¿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.

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