The Tipping Point 1: Climate Change- Solutions/ Salvation

Climate Change Impacts: Reverse by Restoring; Sherlocked by Shorelock; An Olive Branch; and Risk Management-


Sometimes so much of a mess is made of something that we feel like it is just beyond any resolve, undoing, a fit of rage much is often said which cannot be unheard, acts done and scars born. But what if there is some saving grace, or even hope for change? As we develop and grow, we continue to plunder nature’s bounty, reconstruct the natural land and seascapes, intensify our wants and in exchange we give our environment our waste, discharge pollutants, emit extra carbon and so forth. When nature finally catches up and reacts for instance via climate change visible through intensity in weather patterns and ocean currents, or global warming, there is then an outcry/ outburst. Early on at Broward[ namely at week 1] I had the opportunity of attending a Save our Seas forum which primarily focused on coastal management in the face of climate change and its unnerving impacts especially in a region so low lying but much to far into the jaws of development to even know how to stop what more retreat.

Thankfully [ I think], various groups are busy finding solutions or rather seeking salvation before we cross the climate tipping point.4 notable opportunities for mitigating the impacts of climate change were briefly presented by various presenters ranging from conservative conservation cures, to almost science fiction scientific fixes-

  1. Grow Greens- The first presenter was a local conservationist who has been advocating and actively engaged in the restoration of coastal and marine ecosystems. She shared the benefits of seagrass as guardians of the seabed and as great carbon sequesters . Sea-oats are also good coastal vegetation which potentially hold coastal sand in place and helps mitigate the impacts of erosion.
  2. Sherlocked by Shorelock- Shorelock is a product/ compound which seems to have “Sherlocked” the coastal erosion conundrum Shorelock is a technology where in a compound is introduced to an existing beach front which has a flexible move and locking mechanism. In essence, the “eco friendly” compounded once introduced to the sand, allows the sand to interact with the waves and whilst allowing the waves to move through it, it will not wash away with the waves but instead will return to be locked to the shore. This method has been piloted with success in 2 countries off the USA. Can read more here:
  3. An Olive Branch to reverse Climate Change: now, a third presentation is promising to be a “truly green solution”. The secret or rather solution rests squarely with nature yet again this time, in the form of a green rock called the Olivine Stone, a mineral which can be found in the subsurface of earth. This stone, has the ability it seems to absorb carbon as it disintegrates. It is mentioned that significant exposure of massive quantities of this stone led to the previous ice age. Research suggests that exposing 7km3 of this stone could offset current carbon excess. However, n order to do so, this stone will need to be extracted from various mines and hills and deposited on beaches which have good wave activity as the rock disintegrates faster in salt water. Once the process is complete, these beaches will no longer be sandy white or golden but will instead be green. [ Note: There is a beach in Hawaii where this stone is naturally present and hence the beach is green]. The presenter, from Climitigate, is in the process of seeking out possible pilot sites.
  4. Parallel to Polluter Pays- There is also apparently significant increase in insurances and reinsurers to factor flood and other climate change impacts into their risk management equations when insuring property. This, is more of a stop gap measure I would think. People want property in good view of beautiful coastal waters notwithstanding the risks of the same as there always the safety net of insurance. What if insurance policies factored premiums depending upon the climate risk of the property site? A lot of discussions are ensuing and various institutions are carrying out modelling to better advise future business practise . [ I would love to see similar movement towards this direction back home in comparable situations]

All is good when seeking to abate the impacts of climate change but more importantly measures need to be in place to avoid the risk all together.Why continue to build and insure in a vulnerable coastal area? Because we can? Because climate change is a tale which is not real? Whilst new solutions are emerging, i cannot help but think that we need to act with caution such that new solutions do not lead to new problems. If such is the case, resources will be exhausted to fire fight new problems which we breach our climate’s tipping point.



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