Top Story: September 24, 2012

Local Sea Level Rise Stories

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“There’s a lot of hard work being done to limit the greenhouse gases that are creating climate change. But we have passed a tipping point. There are some effects of climate change that we can no longer halt. And we have to face that fact. Even if we could completely stop the release of CO2, right now, there is already so much greenhouse gas in the atmosphere that the effects will last hundreds of years. This is going to dramatically change the way we live.

“Among the effects that we can still limit, but no longer halt, are sea level rise and extreme weather. These impacts are already increasing flood threats from Manhattan to Hawaii. I wanted to create a series that would get people talking about this problem and inspire them to work on finding solutions.”

Claire Schoen, a local media producer, is talking about her latest project, RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities, a radio, multimedia, and podcast series.

RISE takes viewers and listeners on a journey of the San Francisco Bay,” Claire explains. “Underneath the surface to swim with the harbor seals and phytoplankton, overhead to soar with a million migratory birds, and along the coast to explore marshlands and skyscrapers that ring the Bay.”

“On the way, this series addresses the impact of climate change on communities built along the water. Sea level rise, snowpack melt, and increased storms, tides and waves will affect the contours of the San Francisco Bay and the human and natural life that depends on it. Finally, we learn what steps people are taking in the face of this challenge.”

RISE follows the stories of everyday people in the Bay Area and describes how sea level rise will affect them personally. “Getting to know real people in a specific place puts a human face on this abstract issue for Americans across the country who face impacts of climate change in their own region,” Claire says.

RISE is a catalyst for thought and engagement. I hope RISE gets people thinking and talking about the issues. I want to motivate people to learn more about sea level rise and about what’s happening in their own community. Ultimately, the manner in which we respond to climate change, separately and together, is consequential for the future we have in common.”

So visit the website and listen, view, engage. “I want people to share, share, share the RISE stories! The web stories in particular were designed to be passed from Friend to Friend on Facebook. I hope people who like a particular RISE story will embed or link from to their Facebook page and tell their friends to pass it on.”

Next up for RISE and Claire? Fundraising for a video game! Stay tuned…


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