Climate change expert John Englander speaks June 25 at the Academy of Music
NORTHAMPTON — Rising sea levels should concern everyone, even people who live far from oceans, says oceanographer John Englander.
“As the shoreline is affected, whether it be Boston or anywhere on the coast, it’s going to affect people even in the center of the country,” Englander said.
Englander will be speaking about sea level rise and his new book, “High Tide on Main Street,” at the Academy of Music in Northampton, Tuesday at 7 p.m.
Sea level rise will have widespread implications because of the impact it will have on the economy, specifically on the coastal ports essential to trade.
“We’re part of an international supply chain where goods come in from the coast — it doesn’t matter where you live,” he said. “In western Mass, the actual property isn’t going to disappear, but there are going to be big impacts as the ports are impacted.”
In his talk, Englander said, he hopes to correct common misconceptions about sea level rise, and help people relate to climate change by showing how it physically affects the land.
“Amongst all the other effects — changing weather patterns, agricultural concerns, etc. — sea level rise is very special and focuses people because they’ll be focused on how the shoreline is going to move,” Englander said.
His book, which includes a foreword by Jean-Michel Cousteau, describes a devastating scene in New York City that recalls fears of damage from Hurricane Sandy. The book was published about a week before the superstorm hit last year.
Through his book and public speaking, Englander said he hopes to make the issue of sea level rise more prominent and to inspire more drastic efforts to reverse climate change.
“I’ve been concerned for a few years about how to communicate climate change,” he said. “And it hit me that sea level rise was very simple but very clear and unambiguous evidence of long-term temperature change.”
Tickets for Englander’s talk are available at the Academy of Music box office. Tickets are $10 for general admission, $12 for reserved seats.