AP Climate Solutions



"In 2014, Eric Rignot, a glaciologist at NASA, concluded the Thwaites Glacier was entering a state of unstoppable collapse.  Even worse, scientists were starting to think that its demise could trigger a larger catastrophe in West Antarctica, the way a rotting support beam might lead to the toppling not only of a wall but of an entire house.  Already, Thwaites' losses were responsible for about 4 percent of global sea-level rise every year.  When the entire glacier went, the seas would likely rise by a few feet; when the glaciers around it did, too, the seas might rise by more than a dozen feet.  And when that happened, well, goodbye, Miami; goodbye, Boston."

The Race to Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier, Jon Gertner, 12-10-2018 “Thwaites has long been the subject of dark speculation.” Full Article.  "If Thwaites behaves itself, and we only get a meter of sea-level rise by 2100 under a high-emissions scenario, a meter is a big deal,  Alley said.  It would be painful, but humanity could adapt..." "But what Thwaites and the glaciers around it have in store could be much more significant." "You have to think in terms of maybe...15 feet. models, it breaks, and it breaks fast.  The resulting icebergs are likely to float away, carried by swells and tides, rather than create a pileup that slows things down." "In that scenario, the Jefferson Memorial and Fenway Park would be underwater, and the Googleplex would become an archipelago.  Outside the US, the damage would be incalculable. Shanghai, Lagos, Mumbai, Jakarta—all would flood or drown.” 

These articles are disturbing.  Why?  Well, because I believe them.  Even though news junkie Americans are inundated with alarmingly bad news from here and around the world, we must remember there is one time it is actually OK to cry "FIRE" in a crowded theater.  So maybe this is that time, and we shouldn't just sit by and see how it turns out.   As long as we don't know if it's too late, I think we should try to fix it.


First we need to be responsible for our own actions and for our own impact on our planet.   No one should be startled at the idea of individual responsible.  Since 1980 we've been voting in politicians who tell us we're great.  Why?  Because the national rhetoric pays homage to the "almighty individual," to our movie and sports heroes, to our perfect politicians, and our unique individuality.  The rhetoric says we can do it all without help, so we shouldn't be amazed as we watch them strip away social safety nets and sell our public assets.   All of  these losses are because we've eaten media ego-bate, and voted (or not bothered to vote) in politicians who will not address problems.  Therefore, as individuals we must start without leadership.  We are on our own.  We must regulate our own self.

Then we need to start electing leaders who will assist us in solving this global climate crisis.   Yes, in a perfect world people wouldn't have to be regulated by an outside source.  But in a not perfect world, which is what we have, we need to vote in leaders who can sell us the hard things for the sake of the good things.


Ken, my husband, and I were having dinner while talking about the prospect of perishing or at least being financially devastated in 10 years.  If the sea rises because of this glacier melt, it is expected that coastal cities, including the one we live in, and island nations will be submerged. 

Always the problem solver, he suggested we start pumping the ocean into arid land areas. 

We quickly settled on the Sahara Desert as the best location for the next "vacation spot."  Population of 1 person per mile and a generous  4,200,000 square miles of arid area to create the world's newest sea.  The Sahara Desert has an elevation of 2,800 feet, so to start with that means we'll need a lot of solar power (readily available there) for pumps and a large pipeline (a great project for fossil fuel pipeline companies.)  Reaching the summit through a properly designed pipeline, ocean water could then be siphoned  into designated and prepared valleys and reservoirs.  If, due to our incompetence, to solve the underlining carbon emissions problem, all ice on Planet Earth melts, this transfer of ocean water to the Sahara Desert would eventually create a large sea within the African continent.  While it still is not enough to contain all the sea level rise in a complete melt of the world's ice, this inland sea or ocean will certainly give us more time and save some of our coastal civilizations.

So long exhale... but while creating a new Sahara Sea could mitigates coastal devastation around the world, we cannot lose sight of the real issue, climate change.  If left unchecked and unsolved climate change will make what land remains above water uninhabitable. 

As Richard Alley says in Gertner's article, "...whether geoengineering works or not, that's a separate question, it doesn't address the effects of dumping CO2 into the atmosphere.  And that's what is raising temperature, melting glaciers, acidifying the ocean, and changing weather patterns around the earth." 

We may be able to curtail CO2 emissions, but we are probably moving too slowly to prevent some of the predictions from coming true.  That is why Ken and I think we need to take immediate action, start to negotiate with all the countries concerned, and figure out who/how this project can be paid for. 

Starting this project immediately is essential.  

Here is the letter I sent to UNFCCC Secretary Espinosa with a list of people copied at the bottom.  I thought these people might likely start this idea rolling.  I will post any feedback I get from them.  If you care to write to any of them or to others you want to include, you may copy my letter or write your own.

Thanks for caring.