The Ecology Action Centre has come up with a novel way of showing just how much sea level rise could impact coastal Nova Scotia. If anything, we can only hope this leads to move conversation and more action on climate change and what we can do as individuals to mitigate the impacts of warming oceans.
The Halifax-based environmental organization recruited volunteers to put Nova Scotia under varying amounts of water, ranging from a few centimetres to several metres. Inspired by the Drown Your Town movement started by a California-based writer, Jennifer Graham wanted to show people how climate change could impact their communities.
She said most of the discussion on sea level rise and climate change has been at the institutional and government levels. Unfortunately, most people have paid little attention to how a 30-centimetre rise in sea levels could impact their properties, their neighbourhoods and communities.
In some portions of Nova Scotia, the Google Earth photos show large sections of land having disappeared under the waves. The same is true near Amherst, Parrsboro and along the Northumberland shoreline at Northport where portions of land, including the provincial park, are gone.
The goal of the program is not cause panic, said Graham, but to create a public discussion on what steps can be taken now to minimize the impacts of climate change in a few decades or a century. While it would be easy to say climate change will be someone else’s problem, the responsible thing to do would be to take some steps now. It’s no secret that sea levels are rising and at the same time it has been shown that Nova Scotia is sinking.
While we may not need press the panic button just yet, even subtle changes to the way we do things could go a long way toward slowing the process.