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  • Writer's pictureWilliam I. Atkinson

The Littoral

Updated: Jan 3, 2020

It’s an ill wind that blows nobody good, but of all ills global warming was the illest. The bad stuff was breathtaking – a hundred thousand miles of shoreline gone to hell, river blindness savaging populations that had never known such things, farmland drowned until the First World turned to hydroponics and the Third World starved. From 2000 to 2900, as the polar ice caps liquefied and thermal expansion did its dirty work, Earth’s oceans rose six inches a year. The continental shelves tripled in area and cities from Amsterdam to Singapore disappeared. It was a sailor’s planet.

The richer places coped. New York and London eked out a precarious existence behind huge levees, as far below sea level as Death Valley once had been. Canary Wharf and the New Trade Center rose above the waves, but everything else was sixty seconds away from immolation. When you docked in Manhattan you took the elevator down twenty stories and tried not to think of all the water that hung above your head.

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