A limited-time offer.
Toronto is one of 12 North American cities under consideration for a mammoth photo display and speakers series on "The 100 Places to Remember Before They Disappear," a project of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Drat, I missed an abridged version held at the Evergreen Brick Works late last month. But if enough of us vote for Toronto, it will make the list for the planned full exhibition along with New York, Vancouver, Atlanta, Ottawa, Seattle, LA and other cities under consideration.
You need only go to the project website to vote for Toronto, which really needs the votes. (Vancouver leads, trailed by New York.) And you can write to the project organizers at firstname.lastname@example.org with ideas for local speakers, sponsors and so on.
The IPCC is keen to raise awareness of the climate-change threat, obviously. But also to make the point that it's not just Arctic vistas and South Pacific islands that are in jeopardy. Here are some locales among the 100 (hardly a complete list, but that's how many are featured in the book accompanying the exhibition) that may surprise you:
The Mississippi River delta.
Rising sea level is imperiling this rich delta, which buffers New Orleans and other Gulf Coast cities from extreme tidal flow during hurricane season. The delta is also America's main shipping channel, stretching through tributaries high into the U.S. Midwest; is the second-largest U.S. fishery; and accounts for 15% of U.S. oil production.
The Battery, New York City
Much of Manhattan's financial district, world's largest, is below 10 feet elevation. Periodic extreme flooding of 11 to 14 feet is expected every four years by 2080.
The northern Italian city's 118 small islands, located in a marshy lagoon, already have been sinking for centuries. Rising sea levels are expected to greatly accelerate the process, though perhaps now the world community will get serious about funding long-needed levees, dikes and floodgates.
Asia's longest river links the Tibetan plateau with the East China Sea, 3,900 miles away. An estimated half billion Chinese - almost twice the size of the U.S. population - rely on the Yangtze for fresh water. The Tibetan glaciers that feed the Yangtze, including the Wu Gorge show above, are expected to shrink by about 60% by century's end.