¿Quién teme al cambio climático?

COPENHAGUE –  Imaginemos que dentro de 70 u 80 años una gigantesca ciudad portuaria –Tokio, pongamos por caso– quedara anegada por niveles del mar de cinco metros o más. Millones de habitantes correrían peligro, junto con billones de dólares de infraestructuras.

Esa clase de perspectiva atroz es exactamente aquella en la que piensan los evangelistas del calentamiento planetario, como Al Gore, cuando advierten que debemos adoptar “medidas preventivas en gran escala para proteger la civilización humana tal como la conocemos”. La retórica puede parecer extremosa, pero, habiendo tanto en juego no cabe duda de que está justificada. Sin una operación  mundial en gran escala y extraordinariamente bien coordinada, ¿cómo podríamos afrontar aumentos del nivel del mar de ese orden de magnitud?

Es que ya lo hemos hecho. En realidad, estamos haciéndolo ahora mismo. Desde 1930, una retirada excesiva de aguas subterráneas ha hecho que Tokio se haya hundido nada menos que cinco metros y en algunos años algunas de las partes más bajas del centro de la ciudad se hunden treinta centímetros anualmente. Un hundimiento similar ocurrió a lo largo del siglo pasado en una gran diversidad de ciudades, incluidas Tianjin, Shanghai, Osaka, Bangkok y Yacarta. En todos los casos, la ciudad ha logrado protegerse de semejantes aumentos del nivel del mar y ha prosperado.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

Registration is quick and easy and requires only your email address. If you already have an account with us, please log in. Or subscribe now for unlimited access.


Log in

  1. An employee works at a chemical fiber weaving company VCG/Getty Images

    China in the Lead?

    For four decades, China has achieved unprecedented economic growth under a centralized, authoritarian political system, far outpacing growth in the Western liberal democracies. So, is Chinese President Xi Jinping right to double down on authoritarianism, and is the “China model” truly a viable rival to Western-style democratic capitalism?

  2. The assembly line at Ford Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

    Whither the Multilateral Trading System?

    The global economy today is dominated by three major players – China, the EU, and the US – with roughly equal trading volumes and limited incentive to fight for the rules-based global trading system. With cooperation unlikely, the world should prepare itself for the erosion of the World Trade Organization.

  3. Donald Trump Saul Loeb/Getty Images

    The Globalization of Our Discontent

    Globalization, which was supposed to benefit developed and developing countries alike, is now reviled almost everywhere, as the political backlash in Europe and the US has shown. The challenge is to minimize the risk that the backlash will intensify, and that starts by understanding – and avoiding – past mistakes.

  4. A general view of the Corn Market in the City of Manchester Christopher Furlong/Getty Images

    A Better British Story

    Despite all of the doom and gloom over the United Kingdom's impending withdrawal from the European Union, key manufacturing indicators are at their highest levels in four years, and the mood for investment may be improving. While parts of the UK are certainly weakening economically, others may finally be overcoming longstanding challenges.

  5. UK supermarket Waring Abbott/Getty Images

    The UK’s Multilateral Trade Future

    With Brexit looming, the UK has no choice but to redesign its future trading relationships. As a major producer of sophisticated components, its long-term trade strategy should focus on gaining deep and unfettered access to integrated cross-border supply chains – and that means adopting a multilateral approach.

  6. The Year Ahead 2018

    The world’s leading thinkers and policymakers examine what’s come apart in the past year, and anticipate what will define the year ahead.

    Order now