Sea Secrets: Acclaimed Journalist Talks Sea-Level Rise

Miami Herald reporter Jenny Staletovich talks with journalist and author Jeff Goodell about his new book on sea-level rise.
By Peter E. Howard

Miami Herald reporter Jenny Staletovich talks with journalist and author Jeff Goodell about his new book on sea-level rise.

Sea Secrets: Acclaimed Journalist Talks Sea-Level Rise

By Peter E. Howard
The latest speaker in the popular lecture series at the Rosenstiel School, Jeff Goodell, shared insights into his new book exploring sea-level rise.

Jeff Goodell went to Manhattan the day after Hurricane Sandy roared into the metropolis, sweeping an angry ocean of water down subway tunnels and flooding many of New York City’s neighborhoods and boroughs.

As he assessed the damage and its relation to the foreboding danger of sea-level rise back in 2012, Goodell was advised to visit Miami if he thought what was happening in New York was bad.
 
“So I went,” he told a packed auditorium at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science.
 
What he found is the city considered by many to be “ground zero” for sea-level rise. A city threatened by rising waters on both sides—the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Everglades to the west.
 
Goodell, an acclaimed journalist, contributing editor to Rolling Stone and author of the new book, “The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World,” was the featured speaker Tuesday night at Rosenstiel’s popular lecture series, Sea Secrets.
 
He was joined on stage by Jenny Staletovich, environmental reporter at the Miami Herald, who guided the conversation as Goodell discussed his travels for his book, and the perils he sees for the future of the planet.
 
During his research, Goodell visited a dozen countries, talked to scientists, researchers and policy makers, and observed how some countries are coping with climate change while others ignore the issue. He went to Greenland and Antarctica to witness the melting ice packs.
 
The Netherlands, he noted, has been dealing with sea-level rise and flooding for a long time. People living in the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean, he added, are not concerned about a little sea-level rise; they are worried about their entire country disappearing.
 
In some places right now, Goodell shared, people are discussing which lighthouses should be preserved and protected from the rising seas. It is too costly to save them all, he said, and tough choices are being made about which structures are the most important and should have priority.
 
“You are going to have to do the same in Miami,” he warned.