17. Will Amsterdam become the next Atlantis?

17th blog, March 6, 2019

For an adult man it is not brave to say 'I am afraid.' But I will tell you honestly that I am. I am afraid of climate change. I am afraid of hurricanes, floods, forest fires and sea level rise. I'm afraid that the unimaginable will happen.

Am I sure this is going to happen? If the CO₂ concentration is the cause of global warming, then it is certainly going to happen. But if we are wrong, it will not happen. So there is doubt, but the anxiety is certainly there too. I think there may be more people just like me who have such a sneaky fear. Climate change is just like boarding a plane. You know you can crash, but you hope: 'It will not happen to me.'

As you may know, 56% of the Netherlands as a country lies under sea level. Amsterdam lies almost 4 meters below sea level. Imagine that at the end of this century the sea has risen 7 meters and the whole of the West-Netherlands is under water. Picture Amsterdam as the new Atlantis, with the difference that we now know where it is. Then, globally, a few billion people living in deltas will have to move elsewhere. The thought is so grotesque that we cannot, and perhaps do not want to contain it. Yet this could just happen - and that is why I am afraid. Do you think the Mayans expected their civilization to perish?

Why do we actually continue building houses at 4 meters below sea level in the Netherlands? Why do we not do like China has done with Shenzhen – an amazing city that I recently visited - and build a totally new city in the center of the country, above sea level? With optimal public transport, with zero energy consumption, without CO₂ emissions. Why don’t we stop building wrong CO₂-emitting houses in wrong, low-lying places that may no longer exist within 100 years?

It will not happen, but I still remain quietly afraid.

Can this scenario of doom be prevented? Yes, by applying the Treesolution. Follow these blogs and spread the message. In the next blog we read 'The unimaginable happens'. 

Pieter Hoff
Green Musketeer

Background information
On 8 October 2018, the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) issued an emergency call to all countries to reduce their CO₂ emissions by at least 50% by 2030. The Netherlands wants to comply with this by means of a Climate Agreement. Pieter Hoff is of the opinion that the Climate Agreement needs additional policies to achieve 0% net CO₂ emissions by 2030 and that this supporting policy can be implemented much more efficiently, quicker and less costly than the current proposals that are included in the proposed Dutch Climate Agreement.