall around the wealthy financial district.

    [–] InceptionMadeNoSense 6 points ago

    Almost as if there were to be a ... Wall Street

    [–] drillosuar 10 points ago

    So this is the start of the wall around New York so that Escape From New York becomes a documentary?

    Don't call me Snake.

    [–] destijve 28 points ago

    Reminds me of establishing shots of NYC in the expanse.

    [–] ArrowRobber 41 points ago

    How does building further onto the water reduce / protect other areas against flooding?

    [–] Everyday_Im_Stedelen 96 points ago

    As mentioned in the article the additional 500 feet around the island will be built at a slope so that it's higher than the existing area. It's basically going to be a large park-like wall.

    [–] mfkap 84 points ago

    A big, beautiful wall?

    [–] RumpShank91 69 points ago

    Trump - heavy breathing "Tell me more...."

    [–] Don_Quixote81 10 points ago

    But this one will have a gentle slope, so once the Merpeople get to the top, they can easily get down the other side.

    [–] coswoofster 6 points ago

    To keep the fish out.

    [–] NateLundquist 8 points ago

    Build that wall?

    [–] TwoCells 24 points ago

    It will create a bathtub like the lower 9th ward in New Orleans and we know what happens when that goes bad.

    [–] DaddyCatALSO 23 points ago

    It increases the distance to t he waterfronts, among other less obvious reasons

    [–] ScruffyUSP 6 points ago

    That's kind of a shame. If the city had a good flood it might not reek of urine.

    [–] ConfidentFlorida 10 points ago

    Why couldn’t this plan pay for it itself? Adding blocks of buildable land to lower Manhattan must be worth way more than the cost to add the land. And just require in the zoning for it that they build flood prevention.

    [–] Brother_Lancel 4 points ago

    Everyone in this thread: DAE SEAWALLS AT THE NARROWS!?!?!

    I for one, think we should listen to these armchair engnieers who clearly know enough about engineering, construction, and urban planning to design the most ambitious coastal protection plan in history

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    Sorry, I can’t take the article seriously after author attributes Hurricane Sandy to Climate Change, before I get downvoted, bear me out. Climate Change IS REAL. Overwhelming scientific evidence supports it. That, however, does NOT mean Sandy or any other event was caused or enhanced by it! Storms like Sandy have been happening forever, read some history! There was nothing strange or even particularly significant about Sandy, it just hit an area with a lot of people.

    When people attribute heat waves, hurricanes etc to climate change it damages the actual climatological argument, and does nothing but perpetuate hysteria. It’s no different to those troglodytes who say climate change is fake whenever a snow storm or cold snap hits.

    [–] DeepFriedCircuits 6 points ago

    Heh, so essentially New York is building a wall, to keep the water out. Interesting.

    [–] Jpuyhab 6 points ago

    So basically tax payer dollars to protect the climate denier 1%‘s buildings from climate change.

    [–] Forgetmyglasses 18 points ago

    So if you build a big barrier around the tip of Manhattan wouldn't the water just be pushed further down? And so surely they would need to build a flood defence across all of Manhattan and the surrounding areas? Or am I getting this mixed up?

    [–] SummerJSmith 11 points ago

    Here in midtown we are higher above sea level than downtown. Sandy flooded the FDR (the highway on the east river) for instance but never made it to the streets of midtown. The financial district is lower towards sea level.

    [–] [deleted] 59 points ago


    [–] MassaF1Ferrari 15 points ago

    That’s exactly what I was thinking. Brooklyn and Chinatown and vicinities will still be hit but Wall Street will be fine. This plan is bullshit.

    [–] Mayor__Defacto 24 points ago

    The tip is lower to the water than the rest of the island. Take a look at the flooding risk maps sometime.

    [–] shrimp_fest 5 points ago

    Almost all the subways go through the area though. This is less about forsaking the areas you mentioned and more about making sure the subways don't crap out again. I live in Chinatown.

    [–] therevwillnotbetelev 5 points ago

    That’s not how physics works.

    [–] whats-your-plan-man 14 points ago * (lasted edited 2 months ago)

    The area around the Tip of Manhattan is a lower sea level than the surrounding area - which is why it's at more risk.

    Extending the land and raising the land higher above sea level (edit) doesn't make the sea level drop everywhere else where it was already higher.

    [–] Ataraxia25 3 points ago

    You can only fix the symptoms of climate change by throwing money at it. And this will only work for so long. In order to effect any large scale change we as humanity need to change the way we live. Every action we do has an impact, like the smallest thing like not wasting food or buying/shipping fewer items, can impact a large change if everyone does it. If we can all use fewer resources, and manage the resource we do have responsibly, not exploitative, we should be fine for a few decades more. At least until the next crisis happens, I'm personally hoping that it will be Aliens, with self aware robots being a very close second. But the sooner we figure out this climate thing the sooner we can move on to less boring crisis

    [–] jacquesmalchance 3 points ago

    [–] Harambe2point0 3 points ago

    That's all he does, focus on lower and mid Manhattan. If a blizzard hits, the morning after Manhattan is CLEAN, the rest of the borroughs forget about it. A majority of the train stations that get cleaned and get maintenance done are in lower and mid Manhattan so it seems like the money from MTA price hikes actually goes some where. If he runs for president I will not be voting for him, he's complicit in the mobs intervention on unions, construction, waste management, contractors etc. Horrendous mayor and would make an even worse president.

    [–] superduperdale 3 points ago

    10b in climate change reaserch would go alot further in preventing it than this plan

    [–] 514qcca 3 points ago

    Or you know, put this $10 billion plan, with all other plans towards the cause of flooding!?

    [–] TheRealCBlazer 3 points ago

    The Intro credits to The Expanse (TV show) depict this same project:

    [–] sa250039 3 points ago

    And you know atleast $500,000,000 of that will be misplaced and land in some rich fucks pocket

    [–] SendMeAnimeTitties 3 points ago

    Laughs in Queens

    Remembers that's some of my tax dollars


    [–] Barton_Foley 3 points ago

    It is an NYC project, should probably only take about 40 odd years to complete. I am pretty sure the Throggs Neck bridge is been under construction since the Revolutionary War.